FLICKS: “Scream Queen” Linnea Quigley to be at Savor Cinema

Posted on 10 May 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

What the record breaking Black Panther did in two months, Avengers: Infinity War accomplished in two weeks at the box office. With the exception of the documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, RBG, which opens this weekend, there are no movies opening with any kind of buzz to stop the Infinity War juggernaut this Mother’s Day Weekend. For those who do not want to see this Avengers film for the fourth time this weekend, there will be a unique South Florida experience this Friday evening at 10 p.m.

After three years at O Cinema Wynwood, co-founders & co-directors Igor Shteyrenberg and Marc Ferman are moving their Popcorn Frights Film Festival to Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival’s (FLIFF) Savor Cinema. The Southeast’s largest gathering of horror films and fans alike, Popcorn Frights and Savor Cinema promise a year-round experience of the best in international genre cinema and cult film favorites.

The Return of the Living Dead kicks off this collaboration. Released during the summer of 1985 and directed by the late Dan O’Bannon, The Return of the Living Dead took the seriousness of George Romero’s zombie classic (Night of the Living Dead) and mixed it with dark humor.

The film opens with Frank (James Karen) talking with his prodigy Freddy (Thom Matthews) and explaining that George Romero’s The Return of the Living Dead movie is based on a true story. To prove his point, Frank takes Freddy to the basement to view these federal government canisters. After a bumbling accident, the canister releases a gas and inanimate objects come alive. The boss Burt (Clu Gulager) is called.

Freddy’s friends plan to pick him up after work. To kill time, the friends hang out at a nearby cemetery and seek refuge from the zombies. One of the friends, a punk rocker named “Trash,” performs a strip tease on a tombstone when the Living Dead return. Linnea Quigley, the local actress who played Trash, will be hosting the Friday night screening at Savor Cinema for Popcorn Frights inaugural film there.

Long time Observer readers are familiar with Linnea Quigley, one of the first actresses I interviewed for our Halloween issue in 2002. Since we met on the set of Jose Prendes’ Corpses Are Forever, Linnea has been involved in 52 independent film productions, co-wrote two books, including Night of the Scream Queen:Kiss of the Gator Guy with author Michael McCarty, and held a reunion concert for the band she was in —The Skirts — with bassist Haydee Pomar with special guest drummer Joey Image from the legendary punk rock band The Misfits.

While embracing her “Scream Queen” moniker, Linnea’s costars like Clu Gulager and Gunnar Hansen have spoken with respect to her acting talent. Who knows, with the right make up, perhaps Linnea Quigley could play Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in a rock ‘n comedy version of RBG.

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FLICKS: Avengers: Infinity War & RBG

Posted on 03 May 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

#ThanosDemandsSilence was Disney/Marvel’s serious marketing angle to promote Avengers: Infinity War. In early April, I had to sign an acknowledgement of a press embargo until Tuesday, April 24. On Wednesday, April 25, Wikipedia revealed the biggest spoilers of Avengers: Infinity War. [Don’t worry… no spoilers in this review].

Clocking in at almost three hours, this film features every hero (minus two, but there is another Marvel movie opening in July) from the previous 18 Marvel comic movies. Each hero is given their moment to shine, but the featured character is Thanos (Josh Brolin), a mad titan who believes it is time to save the universe by weeding out the undesirable humans. To achieve his genocidal goal, Thanos must complete his collection of the infinity stones that we have seen filtered throughout the previous 18 Marvel Comics movies.

With the search for infinity stones being as similar as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings or Richard Wagner’s opera, The Ring of Nibelung, the actions of Thanos feel mythical and iconic. More so than the other 18 movies, the word “tragedy” is most used when used to describe this new Marvel movie. Joe and Anthony Russo (the brother directors) trust the fan base to close Avengers: Infinity War on a silent, somber note. Given the raised stakes of Infinity Wars, these directors have their work cut out for them next year when the “Untitled” Avengers opens in Springtime 2019. Will the heroes triumph over Thanos or will the fat lady sing at the last Avengers opera?

