Sunday, August 1, 2010

Revival: Brighton Rock

Restored Print of BRIGHTON ROCK

Saturday, July 31 at Noon
Monday, August 2 at 7 PM
Thursday, August 5 at 9PM.

1947 John Boulting. Richard Attenborough, Carol Marsh, Hermione Baddeley, William Hartnell. Based on the novel by Graham Greene. 86 m.

On a sunny Whitsun bank holiday at the slightly tacky seaside resort of Brighton (the title refers to a local hard candy), people are dancing to the bands on the pier, and the shooting galleries, souvenir stands, and tea rooms are packed with day-trippers. But “Kolly Kibber,” busy caching newspaper giveaway cards around town, keeps looking over his shoulder for Richard Attenborough’s mystical psycho “Pinkie,” razor-wielding teenage head of a racecourse gang (“one of the most vicious pieces of work to ever slink across a cinema screen” – Total Film), so ruthless that he’d actually (yecch!) marry naïve, underage waitress Carol Marsh just to tie up a crime’s loose end. But blowsy blonde Hermione Baddeley keeps asking all these questions. The Boulting Brothers’ (John alternated with identical twin Roy as director and producer) adaptation of Graham Greene’s serious thriller was scripted by the author himself, after he was dissatisfied with Terence Rattigan’s first, happily-ended draft. Breakthrough starring screen role for future Oscar-winning director (Gandhi) Attenborough, who had played the same role on stage four years earlier (see also: 10 Rillington Place) — plus dazzling location shooting, with crowds of seemingly unseeing holiday-goers in the background of chase scenes across major intersections; but also with the blackest of Noir treatments for this darkest of British Noirs (Film Forum)

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's been wonderful organzing the CHARLES THEATRE WORKER'S UNION ART WALL but it's time to hand the honor over to another worthy chas employee. As the whole affair has been very, shall we say, organic, it will be up to the current employees to elect or volunteer the next art wall organizer. Don't let this amazing opportunity pass you by!!

Next week the current show will come down and what will come next will be up to you, Chas Employees! The lighting will remain up for the next two months and if nothing comes about it will come down as well.

Best of luck!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Revival: Mickey One


Saturday, July 10 at Noon
Monday, July 12 at 7 PM
Thursday, July 15 at 9PM

1965 Arthur Penn. Warren Beatty, Alexandra Stewart, Hurd Hatfield, Franchot Tone. 93 m. bw.

Hollywood's attempt at French New Wave, courtesy of director Penn and star Beatty, results in a curious brew - the plot, such as it is, may lose some viewers completely but the film itself is intriguing enough to warrant attention throughout. Beatty is the stand-up comic who finds himself the target of mobsters, heads for Chicago and changes his name to Mickey One. He attempts to start again, but can't help feeling that he is still being followed - a hunch confirmed by a subsequent physical attack. Quirky to say the least, audiences gave its jerky editing techniques and weird visuals a wide berth when the film was first released -indeed, these are aspects which some many find hard to take even now. On the plus side, Beatty is fine and Stan Getz's cool jazzy score adds to the atmosphere...(Channel 4)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Revival: Vertigo

Alfred Hitchcock's VERTIGO

Monday, July 5 at 7PM
Thursday, July 8 at 9PM

1958 Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore. 128m. Technicolor.

"One of the landmarks—not merely of the movies, but of 20th-century art. Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 film extends the theme of Rear Window—the relationship of creator and creation—into the realm of love and sexuality, focusing on an isolated, inspired romantic (James Stewart) who pursues the spirit of a woman (the powerfully carnal Kim Novak). The film's dynamics of chase, capture, and escape parallel the artist's struggle with his work; the enraptured gaze of the Stewart character before the phantom he has created parallels the spectator's position in front of the movie screen. The famous motif of the fall is presented in horizontal rather than vertical space, so that it becomes not a satanic fall from grace, but a modernist fall into the image, into the artwork—a total absorption of the creator by his creation, which in the end is shown as synonymous with death. But a thematic analysis can only scratch the surface of this extraordinarily dense and commanding film, perhaps the most intensely personal movie to emerge from the Hollywood cinema." (Dave Kehr)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Revival: Cabin in the Sky


Monday, June 28 at 7PM
Thursday, July 1 at 9PM.

