I didn't get into too many weird movies in '08, aside from a serious appraisal of the works of Lucio Fulci. I'm still a Lost fan as well. It's unconventional for primetime television while still being a weepy soap fest that may have finally jumped the shark with this whole time warping/record skipping plot turn, but hot dog I suppose I'm hooked till the end. Also hooked on the new season of Big Love. More on that later. Movies? The best movie I saw in '08 was probably Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, but that actually came out in '07. Otherwise, in no particular order:
1. The Wrestler - Finally Darren Aranofsky finishes what he started by focusing on the little things that add up to a whole lot of pain when you see the physical/emotional toll ol' Randy "The Ram" has endured over the years. He's all alone. A simple movie elevated by a fairly amazing performance from Mickey Rourke which I've come to refer to as The Passion of the Last Von Erich.
2. Gran Torino - Iconic, old fashioned, gruff and remorseful, this is refreshingly non PC while still being sweet and well intentioned at its core. Maybe a little pat in places, but the showdown ending packs a wallop in this modern western meets the cantankerous old guy who just wants people to stay off his lawn.
3. Let the Right One In - The sweetest and most surprising love story of the year, and also the best old fashioned vampire flick of '08, though it's not really that scary in a conventional sense. It's more like what if Francoise Truffaut went to Sweden and made a kiddy vampire flick with emphasis on mood and space. There's a few good jolts, some gore, and a strange charm in the juxtaposition of budding sensuality and a static backdrop of snowfall and howling wind.
4. The Dark Knight - I like Chris Nolan.
5. Synecdoche, New York - I like Charlie Kaufman...and Phillip Seymore Hoffman.
Which brings me to this announcement from Dallas Cinemania, a new film society devoted to bringing cult/art house classics to the area for special one time screenings. So far they've screened Zombi 2, The Holy Mountain and Straw Dogs:
One week from today DALLAS CINEMANIA will screen a rare 35mm print of Herschell Gordon Lewis' pioneering horror/unintentional comedy classic BLOOD FEAST at the Angelika Film Center Dallas.
The show starts at 8pm. They'll be some vintage trailers for your amusement and edification (we've even got the original BLOOD FEAST trailer!) Tickets are a measly $10!
So come out and support Dallas Cinemania in our effort to bring back fantastic cinema to Big D!!!!
Jan 29, 2009 -- BLOOD FEAST -- 8pm -- Angelika Film Center