It is a little lady who enjoys opera that is the feature of the documentary RBG, which opens next week, on Friday, May 11. RBG is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Brooklyn-born from Odessa Russian immigrants, Ruth was taught to be polite and independent. Outwardly shy, Ruth was a listener and a thinker. Despite losing her mother at age 17, Ruth’s determination led her to Harvard Law School, where she met her future husband Marty. When Marty’s health failed, Ruth took a job at Columbia University.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s rise to power rose in conjunction with the civil rights movement of the 1960s, as well as the women’s rights movement of the 1970s. In an age of televised screaming and public protests, Ruth worked quietly behind the scenes drafting legal briefs that led her to defend in front of the Supreme Court. Her clear thinking and concisely written prose created laws that American citizens take for granted today.

Produced by CNN, RBG presents a likeable portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

The documentary lovingly presents her domestic life and her unique friendship with the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Thanks to Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon’s comedic portrayal of the Supreme Justice, we learn how this 85-year-old authority figure has become the new counter culture rap icon – RBG.

With the 90-minute running time, RBG is a nice, sweet documentary. There is not much time to counter argue RBG’s continuous legal dissent, though the film does touch on her criticism of Donald Trump. There is still one week before RBG opens, but, in the meantime, don’t miss the opportunity to see Avengers: Infnity War, try it in the big screen at IMAX. With snappy dialogue, electric character interaction, mind-blowing visuals, Avengers: Infinity War deserves its blockbuster box office success on the big screen. You may want to see it before May 18 when [the next comic book film] Deadpool 2 opens.

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FLICKS: Marvel movies, On Chesil Beach & upcoming events

Posted on 26 April 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

There is a big movie that opens this weekend that is the culmination of 10 years of Marvel Comics super heroism and will break box office records — Avengers: Infinity War, which has already broken the Black Panther box office record for most sellouts before the movie opens. (Unfortunately, due to previous commitments, this reporter was unable to attend the critics screening last Tuesday evening in Miami).

With Avengers: Infinity War, kicking off the summer blockbuster season, each week will present more Marvel movies (Ant-Man and The Wasp Woman) and the continuation of the Jurassic World series. There will also be a new Star Wars Anthology Series that will feature a younger version of Harrison Ford’s ionic character, Solo: A Star Wars Story.

With support from CJ’s Comics & Collectibles, ‘The Lost Museum of the Jedi’ will materialize in the Youth Services section of Deerfield Beach Percy White Library (located at 837 E. Hillsboro Blvd. in Deerfield Beach) for four weeks this May. This exhibit will feature artifacts from the four decade history of the Star Wars franchise and will include viewing of vintage toys, books, reading records and VHS tapes.

On May 1, elementary, middle and high school aged individuals will be able to view the top prizes for a costume contest that will occur during a special free movie screening on Saturday, May 19 starting at 2 p.m. [Movie title withheld]. The first 30 people in attendance will receive a Star Wars comic book donated by CJ Comics & Collectibles (located at 3548 NE12 Ave. in Oakland Park).

For those seeking quieter fare, On Chesil Beach opens this summer (May 18) in select theaters and is based on the Ian McEwan novel. Set in 1962, this film examines an idyllic courtship that leads to a stressful wedding night. With talent like Saorise Ronan, Billy Howie and Emily Watson, one can expect On Chesil Beach to become a sleeper hit this summer.

For parties and audience-friendly screenings, Savor Cinema (located at 503 SE 6 St. in Ft. Lauderdale) will provide some unique movies starting May 3 with its Cinco de Mayo Fiesta. The buffet party features tacos, margaritas and screening of Sex, Shame & Tears, a Mexican comedy starring Demian Bichir and Monica Dionne.at 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $20 FLIFF members/$25 non-members.

On May 5 from 4 to 8 pm., they will have a Kentucky Derby Party with mint juleps, hors d’oeuvres and buffet. Awards for best bonnets and hats, and best dressed couple; plus prizes for pick of winners. $50 FLIFF members/$65 non-members.

For more info. on Savor Cinema showings and to buy tickets, visit www.fliff.com.

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FLICKS: A Bag of Marbles & Deep Sea 3D at MODS IMAX

Posted on 19 April 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

The motion picture industry is having a fine spring with Rampage, A Quiet Place and Ready Player One dominating the box office. It will be eight days before the most hyped and most secretive movie of the year opens, Avengers: Infinity War. In the meantime, check out an indie film or a selection from IMAX’s Museum of Discovery & Science (MODS) in Ft. Lauderdale.