1943 Dir. Vincente Minnelli. Ethel Waters, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong, Rex Ingram, Duke Ellington. 98m. bw.

One can easily criticise this all-black musical (Minnelli's first feature) for falling prey to the same 'Uncle Tom' stereotyping that characterised Green Pastures, but there's no denying both the compassion with which Minnelli treats his characters and the immense cinematic talent on view. The gorgeous dreamlike sets and consummate control of the fantastic atmosphere that imbues the story (an idle, poverty-stricken farmer dreams of being sent to Hell upon dying) are already well developed. And the cast are magnificent, delivering the lovely Harold Arlen score with style and power. (Time Out)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Revival: Roma


Saturday, June 12 at Noon
Monday, June 14 at 7PM
Thursday, June 17 at 9PM

ROMA 1972 Dir. Federico Fellini. Peter Gonzales Falcon, Fiona Florence, Britta Barnes, Pia De Doses. In Italian, English and French with English subtitles. 128 m. Technicolor.

Rome exerted a powerful influence over Fellini throughout his life but rarely did he express his love for it more clearly than here. Mixing documentary-style reportage, self-contained dramatic set-pieces and strange, impressionistic sequences, Roma explores the director's youth, the process of filmmaking and the mysterious allure of The Eternal City itself.

Essentially a series of loosely-connected vignettes, the first section of the film sees the young Fellini (Gonzales) arriving in Rome in the 1920s. Thereafter the focus moves to a wartime variety show at the Barafonda Theatre. We visit a brothel, witness Fellini fall in love with a prostitute and listen to the American writer Gore Vidal's bleak assessment of the city's future. Binding these threads together is a team of documentary filmmakers shooting in 1972, when traffic chokes the ancient streets and hippies gather to get stoned on the steps of the Basilica. (Film 4)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Revival: Easy Rider


(No Saturday Show)

EASY RIDER 1969 Dir. Dennis Hopper. Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Phil Spector. 95 m.

"(Hopper's) most influential accomplishment was directing and starring in 'Easy Rider,' the 1969 biker film about two alienated souls who (as the tag-line said) went 'looking for America.... and couldn't find it anywhere.' Made on a $400,000 budget (it grossed $60 million worldwide), it blew the hinges off the big studios' doors. It helped open American movies to contemporary content and new styles of acting and storytelling." (Michael Sragow) Read "Dennis Hopper 1936-2010" at Mike Sragow Gets Reel

"The formative film of the new Hollywood.... When he got the chance to make Easy Rider, he poured a decade's worth of desire, liberation, nihilism, despair, and hunger into it, and the freedom of the movie is there in every image."
(Owen Gleiberman)

In the oldest, finest tradition of teenpics, Easy Rider (1969) became a hit with kids mainly because adults found it unwatchable. Director Dennis Hopper borrows from the avant-garde to suggest the LSD experience, and some of the trips have a definite flavor of Kenneth Anger and Maya Deren. The film may be a relic now, but it is a fascinating souvenir—particularly in its narcissism and fatalism—of how the hippie movement thought of itself. This was the same year, remember, that Hopper played a heavy offed by John Wayne in True Grit. (Dave Kehr)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Charles Theatre Workers Union Art Wall

The Charles Theatre Art Wall 
Native Weapons

Presenting work by Gerry Mak, Annie Grey Robrecht, Melody Often, Adam Beaver, Sarah Matson, and Jordan Bernier.  

