Saturday, November 12, 2011

Celluloid #133

In Theaters

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) Durkin - We meet Martha just as she escapes the clutches of a cult in upstate New York. Her sister, Lucy, comes to pick her up after their 2-year estrangement. Lucy has been enjoying a wealthy existence with her tony husband; a huge contrast from the anti-materialistic lifestyle of the cult. The fascinating aspect of the film is its mood and deliberate confusion between dreams and memories. So much of this is shot in the "magic hour" only lending to its dreaminess. I think the film is a little too long and that the ending is strange. (I don't mind unresolved endings at all, but this one seems to evoke an unnecessary and probably fake-out element of danger). Also, John Hawkes is really great here - playing a character in the same vein as his Winter's Bone role, more charismatic than scary. Lastly, Elizabeth Olsen has an enviable body and I really didn't mind seeing her naked many times in the course of this movie. 4/5

In Home

Bill Cunningham New York (2011) Press - Bill Cunningham seems like the nicest old man. He's been the photographer for the NYTimes' "On the Street" and "Evening Hours" columns for decades. He is so nonjudgemental giving him the ability to chronicle emerging trends in fashion before most other people. He's also so uninterested in his own fashion (all though his blue smock jumper thing is pretty cute), doesn't care about food, rides a bike all over, and lives in a small apartment full of file cabinets. He always has a broad smile on his face, but has never had much of a love life (the film seems to indicate that he might be gay in this old school way where he doesn't want to pursue that lifestyle...he also goes to church every Sunday). Anyway, it was a pleasure meeting him. 4/5

Fright Night (1985) Holland - Charley and his girlfriend Amy are having problems. He's a little too distracted by horror movies, and this compulsion only gets worse when a likely vampire moves in next door. Of course everyone thinks Charley is crazy. Amy ends up getting seduced by "Jerry" the vampire and Charley gets a local midnight movie host to help rescue her and prove his sanity. Really silly. 3/5