Nine Non-Mainstream Movies Worth Seeing This Summer
|LISTS - MOVIE LISTS|
Far from the falling stunt-people and explosions, the hidden treasures of summer 2010...
In between bouts of assassins and mercenaries (there seems to be quite a few of those this summer), why not catch up with something just a little bit different? Here are nine films that I either recommend wholeheartedly, or am just downright eager to see...
New releases I’ve seen…
WILD GRASS – If, like me, you wondered if it was still possible, over a hundred years after its invention, to reinvent film language, well…Alain Resnais is here to do it yet again. The director of too many groundbreaking movies to count (but most famous for Hiroshima, Mon Amour and Last Year at Marienbad) is at it again. I saw this in February, and even having been prepared somewhat, you have no idea what you’re in for. I can’t wait to dive in again. It starts in New York and LA at the end of June and just keeps coming after there. Stay tuned to sonyclassics.com for a full release schedule.
EVERYONE ELSE – Proving that Germans, too, have feelings, writer/director Maren Ade presents us with one of the finest relationship dramas I’ve ever seen. Unlike most films of this sort, this is not nearly as shoot-from-the-hip as it seems (or as a great deal of so-called “mumblecore” actually is), but rather a very finely structured piece of filmmaking. I continue to be in absolute awe of it. This is already out in a few select cities, but stay tuned to www.cinemaguild.com/everyonelese/playdates.html for more information.
New releases I’ve yet to see, but really really want to…
MICMACS – Confession: I do not care for Amelie. Reality: The new film from director Jean-Pierre Jeunet looks like a boatload of fun, and according to the general consensus from those who have seen it, it really is exactly that. This starts coming out at the end of this month, so keep an eye out.
I AM LOVE – As Roger Ebert tweeted, I would walk a mile in iron boots to see a Tilda Swinton movie. I purposefully keep myself in the dark about movies as much as possible prior to their release, but this is supposed to be something really, truly special. Magnolia’s putting this out in June in select cities, but they have a good habit of putting their films on OnDemand channels.
CYRUS – You’ve probably seen the trailer for this, but if it’s anything like the Duplass brothers’ previous films, particularly The Puffy Chair, this is going to be a hell of a sit. Often funny, surely, but also incredibly uncomfortable in the most rewarding of ways. I’m very eager to see what they have in store with a bigger budget and name actors. Fox Searchlight will start rolling this out June 18th, and will probably ramp up pretty fast in the month or so following.
THE KILLER INSIDE ME – I don’t tend watch every movie my favorite actors are in, but after The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, I will follow Casey Affleck to the grave. Or, y’know, until his first huge misstep. Whatever the outcome of this, it does at least seem to be of interest. An adaptation of Jim Thompson’s still-controversial 1952 novel, Affleck stars as a small-town deputy who just can’t stop killing people. Mostly women. Hard to imagine how it’d be controversial. IFC Films has this, which means a pretty decent release and OnDemand to coincide in mid-June.
GET LOW – Robert Duvall stars as an old hermit determined to put on a funeral for himself while he’s still alive. This would be hopelessly quirky if it wasn’t for the presence of Robert Duvall and Bill Murray, with a little Sissy Spacek thrown in for good measure. Stay tuned to sonyclassics.com for specific release dates, but this’ll be a late summer show.
Restorations of classic films
METROPOLIS – In 1924, Fritz Lang toured American film studios, and, impressed with their technical superiority, came away determined to make “the costliest and most ambitious picture ever.” Inflation and the passage of time eventually eroded the first part, but in many ways the second part is still true. It’s huge in a way nothing else was at the time, and few films have been since (most of which it inspired). This version, which just kicked off its national tour, also boasts twenty-five minutes of recently discovered footage, making it the closest representation of Fritz Lang’s achievement to date. There isn’t a good source for playdates, but well worth checking your local paper for.
BREATHLESS – Speaking of ambitious and game-changing, Jean-Luc Godard knocked it out of the park with his first at-bat, creating (albeit in a secondhand sort of way) new techniques in film language. It’s also, for my money, his most entertaining film – great, vibrant characters drive this film, and, just as very little happens in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, this never stops the movie from being totally engaging. It’s jazz given life onscreen, and even if, like me, you don’t actually like jazz, it feels like everything people say jazz feels like.
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