A French, Yiddish, Russian and German movie with English subtitles, A Bag of Marbles is a simple film about a Jewish Family trying to evade the encroaching Nazis in France and Italy during WW2. The use of European landscapes creates beautiful cinematography, which add to the innocent perspective of the young boys. When the boys are outside traveling, the film feels like a Mark Twain Adventure with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

It is in the indoors that one feels the tension and witnesses the cruelty of Adolph Hitler’s goons. Moments of family joy celebrating a Mom’s violin solo is interrupted by Nazis who complain about hearing Jewish music. Situations get darker when the boys are brutally captured and interrogated by a commandant who wants them medically examined for circumcision.

Though a title works as a dramatic piece of symbolism, A Bag of Marbles is a very humane motion picture. The boys are not superheroes, they bicker and cry for the most immature reasons. Early in the motion picture, the youngest boy befriends a German soldier because the soldier is “cool.” Based on a true story from Holocaust survivors, A Bag of Marbles is a movie about growth.

Deep Sea 3D has returned to MODS. Narrated by Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp, Deep Sea 3D is a 45-minute documentary about the creatures that live in the darkest and deepest oceans on Planet Earth. The most monstrous creature of Deep Sea 3D has to be the Humboldt Squid, a vicious character. With tentacles that can extend up to 6 ft., this carnivore has superior underwater vision and can rip its prey to shreds with its beak.

My favorite character had to be the Mantis Shrimp. This scrappy fighter defends his turf from an over-reaching octopus. While the octopus has the advantage of eight tentacles and a slimy disposition, the Mantis Shrimp manages to out box his predator with his attitude, front claws and speed. As scary as the Humboldt Squid is, the Mantis Shrimp provides the best comic relief and a moment to cheer.

Both A Bag of Marbles and Deep Sea 3D present big screen entertainment, sharing the theme of survival. With decent box office numbers, perhaps big screen entertainment will survive another summer.

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FLICKS: Beirut & Women of Venezuelan Chaos

Posted on 12 April 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Women of Venezuelan Chaos and Beruit are two serious and timely movies that open this weekend at local theaters. Both films are riveting dramas. Beruit is based on terrorist drama that began in 1972, while Women of Venezuelan Chaos is a documentary based on recent news from South of the Border.

Directed by Margarita Cadenas, Women of Venezuelan Chaos interviews five women of various economic status of post-Chavez Venezuela.

Kim (who attended an Apr. 9 screening at Silverspot Cinema in Coconut Creek) is married with children and is also a nurse. We see her providing healthcare, but many medicinal supplies are lacking.

Maria is a community manager who works from her home. She talks about bartering milk for diapers and how the Venezuelan economy is turning the population into a community of hoarders.

Eva is unemployed, therefore, she must wait in line to receive a lottery number to get rice and flour from the black market.

Luisa is a retired police officer whose grandson is imprisoned for being critical of the Venezuelan government.

Olga is a waitress with a tragic story to tell about government oppression and the murder of children.

Spoken in Spanish with English subtitles, Women of Venezuelan Chaos is newsworthy. When it was “cool” to mock President Bush, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez was upheld as a poster boy for socialized healthcare by some. When Chavez died and his house of cards crumbled, Nicolas Maduro became president. As poverty increased, the main stream media seemingly lost interest in the plight of the Venezuelan people. Through the voices of these five women, this documentary sheds some light upon their struggles for survival under the rule of graft politics and thug leaders.

Beirut deals with the growing world of terrorist thugs. In 1972, Diplomat Mason Skiles (Jon Hamm) hosts a party in which he states, “Christians are in one corner; Muslims in the other corner with Jack Daniels in the middle.”

During the party, Mason learns that a student they are sponsoring is the brother of the No. 1 terrorist involved in the murders in Munich during the 1972 Olympics. That night, the terrorist invades the party and the student is abducted.

Ten years later, the CIA recruits Mason for a hostage negotiation in Beirut. The simple negotiation becomes an elaborate affair when many greedy organizations haggle over the hostage fee. During this complication, Mason learns that his old student is now grown and is involved in the kidnapping.

The summer movie blockbuster season is almost upon us. However, don’t let the serious fare like Beirut and Women of Venezuela Chaos get lost in the crowd.

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FLICKS: Ready Player One

Posted on 04 April 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Anything older than 21 years old is considered “the good old days.” As a child, I remember my parents’ generation refer to the big band music of Glenn Miller and how it influenced the music of the 1960s and 1970s. It should be noted that when my parent’s generation were listening to Big Band Music, they were in their 20s. For my generation, we were in our 20s during the 1980s, which has become our “good old days.”

