Wednesday, June 24, 2009

American Working Class Road Movie

Even though I rate this film as A Must-See I want to warn prospective viewers that I had qualms with the presentation of the film at the Bytowne Cinema [6/23/09] due to the poor quality and unfixable out of focus print they were screening. This has been my first experience with a shoddy screening at the Bytowne and hopefully they can resolve this in the future.-D.D.


Goodbye Solo (Ramin Bahrani, 2008)
*** (A Must-See)

A very moving picture. William (Red West) offers a taxi driver Solo (Souléymane Sy Savané ) 1000$ to take him to a secluded mountainous destination Blowing Rock. Solo noting his pessimism, and suspects a possible suicide attempt, brings him into his home and life with the intent that his humanity could change his mind. Solo shares with William his house, work, aspirations, family and friends. William visits and exchanges small talk with his son, unknown to the boy that he is his father, who man's a ticket booth at a movie theater on a regular basis. His only pleasurable experiences in what is a drab and solitudinous life. Eventually Solo’s prying creates a rift between the two. Only after a reluctant reconciliation, Solo, with his daughter Alex (Diana Franco Galindo), hesitantly drives William to Blowing Rock. Acknowledging William’s suicide (which appears off-screen) Solo drives back home with his daughter trying to gather the strength to move on after what he has just experienced.

A very driven film. The majority of the scenes are filmed in the dark night and all you can see are the street lights and illuminary cars. The driving scenes are full of social realities as Solo spends his nights away from his wife working, at a job he does not enjoy (he drives degenerate passengers with a look of overriding unhappiness), driving around, and getting in trouble with, a drug dealer friend, and studying for a flight attendent position, brushing upon racial prejudices, that he has already been turned down for once, even though he was more then qualified for the position. As a working class taxi driver being on the road, either in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, or on the countryside, means a transitory experience of contemplation, melancholy, and seclusion. The automobile becomes a metaphor for our perpetual search for authenticity and redemption that is seldom attained.-David Davidson

(Bytowne Cinema, 324 Rideau Street, 19/06 - 25/06)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hitting The Road

Summer Road Movies
Goodbye Solo (Ramin Bahrani, 2008) 19/06 - 25/06, Bytowne Cinema.
Away We Go (Sam Mendes, 2009) Now playing at SilverCity Gloucester.
Y tu mamá también (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001) 06/07 - 07/07, Bytowne Cinema.
Two-Lane Blacktop (Monte Hellman, 1971) 22/07 & 23/07, The Mayfair Theatre.
pilgrIMAGE (Peter Wintonick, 2009) 24/07 & 26/07, The Mayfair Theatre.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Stephan Elliott, 1994) 27/07 - 28/07, Bytowne Cinema.
Interview Project(David Lynch, 2009) Available online .


July Listings

Bytowne Cinema
The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch, 2009) 05/07 - 09/07.
Amarcord (Federico Fellini, 1973) 09/07 - 13/07.
L'heure d'été (Olivier Assayas, 2008) 10/07 - 23/07.
Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action (Velcrow Ripper, 2008) 17/07 - 21/07.
Moon (Duncan Jones, 2009) 24/07 - 30/07.

Canadian Film Institute
Les Amants (Louis Malle, 1958) 04/07.
Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (Zacharias Kunuk, 2001) 05/07.
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954) 11/07.
Zazie dans le Metro (Louis Malle, 1960) 18/07.
Rocco and his Brother (Luchino Visconti, 1961) 19/07.
La Strada (Federico Fellini, 1954) 26/07.

The Mayfair Theatre
Dusk till Dawn Movie Marathon!!! 04/07.
Adoration (Atom Egoyan, 2008) 10/07 - 12/07 & 14/07.
Rope (Alfred Hitchcock, 1948) 11/07 & 13/07.
Barbarella (Roger Vadim, 1968) 11/07 & 15/07.
Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977) 17/07.
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) 18/07 & 20/07.
Darkman (Sam Raimi, 1990) 24/07.
Drag me to hell (Sam Raimi, 2009) 24/07 & 26/07.
Frenzy (Alfred Hitchcock, 1972) 26/07 & 27/07.

Up In The Air Over Up

Up (Pete Docter & Bob Peterson, 2009)
** (Worth Seeing)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Well-Rounded Knockout

Tyson (James Toback, 2008)
*** (A Must-See)

What makes James Toback’s documentary Tyson such a curious study is in its ability to commodify the retired boxer by getting him to communicating his painstaking experiences, motivations and contradictions. The film is beautifully weaved through single and split screen interview sessions in Mr. Tyson’s apartment, solitude sunset scenes on Ocean Beach, achieve footage, and photographs. Michael Gerard Tyson rummages his aberrant experiences, from childhood criminality growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, through unsuccessful wedlock to Robin Givens, the immortalizing biting of Evander Holyfield’s ear, and finally the won, and then lost, of the world heavyweight championship. His exploits emanate from his insuppressible violent, and untrusting, nature.

In a close-up of his large mug, with his head shaved clean, a tribal tattoo wrapped around his left eye (and what sorrowful eyes!), his intimate reflections, at the age of 43, on his unstable and abysmal existence, solidify the Mike Tyson mythology. For the price of admission you can take in the psychology of one of the most sordidly terrifying 21st century popular culture icons.-David Davidson

(Bytowne Cinema, 324 Rideau Street, 10/06-14/06)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Existential Special Agent Thriller

The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch, 2009)
*** (A Must-See)

Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control, from his own screenplay, is set in contemporary Madrid, the capital of Spain, and it captures the encounters of the Lone Man (Isaach De Bankolé) who is on a secretive assignment to assassinate a visiting American political figure (Bill Murray). What is particularly timely about The Limits of Control is its concern with alternative lifestyles and preoccupations, in particular the arts, to counter balance the dominating capitalistic-materialistic worldview predominantly held in the current recession engulfed United States.-David Davidson

(Cinema du Parc, 3575 Parc Avenue, Montreal, PQ, 29/05-04/06)

June, at the Movies

Bytowne Cinema
Tyson (James Toback, 2008) 10/06 - 14/06.
Goodbye Solo (Ramin Bahrani, 2008) 19/06 - 25/06.
Lemon Tree (Eran Riklis, 2008) 19/06 - 25/06.
Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954) 28/06 - 29/06.

Mayfair Theatre
Full Metal Jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987) 03/06 & 07/06.
Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975) 10/06 & 14/06.
Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, 1922) 12/06.
Polytechnique (Denis Villeneuve, 2009) 12/06 - 14/06 & 16/06.
Two Lovers (James Gray, 2008) 12/06 - 14/06 & 16/06.
Zardoz (John Boorman, 1974) 13/06.
Tokyo! (Joon-ho Bong, Leos Carax, & Michel Gondry, 2008) 19/06 - 22/06.
Autopsy (Armando Crispino, 1975) 27/06.

Canadian Film Institute
The Trial (Orson Welles, 1962) 06/06 - 07/06.
Les Diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955) 13/06.
Elevator to the Gallows (Louis Malle, 1957) 27/06.

Cinéma 9 Gatineau
J'ai tué ma mère (Xavier Dolan, 2009) 05/06 - ?/06.