MISERY LOVES COMEDY

“Becoming a comic means watching yourself die.” –Lewis Black Are unhappy childhoods, pathetic sex and general misery necessary to comedy? Anyone who has attended a stand-up comedy show knows that it is a wheelhouse comics like to visit, but is it actually necessary to creation of the comic? Does misery inherently produce comedy? These questions forms the core of Kevin Pollak’s explorative documentary, Misery Loves Comedy, playing at The Boedecker Theater May 27 – 30. Pollak is a comic, actor and accomplished poker player, but starting in 2009, Pollak moved toward a longer disscussionary format with his Internet TV series, … Continue reading MISERY LOVES COMEDY

IN THE NAME OF MY DAUGHTER

Most movies are based on true stories, true events or at the very least, have some root in reality. That’s how the mind works, the moment of inspiration often comes from real experience and then the mind extrapolate outward. That is why the disclaimer, “Based on a true story” is often so frustrating. Movies, like imagination, are best when they are allowed to run wild. Instead, an adherence to reality shackles a movie, forcing it to never truly blossom the way a writer or director may want it to. That is problem that lies at the root of In the Name of … Continue reading IN THE NAME OF MY DAUGHTER

DARK STAR: H.R. GIGER’S WORLD

The world of H.R. Giger is a dark one. The camera follows the 74-year-old artists shuffling around his own personal catacomb, the shutters are drawn, the walls are painted black, and the portions that aren’t, are covered in Giger’s infamous paintings. Giger says little (and when he does speak, he does with a crackling grovel) as a bevy of admirers and assistants dote on him and help their visionary soothsayer through his day-to-day activities. This is what a lifetime of iconic imagery will get you. Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World, opening May 22nd at Landmark Theatres Chez Artiste, isn’t a … Continue reading DARK STAR: H.R. GIGER’S WORLD

THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Once upon a time… Four words that transport any viewer, reader or listener into a story from long ago and a world far away. Four words that immediately indicate a fairy tale, but what are fairy tales? Stories told to children that serve to illuminate morals and ethics? Or is it some sort of whimsical fantasy that distracts us from the cruel, hash reality before us? If done well, and watched with a sense of childlike wonder, a fairy tale can be both, and few have done it as well as Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film, The Beauty and the Beast. The … Continue reading THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

FÉLIX AND MEIRA

Situated in Montreal’s “Little Jerusalem” (home to one of the largest Ultra-Orthodox communities in the world), Félix and Meira, opening this Friday at the Landmark Chez Artiste, follows the lives of two lonely individuals living on the margins of their communities. Setting the events in motion is Félix (Martin Dubreuil), who has returned home to say goodbye to his dying father. Félix has not set foot in Montreal, or seen his father, in over ten years and the return drudges up nothing but bad memories. Memories that Félix refuses to vocalize, letting his facial expression do the talking instead. Meira … Continue reading FÉLIX AND MEIRA

IRIS

Iris Apfel, the subject of the new documentary Iris, opening Friday, May 15 at the Landmark Chez Artiste, is a 90-year-old fashion designer who embodies her grandfather’s adage of, “A woman is only as old as she looks (and a man is only old when he stops looking).” Sure, her wiry frame and wrinkled face may give her away, but Iris is as youthful and energetic as someone who has discovered their life’s calling. Work is hard, and it takes a lot out of everyone, but good work can also prop you up. Just look at Iris, there’s no sign … Continue reading IRIS

WILD STRAWBERRIES

Dr. Isak Borg is a 78-year-old professor and will be receiving an honorary degree tomorrow. We know this, because he tells us. Borg also tells us about his son, his career and the wife that died years ago. He tells us everything we need to know about him, but the most telling thing he reveals is this, “Perhaps I should add that I am an old pedant, which at times has been rather trying for myself and those around me.” Writer/director Ingmar Bergman needs only 157 words of narration to open Wild Strawberries and tells us everything necessary about Dr. … Continue reading WILD STRAWBERRIES

What’s in a name?

How does one define a horror movie? Thrills and chills? Blood and guts? Elements of the supernatural and the super-demented? In a word, yes. All of these tropes are acceptable for the horror genre, yet they still remain restrictive. Using the word “horror” casts a wide net — covering anything from the personal to the political, the intimate to the public, the minimalistic to the graphic — leaving most viewers to identify horror movies the same way United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart defined pornography, “I know it when I see it.” The Stanley Film Festival (SFF), which recently … Continue reading What’s in a name?