The 1980s is a major reference point for Steven Spielberg’s new movie Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline’s book which was sold as a screenplay to Warner Brothers studio within 24 hours of first print. Cline created a cyber universe that has been fashioned by the software and computer games of the past 30 years. Given the corporate involvement, it’s worth noting that most of these cultural references are licensed by Warner Brothers studio.

This film begins in a multi-level trailer park in Youngstown, Ohio, circa 2045. Given their dismal reality, most of the population escapes to the Virtual Reality of the Oasis. The Oasis is a vast and detailed universe created by James Halliday (Mark Rylance, Spielberg’s favorite actor as of late). Halliday is a cross between Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and Ben Bernanke. A single man with no heirs, Halliday dies — leaving the fate of the Oasis in a state of flux.

In his will, Halliday made sure to transfer the Oasis to the people who understood his vision. In the cyber games, Halliday planted three keys for people to find to unlock three magic gates. Two years post mortem, no one has yet found the missing keys. Enter Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), who goes by his avatar name — Parzival, who spends most of his waking hours in the Oasis. Parzival makes friends with other avatars and, together, form a team to locate the three keys.

The plot for Ready Player One is that simple. It is the overwhelming detail that could confuse some ticket buyers. Having lived through the cultural references of the Bee Gees, Duran Duran and A-Ha, I found a connection that people (a few years older than me) could find it hard to relate to. Beyond the bells and whistles of cyberspace icons and avatars, Ready Player One reveals an important theme about human relations and friendship.

Spielberg is still a master storyteller with a great visual eye. Having eschewed the naive wonder of Close Encounters of a Third Kind and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Spielberg’s science fiction flicks since the turn of the century have taken on a darker hue with films like A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Minority Report and War of the Worlds. Ready Player One feels like a compromise between the two contrasting visions of light and darkness.

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Alice Cooper — on stage villain, backstage superstar

Posted on 30 March 2018 by JLusk

Cinema Dave & Alice Cooper.

Over 40 years ago, Captain and Tennille’s Love will Keep us Together played on rotation on radio pop radio airwaves, while Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies and Welcome to My Nightmare played regular rotation on album rock radio (Anyone remember WSHE?)  While the Captain and Tennille enjoyed the comforts of a variety show on ABC Television, newlyweds Sheryl and Alice Cooper were torturing each other on stage on an international rock ‘n roll tour  A safe bet would have predicted that “Love would have kept” Captain and Tennille together, but the couple divorced after 39 years of marriage, while Alice and Sheryl still continue to strangle and stab each other on stage. Back stage Alice and Sheryl Cooper have been married 42 years, raised three adult children with two grand children (twins) and one more on the way.

The contrast between Rock Icon and family man is what makes Alice Cooper (born Vincent Furnier) such a fascinating individual. Alice is comfortable everywhere he goes. He can give a lecture at the Salvador Dali Museum in Saint Petersbug and then play 18 holes of golf during the regiment of a yearly 100 city world tour.  At the end of the year, the Coopers return home to Phoenix, Arizona to host their final concert of the year, Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding.

Unlike the slick two-hour concert tour, featuring snakes, guillotine, balloons and confetti, Christmas Pudding is an epic variety show that features diverse talent: Gary MuleDeer sprinkles comedy between two roof-raising renditions of Johnny Cash songs, Slash (Guns n Roses) and Ace Frehely (KISS) taking turns proving who is the greatest guitarist in the world, while local talent features a dance review of 1970s disco and Mariachi Juvenil de mi Tierra performs a series Christmas Carols with Mexican violins, horns, giant guitars and sombreros.

Proceeds from that concert go to the operations of  Alice Cooper’s The Rock Teen Center. The Rock provide teens with a central place to learn, have fun and explore their creativity in a supportive and safe environment. Touring The Rock last December made me nostalgic for my Dillard School of Performing Arts days, while making me optimistic that the fundamentals of  the performing arts will be emphasized.  While some of the “Rock Teens” performed onstage, special attention was given to the young people backstage and behind the camera.

While keeping his core audience in good standing for four decades, there is a conscious effort to reach young people. For the School’s Out curtain call, it is usually a young person who throws balloons at the audience. His touring band is younger than  Alice, with the youngest being Nita Strauss, a 32-year-old heavy metal guitarist whose ancestry includes composer Johann Strauss.