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Revival: Summertime



1955 Dir. David Lean. Katharine Hepburn, Rossano Brazzi, Isa Miranda, Darren McGavin. 100m. Technicolor.

"The first film that British director David Lean shot on location abroad, the smoothly crafted Summer Madness is a sensitive account of a love affair between a middle-aged American spinster (Katharine Hepburn) and a married Italian antiques shop owner (Rossano Brazzi), who meet while she is holidaying in 50s Venice. Showing in a freshly restored print which does justice to the film's lush Technicolor cinematography, its comparatively modest scale makes for an interesting contrast with Lean's later, much more famous epics such as Lawrence Of Arabia and Dr Zhivago." BBC

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Revival: Fast Times at Ridgemont High


Saturday, May 22 at Noon
Monday, May 24 at 7 PM
Thursday, May 27 9 PM.

1982 Dir. Amy Heckerling. Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus, Brian Backer, Phoebe Cates, Ray Walston, Forest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz, Nicolas Cage. 90 m.

Amy Heckerling's adaptation of Cameron Crowe's Fast Times at Ridgemont High is often considered one of the finest films of a disreputable genre (the teen sex comedy), and kick-started the careers of many future stars. The center of this ensemble film is Jennifer Jason Leigh as Stacy Hamilton. She is a young, innocent high-school student who, as the film opens, is asking for advice from her friend, the sexually outspoken Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates). Stacy takes a liking to nebbish Mark Ratner (Brian Backer), but he is too afraid to make a move even after Stacy all but throws herself at him. She eventually hooks up with Mark's more confident best friend, Mike Damone (Robert Romanus). When not concerning itself with these four characters, the film spends time with stoned surfer dude Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) and his ongoing feud with history teacher Mr. Hand (Ray Walston). The film includes brief appearances by such future stars as Nicolas Cage, Eric Stoltz, and Forest Whitaker. (AllMovie)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Revival: Late Spring

Don't miss Yasujiro Ozu's "LATE SPRING" this coming week at the Charles.

Saturday, May 15 at Noon
Monday, May 17 at 7 PM
Thursday, May 20 at 9 PM

LATE SPRING (Banshun) 1949 Yasujiro Ozu. Chishű Ryű, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Haruko Sugimura, Hohi Aoki. In Japanse with English subtitles. 108m. bw.

"(Yasujiro Ozu is) one of the film directors from whom I received my deepest inspiration."
—Jim Jarmusch

"(Ozu) elevated film, the art form of the 20th century, to its most beautiful form—one that cannot be imitated or repeated. For me his work is something of a cinematic shrine.... His is the most universal film language that I know." —Wim Wenders

One of the most powerful of Yasujiro Ozu’s family portraits, Late Spring tells the story of a widowed father who feels compelled to marry off his beloved only daughter. Eminent Ozu players Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara command this poignant tale of love and loss in postwar Japan, which remains as potent today as ever—almost alone justifying Ozu’s inclusion in the pantheon of cinema’s greatest directors. (Criterion Collection)

"...if there were something like a sacred treasure of the cinema, then for me that would have to be the work of the Japanese director, Yasujiro Ozu." —Wim Wenders

Friday, April 30, 2010

Revival: Phantom Lady

Robert Siodmak's
Beautiful 35MM Print!

Saturday, May 1 at Noon
Monday, May 3 at 7 PM
Thursday, May 6 at 9 PM

1944 Dir. Robert Siodmak. Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis, Aurora Miranda, Thomas Gomez, Elisha Cook, Jr. 87 m. bw.

"Landmark exercise in nocturnal noir stylistics..."
(J. Hoberman, The Village Voice)

Siodmak's first American success, a moody thriller from a Cornell Woolrich novel which set the mould for a string of dark classics. The wife of an engineer is murdered, his female alibi's very existence is denied by every witness, and he faces the chair. His secretary and a curious off-duty cop investigate... Siodmak's angled compositions and dramatic lighting might be uncharitably ticked off as genre staples, but his manipulation of the film's key motif is masterly. He concentrates on the tangible and psychological evidence - the 'records' - of absence: the wife's portrait, the messages on the office dictaphone, the court transcript, the dead witness' typed address, the hat that recalls a dead fiancé. And the film's quest is for a woman who exists only in the memories of the condemned man and the audience. (Time Out)