Thursday, April 30, 2015

Today in Bunched History: Published April 30, 2011

Les regrets (2009)***1/2

Cedric Kahn’s tale of romantic obsession drips with confusion, passion and uncontrolled horniness. Yvan Attal stars as Matthieu, a 40ish architect from Paris who has returned to his provincial home town to sit at his mother’s deathbed. At the hospital, he accidently bumps into a sweetheart from his youth - willowy, mysterious Maya (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) – and the pair find that the intervening years have done little to dampen their animal attraction. But other things have changed; Matthieu is now married to a kind, supportive woman (Arly Jover), while Maya has wed an unstable fellow named Franck (Philippe Katerine) who is a Gallic version of what Americans would call a redneck drunk. The bulk of the film is quite good, with generous amounts of intrigue, peril and schtupping. The final reels lose some intensity, but Attal’s performance is so impressive Les regrets remains a worthy watch.

The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)****

The Secret in Their Eyes comes so close to being a truly special film its wobbly and too-clever-by-half ending is a bitter disappointment. Told mainly through flashbacks, the story is all about a retired prosecutor in Buenos Aires (Ricardo Darin) and his attempts to solve a long closed rape and murder case of shocking brutality. The script features biting wit and extremely clever dialogue, and is just as entertaining as it is engrossing. And there’s some unrequited romance, as Darin’s old flame for his former boss (Soledad Villemil) gets re-ignited. Director Juan Jose Campanella guides most of the film with brilliant conviction, then inexplicably spends the last 20 minutes vomiting on himself, cinematically speaking. But the movie’s strengths are so appealing The Secret in Their Eyes still gets a grudging 4 stars.

Father of My Children (2009)***1/2

Kind of like two films in one, Father of My Children features a wonderful performance by Louis-Do de Lencquesaing as Gregoire Canvel, a film producer based in Paris. The nattily clad Canvel spends his days on a cell phone, putting out fires at various film sets throughout Europe. Despite the high pressure lifestyle, he still tries to be a good family man, spending weekends with his wife (Chiara Caselli) and 3 little girls at their country house. Directed by Mia Hansen-Love, the film captures the harried essence Canvel’s life through details that have an authentic ring. As someone who has spent a significant part of his life loitering around the offices of assorted production companies, Hansen-Love captures the buzzing intensity of Canvel’s workplace with perfect pitch. When the pressures mount to the breaking point, tragedy ensues and a shocked Caselli is left to pick up the pieces. The film then takes a surprisingly unsentimental approach and focuses on the nuts and bolts of practicality as the family attempts to dig out from the financial mess left behind. Based on a true story, Father of My Children accomplishes what it sets out do: it entertains and depresses while offering very little in the way of catharsis.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) ✭✭✭✭

Those seeking a groove-tastic immersion in a gritty 1970s crime drama will want to pop Criterion’s new burn of The Friends of Eddie Coyle into the nearest blu-ray player. Directed with a cool efficiency by master storyteller Peter Yates, the film is a tale of small time hoods and the sketchy federal marshals who pursue them. Told under the gray, heavy skies of Boston, it depicts a working class world of tiny clapboard houses and chain link fences, with massive land yacht automobiles cruising its wet, glistening streets. With Dave Grusin’s funky yet foreboding score providing Fender Rhodes twinkles and wah-wah pedal counterpoint, The Friends of Eddie Coyle unfolds as a fine example this decade’s unique sub genre: Disco Noir.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

TCM for May 2015

An Orson Welles Festival, 50s Sci-fi and a smattering of foreign classics highlight TCM's May cinematic flowers. My picks Below. All times Eastern. Full Schedule HERE.

1 Friday

8:00 PM
The investigation of a publishing tycoon's dying words reveals conflicting stories about his scandalous life.
BW-119 mins, CC,

Despite a botched studio edit The Magnificent Ambersons is still, well, magnificent

10:15 PM
A possessive son's efforts to keep his mother from remarrying threaten to destroy his family.
BW-88 mins, CC, 

12:00 AM
A governess at a remote estate falls in love with her brooding employer.
BW-96 mins, CC,

2:00 AM
Disaster follows a man's discovery that he has a romantic rival.
BW-40 mins,

2 Saturday

2:00 AM
When her favorite roller disco is threatened with closing, a girl organizes the skaters to save it.
C-104 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

3:45 AM
A disc jockey tries to land an in-depth interview with the Swedish rock group during their hit Australian tour.
C-97 mins, Letterbox Format

5:30 AM
Short safety film about dangers associated with earthmoving equipment operation, showing many simulated accidents on construction sites.
C-23 mins,

4 Monday

Something bad is in the air for Susan Hayward in I Want to Live!

8:00 PM
True story of the small-time lady crook who fought to escape the gas chamber.
BW-121 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

10:15 PM
A priest tries to straighten out juvenile delinquents.
BW-102 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

3:45 AM
A convicted bank robber bargains with his wife's life to escape prison.
BW-106 mins,

8 Friday

8:00 PM
A narcotics agent risks his wife's life to investigate a crooked cop.
BW-111 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

10:00 PM
A romantic drifter gets caught between a corrupt tycoon and his voluptuous wife.
BW-87 mins, CC,

11:45 PM
A private eye investigates a millionaire's mysterious past before a murderer can get to the witnesses.
BW-106 mins,

10 Sunday

Get your DVR ready for the great Russian war film The Ascent on the 10th.