For the most part, an Alice Cooper Show is strictly entertainment.  The themes can be lofty with symbolism and artistic merit, but the main goal is to entertain the ticket buyers.  However, last Saturday Night at the Orlando Hard Rock stadium, local headlines were acknowledged ( the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas) between the songs 18 and School’s Out. There was no politics, just photos of the 17 victims with support of the young people marching last Saturday.

His current Paranormal tour wrapped up on Holy Thursday and, on Easter night on Sunday, Alice Cooper will be typecast as  King Herod  in Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on NBC. As an actor, Alice Cooper embraces his devilish contribution to Andrew Lloyd Wright and Tim Rice’s controversial musical. As a Christian, Alice Cooper accepts his role as a villain while publicizing the gospel of Jesus.

Before commencing his “Christmas Pudding” concert, the Cooper family appeared on stage. While receiving two notes from his twin grandchildren, Alice and Sheryl Cooper just learned that they are going to be grandparents for the 3rd time.

 

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FLICKS: The Death of Stalin, I, Claudius & Jesus Christ Superstar

Posted on 29 March 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

It took a poorly reviewed Pacific Rim sequel to slow down the box office juggernaut known as Black Panther, which became the No. 1 box office movie in comic book history. In the following weeks, Ready Player One and Avengers: Infinity War will attempt to achieve Black Panther’s lofty box office height.

With more subtle box office numbers, The Death of Stalin opened as a modest hit. A dark comedy about the transition of Soviet dictators, this film could be seen as a chapter of Monty Python presents Masterpiece Theater. While a Monty Python cast member has a supporting role (Michael Palin), it is Steve Buscemi’s performance as Nikita Khrushchev that steals the show. A conspiracy plotter who coldly exploits the weaknesses of his comrades (especially Jeffrey Tambor as a Stalin sycophant), Bescemi’s Khrushchev is given moments of slow burn comedy as he becomes the leader of thugs and idiots.

Given Russia’s brutal history, there are plenty of gruesome moments that are given dark comedic spin. For example, a medical examiner performs an autopsy of Stalin’s brain, in front of a quibbling government committee trying to determine foul play. The grossness of the scene is punctuated by Stalin’s children walking into the room while their father is literally getting his head examined. The absurdity of human misbehavior is truly revealed in this film.

It has been 42 years since I, Claudius premiered on American Public Broadcasting Television. Shot in soap opera style on videotape and based on Robert Grave’s historical novels I,Claudius and Claudius The God, the 13-part miniseries, presented early days of Roman History, full of political speeches, bloodshed, sex and a surprising amount of nudity for broadcast television. The series ignited the careers of Patrick Stewart, the late John Hurt, John Rhys-Davies and Derek Jacobi as the title character who lived in the time of Christ.

With four months of hype and promotion on NBC, the musical Jesus Christ, Superstar Live in Concert will commence at 8 p.m. on Easter Sunday. With music from Andrew Lloyd Weber and lyrics by Tim Rice lifted from their hit Broadway musical and 1972 motion picture, this production has always been controversial.

Given the counter culture movement of the 1970s, Weber and Rice sought to present a view of an alternative Jesus, in contrast to sword and scandal epics that featured Charlton Heston, Jeffrey Hunter and Max Von Sydow. They chose to present Jesus as a celebrity to be envied. This envy led to betrayal by one of his disciples, Judas. Thus, Jesus Christ Superstar has been referred to as The Gospel of Judas.

Regardless, this musical about Jesus has endured, with a soaring musical score and a popular song, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” which will be sung by Sara Bareilles. John Legend will carry the cross for this three-hour live event. In a small, but showy role, expect Alice Cooper to steal the show as King Herod. [See more on Cinema Dave’s adventure to see Alice Cooper perform recently in Orlando at www.observernewspaperonline.com].

Happy Passover & Happy Easter!

 

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Cinema Dave meets Smokey

Posted on 23 March 2018 by JLusk

As a prodigal Roman Catholic, I avoid eating meat during Lenten Fridays, which was appropriate when meeting legendary soul singer Smokey Robinson last Friday, March 16, at a special event held in Miami. Best known for his “oldies” hits like “The Tears of a Clown,” “The Tracks of My Tears” and “Going to a Go Go,” Smokey was in town to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Jazz in the Gardens, sharing the stage with Chaka Khan and Anita Baker, but also stopped at a special event that showcased his wine label, “Smokey Robinson Wines.”

