Recent Posts in movies

May 20, 2015

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A star is born -- all over again. Asif Kapadia's documentary study of the great British soul queen Amy Winehouse, who died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27, is stunningly moving and powerful: intimate, passionate, often shocking, and almost mesmerically absorbing.

Like Kapadia's previous study of doomed motor-racing star Ayrton Senna, this does not use talking heads, but is instead visually based on extant footage of chat-shows and awards-events and also an extraordinary trove of private video shot by friends and lovers who were clearly transfixed by Winehouse's extraordinary personality, and perhaps, who knows, aware that what they were recording might be of grim future interest. At some stage as a teenager, Winehouse adopted her feline eyeliner style -- a style that Caitlin Moran has written about brilliantly, the kind of makeup you develop through applying it while looking into a car or bus wing-mirror. - [The Guardian]

The Amy Winehouse documentary, Amy, just premiered at 2015 Cannes Film Festival to pretty much universal praise. You can check out the trailer below. Amy opens in U.S. theaters on July 3.

Continue reading "Amy Winehouse documentary premiered at Cannes, coming to theaters in July (watch the trailer)"

May 19, 2015

by Bill Pearis

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The remake of Poltergeist comes out this Friday (5/22). I'm not sure we need it as Tobe Hooper's 1982 original holds up pretty well, but what can you do? (Not see it, I guess.) Give the new one a little credit -- given the film's iconic image of little Carol-Ann staring at white fuzz on a no-signal TV -- for getting Spoon to cover The Cramps' classic "TV Set" for the soundtrack. Few things are as wonderfully, wildly unhinged as The Cramps and Lux Interior were in the prime ("TV Set" was 1980) but Britt Daniel and crew do a nice, straightforward job here. We can only hope the film does as well. Stream it (via Stereogum) below.

Spoon's tour with The Antlers will be in NYC next month for shows at King's Theatre on June 16 with The Antlers (buy tickets or win them) and June 17 at The Wick (sold out).

Continue reading "Spoon cover The Cramps' "TV Set" for new 'Poltergeist' soundtrack (listen)"

May 15, 2015

by Bill Pearis

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Amy Schumer, whose very funny Comedy Central series is in the midst of its third season, stars in one of this summer's most anticipated comedies, Trainwreck, which she wrote and was directed by Judd Apatow and also stars Bill Hader, Colin Quinn, Mike Birbiglia, Vanessa Bayer and Dave Attell. All those funny folks (except for Hader) will be out promoting the film on the Trainwreck Tour which has multiple stops in North America, each one benefitting a different charity. It'll hit NYC at Beacon Theatre on June 15. Tickets, which benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, are on sale now.

Trainwreck, much of which was filmed in Williamsburg (including at the soon-to-close Trash Bar) is out July 17. All Trainwreck Tour dates are listed, along with the film's red-band trailer, below...

Continue reading "Amy Schumer, Mike Birbiglia, Judd Apatow, Dave Attell, Colin Quinn & Vanessa Bayer going on 'Trainwreck' comedy tour"

photo: Rooftop Films' Industry City location 2014 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Rooftop Films

Rooftop Films has now announced its full film schedule for its 2015 season which happens at various venues around the city. As mentioned, the opening night is May 29 at Industry City with "THIS IS WHAT WE MEAN BY SHORT FILMS." Tickets are on sale. For all Rooftop Films events, doors are at 8 PM, live music starts at 8:30, the film's at 9 PM and the afterparty is at 11 PM.

While none of the music portions have been announced yet, tickets are on sale for most events. Schedule with films and locations is listed below...

Continue reading "Rooftop Films: 2015 schedule and tickets"

May 13, 2015

Decline

The BAMcinemaFest returns for its seventh annual year from June 17-28. They'll have the NY premieres for several films, and there are a few pretty cool special events too.

On a music-related note, beloved punk documentary The Decline of Western Civilization is getting a new restoration and that will be screened alongside a Q&A with director Penelope Spheeris on June 19 at BAM Rose Cinemas. The initial film, which includes footage of Black Flag, Germs, X, Alice Bag Band, Circle Jerks, Catholic Discipline, and Fear, was released in 1981. That was followed by 1988's equally indispensable Part II: The Metal Years that followed LA hair metal scene (KISS, Alice Cooper, Poison, Ozzy Osbourne, WASP...and Lemmy), and a third film on '90s "gutter punk" (Final Conflict, Litmus Green, Naked Aggression, The Resistance). The first two have been out-of-print (and highly bootlegged) since the '90s and the third one was never released on home video at all. Happy day: the whole series is finally getting released as a DVD/Blu-Ray box set on June 30 via Shout! Factory. The box set will feature newly-restored 2K prints of the films plus outtakes, lots of deleted scenes and commentary tracks by Dave Grohl.

