THE RULES OF THE GAME

Every great movie holds two similar distinctions: they appear fresh and modern, no matter when they were made, and they are almost always ahead of their time. Of all of these movies, Jean Renoir’s seminal The Rules of the Game (Le règle du jeu), playing Wednesday, May 6 at the Landmark Chez Artiste, might be the most notorious of the bunch. When it opened in 1939, Rules of the Game caused such a commotion that audience members started fighting one another in the theater while one patron lit his newspaper on fire and tried to burn the place down. The … Continue reading THE RULES OF THE GAME

STANLEY FILM FESTIVAL

Colorado is home to a plethora of film festivals — from the very small and local to the very large and international — but the Stanley Film Festival (SFF), playing April 30 – May 3, is a rare one. Existing left of center, SFF embraces all that is wonderful and demented about horror movies. Located in the haunted historic halls of the Stanley Hotel, SFF brings together classic and contemporary horror cinema and offers a slate of movies that range from high camp to deadly serious. Much like romance and comedy, horror movies use very specific moments and tropes to … Continue reading STANLEY FILM FESTIVAL

THRONE OF BLOOD

The movie opens and closes with a similar image, the ruins of a fortress, built at the foot of Mt. Fuji, enveloped by fog. A visual cue from famed Japanese director, Akria Kurosawa reminding viewers that what goes around, comes around, and that the only thing that truly lasts, are the elements. Throne of Blood, playing at the Landmark Chez Artiste on Wednesday, April 29, is Kurosawa’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Three times, Kurosawa looked to the Bard for inspiration — Hamlet became The Bad Sleep Well (1960) and King Lear lent itself to Ran (1985) — but it is … Continue reading THRONE OF BLOOD

THE MAFIA ONLY KILLS IN SUMMER

Writer, director and actor Pierfrancesco Diliberto (known commonly as Pif) knows that the best way to kill giants is with humor. The satirist has spent the last fifteen years working in Italian television and now he has made the transition to the big screen with The Mafia Only Kills in Summer, a comedic autobiography that traces Pif’s romantic obsession from his cradle to another while addressing the mafia violence that permeated the era. The Mafia Only Kills in Summer, opening April 24 at the Landmark Chez Artiste, takes place in Palermo, the beautiful and picturesque capital of Sicily, and follows … Continue reading THE MAFIA ONLY KILLS IN SUMMER

KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER

This is a true story. This is based on a true story. This story was inspired by true events. This story is nothing of the sort. Moviegoers have long struggled with “truth” in movies. This struggle ranges anywhere between how historical figures are depicted and how history is portrayed to how well an actor can deliver an accent and how they hold a hammer. Even though movies try to depict reality and accuracy as best as their creators can, movies are dreams, fever dreams in most cases. Yet, they depict real sights and real sounds, charging viewers with a constant … Continue reading KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER

KILL ME THREE TIMES

Kill Me Once! Opening with the protracted and complicated murder of Alice (Alice Braga), the Australian hit man comedy, Kill Me Three Times, sets the table without explain the players involved or the motives behind their actions. The culprits are a dentist with a gambling problem, Nathan (Sullivan Stapleton), and his assistant/wife, Lucy (Teresa Palmer). Only, they aren’t just murdering Alice, they are switching her dental records with Lucy’s and framing the murder to look like an accident. Too bad they aren’t very good at it. Murder is something you should leave to the professionals, like Charlie Wolfe (Simon Pegg) … Continue reading KILL ME THREE TIMES

CUT BANK

Cut Bank, Montana proudly boasts to be the coldest city in the United States. No doubt true in the winter, but the summer finds a completely different weather pattern, and the only thing cold in Cut Bank is the people. Georgie (Bruce Dern) is long time mailman who has grown tired of his job and the people he sees. Thankfully, he is shot dead while delivering mail to the good folks of Cut Bank. Conveniently, Georgie’s murder is captured on video while Dwayne (Liam Hemsworth) tapes his girlfriend, Cassandra (Teresa Palmer) practicing her pageant routine. Even more convenient, there happens … Continue reading CUT BANK

QUEEN & COUNTRY

World War II wasn’t just a war between the Allies and the Axis; it was a war between the forces of good and the forces of evil. For Britain in particular, it was a war that was fought for King and Country, for tradition and for the righteousness of order. Evil was defeated, order was restored and all who survived, lived to see the future that they fought so hard for. Queen & Country depicts that future, and all the baggage the war brought with it. The King is dead and Queen Elizabeth II ascends to the throne and inherits … Continue reading QUEEN & COUNTRY