This psychological slasher and queer cult classic from 1982 tells the story of orphaned teen Billy (Jimmy McNichol) who becomes caught up in the twisted mind of his increasingly unhinged Aunt Cheryl (Susan Tyrrell, really going for it). It's driven by a surprisingly upfront queer subplot involving a bigoted detective who suspects Billy is part of a gay love triangle that ended in murder, and features a positive portrayal of a gay high school basketball coach along with some campy, gorey thrills. (It also lingers an awful lot on Jimmy McNichol's topless chest and butt, and includes a young Bill Paxton as a homophobic teammate.) Available on Shudder. [more inside]
Romulus and Remus, two shepherds and loyal brothers, end up taking part to a journey that will lead one of them to be the founder of the greatest nation ever seen. However, the fate of the chosen one will pass from killing his own brother. [more inside]
There may or may not be enough interest to talk about the films, but I just wanted to alert people to the upcoming Mother Tongue Film Festival. It will be free online February 21 to May 31, 2021. The theme for the Festival this year is "The Healing Power of Storytelling”. Main website link. [more inside]
I love making fun of movies. I love turning a piece of criticism into a piece of entertainment. I love pointing out a plot hole that makes a superfan write me an angry e-mail. I love turning my unsophistication into a tool. I love being hyperbolically, cathartically angry for no reason. I love being flippant and careless and earnest and meticulous all at once. Shit, Actually is inspired by a series of essays I started at Jezebel, in which I’d rewatch successful movies from the past to see how they hold up to our shifting modern sensibilities... What do we do now with beloved cultural works that don’t hold up?
When Pete and Ellie decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15 year old girl, they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight.
In mid-1980s Romania, under the nose of the Securitate, Ceaușescu’s secret police, thousands of Hollywood films were smuggled into the country by an underground operative named Zamfir, and they were all covertly dubbed by Irina Nistor, a courageous translator whose distinct voice captivated the nation and became a symbol of freedom. Chuck Norris vs. Communism is a documentary, a thriller, and a comedy.
We talked about it, and considering the success and good run of the Spirit Of 99 Club, why not a Spirit Of 1979 club? Eh? Eh? [more inside]
Podcast: NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast: Selma and the Use of Dramatic License in Historical Dramas
This week on Pop Culture Happy Hour, NPR Monkey See's Linda Holmes, Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon are joined by NPR Code Switch's Gene Demby to discuss the Civil Rights Era film Selma. They'll discuss the direction by Ava DuVernay, the Oprah of it all, and how well it brings Martin Luther King, Jr. to life. Then they'll discuss other historical dramas and the advantages and limitations of dramatic license. All that plus What's Making Us Happy this week.
This week on Pop Culture Happy Hour, NPR Monkey See's Linda Holmes, Stephen Thompson, Glen Weldon and Bob Mondello discuss Disney's film adaptation of the Broadway musical Into The Woods. Then they'll discuss movie franchises--why do some take off while others never fail to leave the ground? All that, plus What's Making Us Happy.
An emotionally distant and depressed writer of travel guides must carry on with his life after experiencing family tragedy. [more inside]
English teacher John Keating inspires his students to appreciate poetry and make the most of their lives. [more inside]
An unorthodox and irreverent DJ begins to shake up things when he is assigned to the US Armed Services Radio station in Vietnam. [more inside]
Salesman Tommy Wilhelm packs up for New York City to try to repair the pieces of his broken life. [more inside]
A small-town loser determines to have one more shot at the big time by winning a football game. [more inside]
When a Russian musician defects in Bloomingdale's department store in New York, he finds adjusting to American life more difficult than he imagined. [more inside]
One of my favorite genres of movie are those where the protagonist is dealing with living inside of a simulated or constructed reality. The Matrix is the most popular example, but there are many, many more (of vastly varying quality). There are already a lot of movie clubs going, so I thought I would put out a feeler for interest.
Cult film club: The thrill of the hunt. It's the ultimate drug, and the more intense the rush, the higher the price. International superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme teams up with world-famous action director John Woo for this electrifying thriller that WGN Radio hails as "Easily one of the year's best films!" Van Damme is the target of an evil mercenary (Lance Henriksen) who recruits homeless combat veterans for the "amusement" of his clients - bored tycoons who will pay a half a million dollars to stalk and kill the most challenging prey of them all: Man. Laced with dark humor and slam-packed with electrifying action Hard Target is a must see for action fans. [more inside]
A dissolute matinee idol is slated to appear on a live TV variety show. [more inside]
The adventures of the sailor man and his friends in the seaside town of Sweethaven. [more inside]
My Favorite Year is a 1983 comedy/drama about a young writer's experience, during one week, on the set of a variety/comedy live TV show. It starred Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper, Joseph Bologna, Bill Macy, and more in an ensemble cast. Directed by Richard Benjamin. Are people interested in planning a viewing, and discussion of, "My Favorite Year"? [more inside]