A Cat in Paris (Une vie de chat)

cat in paris

By Stephen Mayne

Animation remains a much loved and often maligned form of filmmaking. While everyone looks back fondly on childhood favorites, the perception that animation is for kids alone has proven a hard one to shake. That it’s often treated as a genre rather than form of film is a key part of this problem. Cartoons are for kids, adults watch something else, and that’s often how it remains on cinema screens. Continue reading

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

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By Christian Whitworth

THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT (1994) has garnered a reputation for its campy humor and irresistible musical numbers. Situated as an achievement within queer cinema for bringing drag culture to the popular moviegoer, the film has been consistently revived as a musical adaptation since 2006. PRISCILLA’s ostentatious appeal was even awarded an Academy Award for best costume design in 1995, a title that comes as no surprise given the intricate and wild cabaret costumes, which range from flip-flops to lizards. Apart from the immediate allure, however, the film’s narrative functions as subtly political intrigue. Positioned within a unique era of Australian cinema, in which conventional notions of masculinity are tested, PRISCILLA incorporates aspects and furthers previous traditions of subversive filmmaking. The film itself is explicit in its critique, often to the dismay of women and minorities. Even in the face of such insecurities, however, PRISCILLA entertains. Continue reading

Legend of the Drunken Master

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By Rob Larsen

Back in the day the Hong Kong film industry moved quickly. If a film broke new ground with a novel take on a genre or ushered in a whole new sub-genre; the rest of the industry would rush in to cash in on the trend. Every film industry does this, of course, but Hong Kong in the 1980s and 1990s was producing so many movies, with such a high concentration of talent, the effect was mesmerizing. People were one-upping each other at every turn. Continue reading

Destiny (Der müde Tod)

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By Syeedah Eesha Rashid

As technology improves and an increasing number of films are made, it is easy to have earlier films lost, embellished, and buried within history. Therefore, when the footage of a presumed lost film does survive, intact and is restored, it is important to consider what made it worth preserving in the first place. Fritz Lang’s 1921 film DESTINY (DER MÜDE TOD) solidifies Lang as a rarity in an already new industry. It serves as an example of a film that remains relevant nearly a century later. The tale’s simplicity is deepened by his technical mastery and unique form of storytelling, which hints at Lang’s future success as a filmmaker. It’s the rare type of film that clearly articulates one of the most complex principles that make up our humanity: Love and Death. Continue reading

Born To Kill (1947) What’s Sex Got To Do With It?

Born to Kill

By Kerry Fristoe

Sex. It’s a great motivator. We see it in movies all the time. A loser/cad/playboy reforms himself after falling in love with the woman of his dreams. He changes his wicked ways and learns to think of others just to win her dainty hand. I said sex though, right? Well, sex and love get blurred a bit in the movies. So, what would happen if, instead of inspiring him to be a better person, the desire for another person does just the opposite? What if pairing with just the right…or wrong person reinforces his badness or spurs him on to ever more horrifying acts? Continue reading

Charley Varrick

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By Matt Hannigan

Charley Varrick is one lucky guy. Odd, maybe, to associate “luck” with a man who botches a robbery and gets his wife killed, and odder still once he discovers that the money he does get away with belongs to the ruthless Mafia. Over the course of CHARLEY VARRICK poor Charley buries his wife, runs from the police, runs from the Mafia, loses his partner, loses his house, loses his plane, and spends a heck of a lot of time contending with the incompetence of others. Traditionally we call the person in this string of situations “unlucky.” Continue reading

The Secret of Kells

secret of kells

By Chelsea Spear

The Best Animated Feature category of the 2009 Academy Awards offered an embarrassment of riches to any fan of animation. Pixar’s UP, arguably their most poignant and endearing feature, was the favorite to win; THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX, Wes Anderson’s anthropomorphic stop-motion Roald Dahl adaptation, the multicultural hand-drawn Disney feature THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, and CORALINE, which grossed $125 million at the box office, were also nominated. The fourth picture in the category was THE SECRET OF KELLS, a wild card unknown to all but the most ardent fans of animated films. This entry from GKids and Irish studio Cartoon Saloon could more than hold its own with the other three features in this category, and is worth a second or a third look.  Continue reading

Drunken Master

Drunken Master

By Rob Larsen

It might not look like it from the trailer or even after seeing the film, but DRUNKEN MASTER is a movie that has a surprising depth. Without context (imagine stumbling into a Chinatown theater in 1978) DRUNKEN MASTER is 90 minutes of goofy hijinks and mind-blowing martial arts action. Add in some context, however, and it also emerges as an important waypoint in the development of Hong Kong cinema. Which might be a bit of a surprise. It’s true, though. It really is. I swear.

Let’s take a look at what makes it so special. Continue reading

Blue Velvet Supplemental Readings

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By Lauren Backus

On September 19th, 1986, David Lynch’s now-cult classic BLUE VELVET was released. 2016 marks the film’s 30th anniversary, and here at the Brattle, we’re providing the best way to celebrate- a full of week of showings, (July 1st-7th) featuring a brand new restoration of the film. To prepare you for your visit back to Lumberton, and the world of Dorothy Vallens, Frank Booth, and others, we’ve compiled a list of supplemental readings about the film and its legacy.  Continue reading

Blue Velvet

 

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By Christian Whitworth

It’s a strange world; or rather, it’s a strange neighborhood in David Lynch’s BLUE VELVET (1986). Lynch’s microcosm, in which a small town carries the horror of a maniacal detective story, acts paradigmatically to disclose the psychosexual turmoil of the human mind. The opening scene posits a white picket fence, saturated roses, a gleeful fireman, and a fatherly figure watering the garden. It’s the American dream in its cinematic realization. Yet in typical Lynch fashion, this idyllic scene is threatened by a freak accident. The man watering the garden collapses to the ground and the camera descends to his level, submerging the viewer in the grass, where bugs squirm as an assertion of the ensuing uneasiness. Continue reading