A non-music but still very cool special event happening during BAMcinemaFest is a screening of cult '90s film Kids, which turns 20 this year. (And also notable to indie rock nerds since Lou Barlow did the soundtrack.) The screening happens June 25 at BAM Rose Cinemas, and there will also be a Q&A with some of the main cast members, including Chloe Sevigny (Jennie), Rosario Dawson (Ruby), Leo Fitzpatrick (Telly) and. Screenwriter Harmony Korine and director Larry Clark will be there too. Sadly neither Justin Pierce (Casper) or Harold Hunter (who was also Harold in the movie) will be there, as we lost both of them years ago. (Justin to suicide in 2000 and Harold to a cocaine-induced heart attack in 2006). Though as New Yorkers may know, there's a park named after Harold in NYC, and for the past 8 years October 11 has been Harold Hunter Day. The Harold Hunter Foundation was also launched in 2007, and its "goal is to harness the power of skateboarding to transform lives."

Another cult '90s film, Richard Linklater's Slacker, will get an outdoor screening during the fest at Brooklyn Bridge Park on June 25.

And one more music-related event: A screening of Les Blank's Leon Russell documentary, A Poem Is A Naked Person, which was filmed from 1972-1974 but not publicly released until this year, on June 27 at BAM Rose Cinemas. It got its world premiere at SXSW, and this will be its NY premiere. It looks like Criterion will be putting it out on home video at some point.

Tickets to BAMcinemaFest go on sale to BAM members on May 26, and to the general public on May 29.

Check out the full list of films, with a clip of a Darby Crash interview from The Decline of Western Civilization and the disturbing fight scene in the park from Kids, below...

Continue reading "BAMcinemaFest 2015: 'Decline of Western Civilization' (soon on DVD/Blu-ray), Q&A w/ cast of 'Kids,' & more"

May 5, 2015

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This year, SummerScreen celebrates its 10th anniversary of bringing free outdoor movies and live music to Williamsburg on Wednesday evenings. They've just announced their 2015 lineup of movies:

Clueless -- July 8
Wet Hot American Summer -- July 15
Dirty Dancing -- July 22
Dazed and Confused -- July 29
Jurassic Park -- August 5
Audience Pick -- August 12
For the Audience Pick, you can vote on whether you'd like to see Back to the Future, Do The Right Thing, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Labyrinth, Purple Rain, Reality Bites, The Craft, The Goonies, Friday, or Bring It On.

Todd P once again will be curating the pre-screening live performances which will be announced closer to SummerScreen's first Wednesday.

May 4, 2015

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New York Magazine's pop culture blog, Vulture, is bringing back Vulture Fest for a second year of screenings, talks and live performances, happening May 30 & 31 mostly at Milk Studios in Chelsea. A few of the events (such as a talk with Jerry Seinfeld, and a screening of Amy Poehler, Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner's new show Difficult People) are sold out but tickets for most are still available, including: a talk with Lisa Kudrow about her HBO series The Comeback; a talk with Rookie founder Tavi Gevinson: a screening of Tig Notaro's short film Clown Service; a roundtable discussion with screenwriters David Goyer (The Dark Knight), Michael Weber (500 Days of Summer, The Fault in our Stars, and more), and Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer); a live taping of Kevin Smith's SModcast; and a Q&A with House of Cards creator Beau Williamson.

There's also a concert with Banks and St. Lucia on May 30 at Webster Hall. Tickets for that show go on sale Wednesday (5/6) at noon.

All Vulture Fest events are listed below...

Continue reading "Vulture Fest returns for second year: Tig Notaro, Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Smith, Tavi Gevinson, 'House of Cards' and more"

Jason Schwartzman and Tunde Adebimpe in '7 Chinese Brothers'
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Rooftop Films have announced their initial slate of programming for their 2015 season, providing movies under the stars and live music all summer long. There will be 40 screenings in 19 different venues and it kicks off at the end of May with two events. The opening party happens May 29 at Industry City in Sunset Park with a program of short films including the Kickstarter-funded time travel martial arts action extravaganza Kung Fury, which you should definitely watch the trailer for, below.

Then on May 30 at the Old American Can Factory in Gowanus it's comedy 7 Chinese Brothers (yes, named after the REM song) which stars Jason Schwartzman, Stephen Root and TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe (watch a two clips below). Both screenings will feature free afterparties with beverages provided by New Amsterdam Vodka. Bands have not been announced yet but tickets for both events go on sale Tuesday morning (5/5) at 11 AM.

While the full Rooftops Films schedule has not been announced yet, either, you can check out a list of some of the films that will be showing with descriptions, below.