Learning that Smokey has been a vegan for two and a half years, I asked him what I should eat with with his wines, to which he said, “People like the reds and the whites with meat and fish, but I would have a salad.”

Gouda cheese was provided for the wine sampling, for which the Riesling was fully  complimentary.  However, it was the Cabernet Sauvignon that made me long for Mom’s macaroni sauce or the eggplant parmigiana meal from Nick’s [in Deerfield Beach].

His looks, energy and vitality belie the fact that Smokey Robinson is 78 years old. Besides his Smokey Robinson Vineyards, the man still performs a two and a half hour show with a North American Tour planned through August. His timeless music has generated an audience both youth and old. When asked about his “Timeless” appeal, Smokey modestly answered, “It is a blessing, man, living a life doing what I love.”

As both a Motown singer and songwriter, the secret about Smokey’s music is inclusion that surpasses generations.  A Smokey Robinson concert is a family event that grandparents, parents and children can attend and have a good time together.

There is something “old school” about Smokey that is endearing. At the press junket, my colleagues took pictures and recorded interviews with their cell phones. As I prepared my equipment, I mentioned to Smokey that I missed my old tape recorder.  Smokey replied back with a teachable moment, “Tape is reliable. I wish I could get into the Motown vault.  I’ve got so much unreleased stuff in there by artists that I recorded or myself. I wish I could get in there!”

Even though Motown is under new ownership, I can see Smokey finding a way to get into the vault. All he  needs to bring to the front desk is some gouda cheese, macaroni sauce with a bottle of Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, respectively!

Photos by Cendino Teme.

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FLICKS: Unsane, The Death of Stalin & The Last Suit

Posted on 22 March 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Between a week before Christmas in 1997 until a week after Easter in 1998, Titanic ruled the box office. The Black Panther juggernaut feels similar, as films like Tomb Raider, A Wrinkle in Time and Red Sparrow were poised to take the weekend box office crown only to fall short. Perhaps Steven Spielberg’s much hyped Ready Player One might take the Box Office crown Easter weekend, but this weekend features a slew of independent movies arriving at a theater near you.

A student of Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Soderbergh was “the man” in 2000 for releasing two Oscar-winning motion pictures, Traffic and Erin Brockovich. Through the years, Soderbergh has enjoyed mainstream success with films like Logan Lucky and his Ocean’s 11 trilogy. Yet, one forgets that Soderbergh was a founding father of the independent film movement nearly 30 years ago with the release of Sex, Lies and Videotape.

Opening tomorrow, Unsane returns Soderbergh to his “auteur” filmmaking roots. Shot with iPhone technology, Unsane presents creative use of shot composition with natural lighting, presenting hyper-reality of the everyday world. From the opening narration to the character revealing confessions in the blue padded room, Unsane feels like an Alfred Hitchcock B-movie like Psycho and Vertigo.

Sawyer (Claire Foy) has started a new life with a good job in Pennsylvania. She departed her New England home to escape David (Joshua Leonard), a man Sawyer claims is stalking her. Her pain is deep and, one day, Sawyer seeks counseling. Upon her first consultation, Sawyer is told that she is staying overnight in the institution.

Despite her protests, Sawyer is confined to the ward with Violet (Juno Temple), a disgusting cornrow-haired patient who goads Sawyer into violent actions. Sawyer forms an alliance with Nate (Jay Pharoah), who has managed to smuggle a cell phone into the clinic. As her stay becomes prolonged, Sawyer spots her stalker, David, working as an orderly.

Combining conspiracy theories with a debate about the nature of sanity, Unsane is a film that will be talked about for many years. While the story does not hold up for the full 98 minutes, there are many nifty Easter eggs for film fans, including a cameo appearance from Jimmy Kimmel’s arch rival.

The Death of Stalin opens this weekend at the legendary Gateway Theater in Ft. Lauderdale and features broad comic performances from Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor and Michael Palin. For more info., keep an eye on http://classicgateway.com/gateway.

This Saturday afternoon, March 24, film director Pablo Solarz will be visiting The Living Room Theater at the FAU Boca Raton campus. He will introduce his film, The Last Suit, about an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor who goes on one last adventure to resolve his past. Keep an eye on www.fau.livingroomtheaters.com for movie times and more info.

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