4:45 AM
Two Soviet soldiers are captured in WWII Belarus.
BW-109 mins,

11 Monday

8:00 PM
A Vietnam vet stands alone against a motorcycle gang terrorizing a small town.
C-113 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

10:00 PM
Motorcycle-riding delinquents take over a small town.
BW-79 mins, CC,

11:30 PM
A gas station attendant falls for the girlfriend of a vicious motorcycle gang.
C-95 mins, Letterbox Format

1:30 AM
A cross-country trip to sell drugs puts two hippie bikers on a collision course with small-town prejudices.
C-96 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

Lots of damn hippies and bikers on the 11th.

A tough motorcycle gang leader abducts a rival and his girlfriend.
C-85 mins,

4:45 AM
Rival motorcycle gangs take over a small town and fight it out.
C-84 mins,

12 Tuesday

8:00 PM
Three prospectors fight off bandits and each other after striking-it-rich in the Mexican mountains.
BW-126 mins, CC,

10:30 PM
The Tramp struggles to live in a modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.
BW-87 mins, CC,

12:15 AM
Three returning servicemen fight to adjust to life after World War II.
BW-170 mins, CC,

14 Thursday

7:30 AM
Subway excavations unearth a deadly force from beyond space and time.
C-98 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

Village of the Damned turns the creepiness up to 11

9:15 AM
After a mysterious blackout, the inhabitants of a British village give birth to emotionless, super-powered offspring.
BW-77 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

10:45 AM
A scientist's experiments open the doorway to a strange and deadly world.
BW-72 mins,

12:00 PM
A radioactive dinosaur plots a deadly path to London.
BW-80 mins, Letterbox Format

1:30 PM
A scientist's experimental space craft puts him in the path of an intergalactic invasion.
C-103 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

3:15 PM
Children bred to survive a nuclear holocaust escape from a top-secret military facility.
BW-95 mins, Letterbox Format

5:00 PM
A radioactive ooze terrorizes a remote Scottish village.
BW-80 mins, CC,

6:30 PM
Astronauts are trapped on a space station with a ticking bomb.
C-85 mins,

15 Friday

3:00 PM
Vladimir Nabokov's racy classic focuses on an aging intellectual in love with a teenager.
BW-153 mins, CC,

5:45 PM
A game of murder among wealthy vacationers turns into the real thing.
C-119 mins, Letterbox Format

Welles' rarely seen Chimes at Midnight on the 15th.

8:00 PM
An aging knight uses his wits to survive in war and peace.
BW-115 mins,
10:15 PM
The legendary Moor of Venice battles his growing suspicions that his wife is unfaithful.
BW-93 mins,

12:00 AM
A Scottish warlord and his wife murder their way to a pair of crowns.
BW-107 mins, CC,

2:00 AM
Spurred by his wife and a witch's prediction, a samurai murders his lord to steal the throne.
BW-109 mins,

4:00 AM
A samurai-for-hire sets the warring factions of a Japanese town against each other.
BW-111 mins, Letterbox Format

18 Monday

6:00 AM
On an ocean voyage, a librarian falls for a married man.
BW-85 mins,

7:30 AM
When he inherits a fortune, a small-town poet has to deal with the corruption of city life.
BW-116 mins, CC,

9:30 AM
A girl from a family of freethinkers falls for the son of a conservative banker.
BW-126 mins, CC,

Mass quantities of Capra on the 18th

11:45 AM
An idealistic Senate replacement takes on political corruption.
BW-130 mins, CC,

2:00 PM
A reporter's fraudulent story turns a tramp into a national hero and makes him a pawn of big business.
BW-123 mins, CC,

22 Friday

4:00 PM
A schoolgirl obsessed with her teacher accuses him of molesting her.
BW-113 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

6:00 PM
Teenagers elope with the help of an aging pickpocket.
C-110 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

8:00 PM
A small-town schoolteacher suspects her new husband may be an escaped Nazi war criminal.
BW-95 mins, CC,

Clear your docket for Welles' visually spectacular The Trial on the 22nd
10:00 PM
In this adaptation of Kafka's classic, a man in a nameless country stands trial for an unnamed crime.
BW-120 mins, CC,

12:15 AM
A sailor bets he can seduce a wealthy man's wife, not knowing the man has hired a woman to play the role.
C-62 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

1:30 AM
Director Orson Welles examines the career of a notorious art forger.
C-88 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

24 Sunday

10:00 PM
The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor to keep their sanity during wartime.
C-116 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

12:15 AM
In this silent film, a young innocent enlists for World War I service but soon learns the horrors of war.
BW-151 mins,

3:00 AM
French POWs fight to escape their German captors during World War I.
BW-113 mins,

27 Wednesday

Everyone should see Altman's The Long Goodbye

11:45 PM
Detective Phillip Marlowe investigates shady characters involved in a long-lost friend's murder.
C-107 mins, Letterbox Format

1:45 AM
A conflicted artist tries to find a sense of purpose in life.
C-89 mins, Letterbox Format

3:30 AM
A mad United States General orders an air strike against Russia.
BW-95 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

28 Thursday

9:45 PM
When Jack the Ripper steals his time machine, author H.G. Wells travels to modern-day San Francisco to track him down.
C-112 mins, Letterbox Format

11:45 PM
In the aftermath of WWIII, a man is sent back and forth through time to find a solution to the world's fate in this experimental short film.
BW-28 mins, Letterbox Format

12:30 AM
The eccentric Time Lord and his companions help a peaceful race fight off murderous mutant robots.
C-82 mins,

31 Sunday

A mini-festival of Mikio Naruse's sobering visions of life in mid-century Japan on the 31st.

2:45 AM
A single mother struggles to raise her son while working in a bar.
BW-87 mins,

4:15 AM
An unhappy wife faces her husband's infidelity.
BW-89 mins,