Continue reading "Rooftop Films announces initial 2015 lineup & opening events"

April 23, 2015

VHS

Cassettes are hip and vinyl sales are on the rise, so it shouldn't be too surprising that a record label has spun off a new company that will release obscure soundtracks on vinyl, and... movies on VHS. That would be Terror Vision which was started by Ryan Graveface of Black Moth Super Rainbow and Graveface Records. There will also be a video rental store as part of the Graveface Records & Curiosities shop in Savannah, GA. The official statement:

AT SOME POINT IN 2013 IT DAWNED ON ME THAT NONE OF THE CURRENT CROP OF SOUNDTRACK LABELS, ALTHOUGH GREAT, WERE RELEASING ANYTHING THAT WAS NEAR AND DEAR TO MY HEART. SURE I LOVE CREEPSHOW, HALLOWEEN, POLTERGEIST ETC BUT WHERE WAS THE LOVE FOR THE OBSCURE TITLES? THE TITLES I WORSHIPED GROWING UP THAT PEOPLE SO CALLOUSLY REFER TO AS "B MOVIES" OR MOVIES THAT ARE "SO BAD THAT THEY'RE GOOD". THE TITLES THAT VARÈSE SARABANDE HASN'T ALREADY RELEASED ON VINYL 20 YEARS AGO THAT YOU CAN STILL ACTIVELY PURCHASE ON DISCOGS. THE TITLES THAT MADE ME WANT TO MAKE MY OWN HORROR MOVIES AND REALIZE THAT I COULD...ALL I NEED IS A CAMERA, A KILLER IDEA AND THE MOTIVATION TO FINISH ONCE I BEGIN. FINALLY, IN 2014 I JUST SO HAPPENED TO RUN INTO 2 HORROR DIRECTORS (SEPARATELY) THAT I'VE LOOKED UP TO MY ENTIRE LIFE. THIS IDEA CAME UP OUT OF THE BLUE IN BOTH CONVERSATIONS AND WHAT THEY SAID WAS BOTH FASCINATING AND MOTIVATING. IN SHORT, WALKING AWAY FROM THOSE CONVERSATIONS I SIMPLY GOT THE COJONES TO JUST GO AHEAD AND DO IT. THE RELEASES ON TERROR VISION MIGHT NOT BE FOR EVERYONE, BUT THOSE THAT "GET IT" WILL TRULY LOVE IT.
Do you still have a VCR? One of the first VHS titles they're releasing is The Mystery in Old Bathbath, which features puppetry by Miss Pussycat and music by Quintron and will be out May 22. You may have seen it when they toured it together in 2013. You can watch a trailer for it below.

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Among the first soundtrack releases from Terror Vision will be:Not of this Earth OST by Chuck Cirino ('88), 555 OST by Frankie 'Hollywood' Rodriguez ('88), From a Whisper to a Scream (The Offspring) OST by Jim Manzie, and Killing Spree OST by Perry Monroe.

Speaking of, Quintron & Miss Pussycat will be touring soon, including dates with Memphis band NOTS and they'll also be in NYC for Secret Project Robot's 10th Anniversary on June 20. No other details on that show right now but all tour dates are listed below.

Continue reading "new label releasing films on VHS (!); titles include puppet movie by Miss Pussycat & Quintron (who are touring)"

April 21, 2015

by Bill Pearis

Jinkies!
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In 1978, hard rock megastars KISS thought it'd be a good idea to star in a made-for-TV movie called KISS Meets The Phantom of the Park in which they use superpowers to save an old amusement park from an evil inventor. Needless to say it was terrible (but kinda fun terrible...kinda) and is basically their equivalent to the Star Wars Holiday Special (which came out the same year). Never heard of it? You can watch it in full below.

KISS treated it as an embarrassment for forever, if they acknowledged it at all, but it seems like they're starting to have at least a little sense of humor about it as they're lending their name and voices to the upcoming Scooby-Doo! And KISS: Rock & Roll Mystery whose plot has at least a few parallels:

Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang team up with the one and only KISS in this all-new, out-of-this-world adventure! We join the Gang at KISS World - the all-things-Kiss theme park, as they investigate a series of strange hauntings. With help from KISS, they discover that the Crimson Witch has returned to summon The Destroyer from the alternate dimension of Kissteria! The evil duos ghastly plan, to destroy the earth! Can the Gang's cunning and KISS's power of rock save the day?! Tune in to this Rock and Roll Mystery for some thunderous, heavy FUN!
Wonder if Shaggy and the gang will mention the time "Mama" Cass Elliot helped the gang solve the mystery of The Haunted Candy Factory? (It's actually their second run in with the band.) We'll have to wait until July, when this straight-to-home-video title comes out on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download. But you can watch the trailer below.

Continue reading "KISS return to the amusement park in animated 'Scooby-Doo! And KISS: Rock & Roll Mystery'"

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