Thursday, August 18, 2011

If I Programmed a Film Festival #3

Day 1:

**** Euro Crime Series

1. The Last Round (1975)- Italian version of "Yojimbo" as a drifter pits two warring families against each other.

2. Magnet of Doom (1963)- Unreleased Jean Pierre Melville road movie starring Jean Paul Belmondo as he high tails it to the deep U.S. South. Wonderful, oddly observed Americana from Melville. Review coming soon.

****World Premier

1. Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (2010)- Because everything I've read about it sounds terrific. From Film Comment, "Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Grand Jury prize co- winner is an intoxicatingly strange, oblique police procedural..."

**** Auteuristic Western series

1. Duck You Sucker (1971)- Probably Sergio Leone's least known western is a fun romp with Rod Steiger and James Coburn.

2. The Claim (2000)- Michael Winterbottom's lush and beautiful western that grows better on each viewing.

3. The Long Riders (1980)- Walter Hill made some incredible movies, and this one with a gimmick of starring real life brothers, imbues the viewer with terrific atmosphere and mood.

**** 70's Bonanza Faves

1. Man On A Swing- Frank Perry's deliriously good (and hugely unknown) film about a police detective (Cliff Robertson) wading through real life murder and possible psychic tomfoolery.

Day 2:

**** Auteuristic Western Series Part 2

1. Rancho Notorious (1952)- Possibly my very favorite Fritz Lang film... a western that inverts the genre into something more like his noir films. It just teems with great stuff.

2. The Train Robbers (1972)- Burt Kennedy's AARP western is a good time, with John Wayne leading a group of men on the hunt for stolen gold. And it features what is probably the best final line in any Wayne western.

3. Open Range (2003)- I can forgive Kevin Costner for his rambling "Wyatt Earp" with this vicious, tightly constructed actioner. One of the best westerns of the past 20 years IMO.

**** World Premier 2

1. Drive (2011)- I can always dream right.

**** Euro Crime continuation tickets half price for these two movies!

1. The Master Touch (1972)- Kirk Douglas is stealthy and stellar as an aging safecracker doing one last job. Terrific heist and great double crosses abound!

2. The American Friend (1977)- Wim Wender's real 70's masterpiece with Bruno Ganz sucked into a plot of murder and deception with art thief Dennis Hopper.

****70's Bonanza Faves

1. The Black Windmill (1974)- Don Siegel's tough as nails film about a man (Michael Caine) who takes matters into his own hands when his son is kidnapped.

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