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Winter Sleep

The running time of his new picture Winter Sleep, three hours and change, suggests weight, but at it happens, this movie struck me as both…

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Mr. Turner

Filmmaker Mike Leigh's biography of the landscape painter J.M.W. Turner is what critics call "austere"—which means it's slow and grim and deliberately hard to love—yet…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.

#161 March 27, 2013

"As film exhibition in North America crowds itself ever more narrowly into predictable commercial fodder for an undemanding audience, we applaud those brave, free spirits who still hold faith with the unlimited potential of the cinema." - Roger

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#127 August 8, 2012

Marie writes: This week's Newsletter arrives a day early and lighter than usual, as come Tuesday morning, I'll be on a Ferry heading to Pender Island off the West Coast, where I've arranged to visit old friends for a few days and enjoy my first vacation in two years; albeit a brief one. No rest for the wicked. :-)

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#109 April 4, 2012

Marie writes: kudos to club member Sandy Kahn for finding this - as I'd never heard of the Bregenz Festival before, despite the spectacular staging of Puccini's opera Tosca and which appeared briefly in the Bond film Quantum of Solace; but then I slept through most of it. I'm not surprised I've no memory of an Opera floating on a lake. Lake Constance to be exact, which borders Germany, Switzerland and Austria near the Alps...

Tosca by Puccini | 2007-2008 - Photograph by BENNO HAGLEITNER(click to enlarge)

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#79 September 7, 2011

Marie writes: I've always found the ocean more interesting than space and for invariably containing more delights and surprises. Case in point, discovering the existence of an extraordinary underwater museum...

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5-25-77: A Geek Odyssey

View image How many movie references can you spot in this image from "5-25-77"?

Most of this is true. The rest is even truer. -- Opening disclaimer, "5-25-77"

"To everybody else, movies are something to do when you're tired of living real life. To you, real life is something to do when you're tired of watching movies." -- from Patrick Read Johnson's "5-25-77"

View image How about this one?

In James Bridges' "September 30, 1955" (1978), Richard Thomas (then best-known as John-Boy Walton on TV) played an Arkansas college student devastated by the death of his idol James Dean on the title date. In Patrick Read Johnson's "5-25-77," John Francis Daley (best-known as the great Sam Weir in "Freaks & Geeks") plays, basically, Patrick Read Johnson, who visited his idol Steven Spielberg on his spring break in 1977 (while Spielberg was finishing up "Close Encounters"). As the story goes, Johnson got to see an early screening of "Star Wars" (which opened on the title date 30 years ago) while there were still dogfight scenes from old WW II movies in place of the spaceships, and proclaimed himself the world's #1 "Star Wars" Fan. In his semi-autobiographical movie -- "from the producers of 'Star Wars' and 'American Graffiti'" (Fred Roos and Gary Kurtz) -- Johnson tells a version of his own story, about growing up in a small Midwestern town and trying to make it to a showing of "Star Wars" on the first day of its release. Teaser trailer here -- at least for the time being. (BTW, Anybody else remember with fondness the episode of "That '70s Show" in which Topher Grace and pals were smitten with "Star Wars" mania? It captured the now-bittersweet utopian euphoria the movie inspired at the time.)

And here?

Twitch had some sympathetic ruminations about "5-25-77" and the "Star Wars" phenomenon last year that I'd like to share with you on the 30th anniversary of that Portentous Day: I've learned the hard way that there is a basic generational gap involved with "Star Wars" fans. There is the current crop for whom the prequel trilogy was their first exposure, and then there are the rest of us.

While I'm not quite old enough to have seen "A New Hope" on its first run it is no exaggeration at all to say that "Star Wars" populated the landscape of my imagination like nothing else at least until I hit puberty. The "Star Wars" universe is where I lived out my childhood. [...]

No comment.

The current crop of "Star Wars" fans can't seem to understand why us older lot are so bothered by the over-digitization of our childhood dream-world. But Patrick Read Johnson does. And how. "5-25-77" is his loosely autobiographical film about the impact of "Star Wars" on his own life as a teenage geek in love with the movies. We linked to an early, very rough teaser a while back but we have just been sent the full length trailer and if the film comes anywhere close to living up to this Johnson has made one of the most loving odes to geekdom ever. It is simply fantastic.

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