Metropolis

Add Comment on May 06, 1927 by Michael Tunison

Released five years before Aldous Huxley's novel "Brave New World" led a wave of dystopian science fiction challenging the most basic assumptions about human society, Fritz Lang's 1927 masterpiece "Metropolis" has influenced both the genre and cinema itself to a degree that's difficult to overstate. The obvious debt that later stylistic ground-breakers such as "Blade Runner," "Brazil," "Batman" and "The Matrix" owe the film demonstrates just how indelibly Lang's vision has been stamped on the world's collective view of the future. This painstakingly restored 75th anniversary re-release of o...

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The General

Add Comment on February 05, 1927 by Ed Scheid

   In "The General," director John Boorman is back in top form. Boorman received his second Cannes Best Director Award for this story of Irish master thief Martin Cahill, shot in sharp black-and-white images.    The film opens with Martin Cahill's murder in Dublin in 1994, a death which is applauded by the police. The film then flashes back to Martin's youth. Young Martin ("The Butcher Boy's" Eamonn Owens)'s petty thefts are encouraged by his neighbors as a way to fight back at the authority of the police. The grown Martin (Brendan Gleeson) moves on to bigger things, planning ingenious and increasingly outrageous robberies. He becomes a folk hero referred to as "The General." Cahill stands up to all authority-the police, the church, and most dangerously, the IRA.

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Go Go Tales

Add Comment on January 01, 1900 by Richard Mowe

Renegade director Abel Ferrara ( The Bad Lieutenant ) lightens up with this musical froth set amid the topless clubs that flourished around the director's New York neighborhood at Union Square. Ray (Willem Dafoe) and Jay (Roy Dotrice) run a “go go” cabaret in downtown Manhattan which represents “a factory of dreams” for young dancers trying to make their way in the showbiz. In the course of one night, Ray and Jay are facing imminent foreclosure by the landlady (Sylvia Miles) when Ray's younger brother Johnny (Matthew Modine) reveals he is no longer willing to lend him the money to keep the club open.

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Little Indian, Big City

Add Comment on January 01, 1900 by Pat Kramer

   Originally titled "An Indian in Paris," this 1994 French-language film might be called a Gallic "Crocodile Dundee" for children, with its principal character being a 13-year-old boy (Ludwig Briand) named Mimi-Siku which means "Cat-pee" born of French parents but raised in the wilds of South America, where he lives with his mother ("Germinal's" Miou Miou). His father, designer clothing-clad Parisian commodities broker Stephan Marchado (Thierry Lhermitte of "La Totale!"), travels to the Amazonian setting to serve divorce papers. He grows fond of the rascally Mimi-Siku and is persuaded to take him back to France so the boy can visit the Eiffel Tower.

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Julie Johnson

Add Comment on January 01, 1900 by Wade Major

What begins as a promising look at one woman's late-life intellectual awakening becomes a drawn-out look at latent lesbianism in "Julie Johnson," the latest from acclaimed "Niagara, Niagara" director Bob Gosse. Co-scripted by Gosse and Wendy Hammond, on whose play the film is based, "Julie Johnson" stars Lili Taylor in the title role, an average New Jersey housewife whose world is largely confined to husband (Noah Emmerich), kids (Mischa Barton and Gideon Jacobs), backyard barbecues and other assorted middle-class routines. But Julie also harbors a secret infatuation with science, stockpiling "Scientific American" magazines in her cupboards and reading them in private, determined to understand the complicated lingo in the articles.

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The Hills Have Eyes Ii

Add Comment on January 01, 1900 by Annlee Ellingson

One of the more brilliant bits of filmmaking to appear on cinema screens this year is the teaser trailer for The Hills Have Eyes II, which opens on an empty desert landscape at sunset to the bluesy ballad “Insect Eyes” by Devendra Banhart. A boot enters the frame, then a body, dressed in post-apocalyptic gear and dragging a corpse across the rocky ground with a rope. Another figure follows, and, as his rope pulls taut, the camera tilts to reveal that the viewer is the second victim. In less than a minute, image and music marry to create an indelible aesthetic. If only the film it was designed to promote was as artistically rendered. The scene, which is also featured on the poster, unfortunately never even appears in the movie.

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