Author: Brad Avery

September 28, 2017 / / Scene Analysis

By Brad Avery

Directed by Sergio Martino, Your Vice… is a loose adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Black Cat. The story involves an alcoholic writer, Oliviero (Luigi Pistilli), who regularly abuses his unraveling wife Irina (Anita Strindberg). After a string of murders leaves Oliviero the prime suspect, Irina becomes complicit in helping to dispose of a corpse so that more suspicion doesn’t fall on him. As paranoia and infidelity cause the couple’s psyches to dissolve, they begin plotting to kill each other. The film reaches a series of successive emotional heights in its final act, deviating wildly from Poe’s writing with a scene where Irina finally murders Oliviero.

If this plot sounds familiar, that’s because Kubrick has translated it into the iconic “All work and no play” scene of The Shining (1980). While The Shining (1980) is notorious for its dramatic alteration from the source material in favor of original expression, the final product feels so singular that it may come as a surprise to some viewers that parts of the film are as a matter of fact borrowed images.

January 3, 2017 / / Main Slate

By Brad Avery

On January 13, the Brattle is pairing Green Room (2016) and 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) on an inspired double bill. Even though these films are separated by genre – science fiction versus stark realism – the juxtaposition sheds a whole new light on both films through their common themes of entrapment, gaslighting and the horror of ordinary people being hunted by authoritarians.

Both films received wide release this past spring, right around the point in the primaries where the U.S. presidential nominees were taking shape. Even at that recent point in history, the political truths exhibited in both films didn’t come across as strongly as they ring today when viewed on the cusp of the inauguration.

September 21, 2016 / / Main Slate

shakes-bobcat-goldthwait-shakes-the-clown

By Brad Avery

Boston has often been kind to Bobcat Goldthwait. He cut his teeth on the local standup scene here in the 1980’s, his directorial efforts have frequently been the spotlight features of the Independent Film Festival Boston, and it was Betsy Sherman writing for The Boston Globe in 1991 who gave his first film, Shakes the Clown, its defining title as “the Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies.”

In fact, Shakes the Clown had its premiere at the 1991 Boston Film Festival, unleashing this sub-cult comedy about a world where standup comic culture is comprised of depressive, vindictive clowns who never take their makeup off and drift around in seedy bars. So it’s wonderful to see him return to town for the film’s 25th anniversary screening this month.

April 22, 2016 / / Main Slate

by Brad Avery

There’s something magical about Mystery Science Theater 3000 that no matter who attempts to revive its in/famous riffing format – be it YouTube imitators, the people who made it, or your local nerd at the Coolidge Midnites – no one has been able to replicate the recipe. MST3K was lightning in a bottle that managed to shine bright for close to 11 years. A perfect mixture of creativity, personality and charm that made something truly unique that has endured until this day.