I almost saw a movie this week.
In Home ... all pretty good movies...
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (2007) Mungiu - "The Romanian abortion movie." While that is basically the story (well mainly about a girl who needs an abortion, and her friend/roommate that helps her), the film is also about the oppressive communist government in Romania in the 1980s and how that affects the people who live there. The visual style is really cool, and while the premise is pretty heavy, still recommended viewing. 4.5/5
Drugstore Cowboy (1989) Van Sant - Early Gus Van Sant about four people living in Portland and feeding their drug addictions by robbing pharmacies. Nadine (Heather Graham) ODs and causes Bob (Matt Dillon) to reevaluate his life. Aesthetically beautiful and also features an old William Burroughs as an aging ex-priest junkie and Portland before the condos crept in. 4/5
Fanny and Alexander (1982) Bergman - Ingrid Bergman's mainly autobiographical film about his childhood. After Alexander's father dies, his mother remarries an austere priest who forces her to leave behind her family and all her possessions. This new joyless existence causes problems between the pre-teen Alexander and his stepfather that also touches on religious rejection. 4.5/5
Fat City (1972) Huston - An extremely unglamorous film about a couple boxers in Stockton, CA. Billy Tully is a has-been boxer trying to get back into the game while making ends meet by working as an agricultural day laborer. Ernie (played by an extremely young Jeff Bridges) is 18 and just starting out as a boxer after Tully's encouragement. Tully sometimes acts as a mentor and other times as an example of what not to become to Ernie. All of the boxing matches seem realistic and tiring. 4/5
Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) Roeg - David Bowie plays an alien who has coming looking for water for his home planet and invents, patents, and distributes a photographic product that makes him rich. I wanted to love this movie. It's really cool looking, David Bowie is actually a decent actor, and it's totally campy and weird. However, after already suspending plenty of disbelief, sometime towards the end (probably around the 2 hour mark) things really don't make any sense anymore. Also Candy Clark as the female lead, Mary Lou (?), has got to be on of the most annoying characters ever. Oh yeah...and some of the most awkward sex scenes you will ever see (I haven't decided if that's a positive or negative characteristic). Definitely worth checking out if you are remotely interested in Bowie, campy sci-fi, or cult classics. 4/5
Straight Time (1978) Grosbard - Dustin Hoffman plays Max Dembo, a recently released convict who quickly gets caught up in his old lifestyle after a short attempt to live honestly. The robbery scene is good, and you may end up yelling at the TV for Dembo to "hurry up."Harry Dean Stanton, Gary Busey, and a younger, thinner Kathy Bates all play characters. Based on a novel by an actual convict. A total anti-hero film. 4/5
* Quentin Tarantino will soon be making another movie. Currently titled Inglorious Bastards, Tarantino reportedly would like Brad Pitt to star. It will probably be another 2 part film (like Kill Bill) and involves Nazi-occupied France.
* Gus Van Sant's latest film is in post-production. The film, Milk, stars Sean Penn as Harvey Milk the famous gay elected supervisor of San Francisco. Josh Brolin plays Dan White, the disguntled blue-collar cop who kills Milk and then uses the famous "Twinkie Defense" to avoid his sentence.
* In anticipation of The Pineapple Express, New York Magazine posted an early David Gordon Green short from his days as student at North Carolina School of the Arts. You can watch it here. Along the same lines as George Washington...