Picks, Pans, All That – Day Six: Tuesday, April 8

April 8, 2008 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

Subject of the best knock-knock joke ever

The Good
I have a rave for Scott Hicks’ Philip Glass doc Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts (2:15pm, Ritz East) here and a more hesitant plug for the Indian religious drama Dharm (230pm, Ritz East) here. The remote Chinese province mood piece Night Train (5pm, Ritz East) orchestrates a potential affair between a glum executioner and the husband of a woman she offed, though any hoary coincidences are more or less atoned through the film’s hushed and wintry visuals. Directed by Japanese explorer-cum-documentarian Kazuya Yamada, Puujee (5pm, International House) locates a fascinating, photogenic little girl living in on a tiny farm in remotest Mongolia, though it very nearly overdoses on ethnography – the film oscillates between highest verisimilitude and just plain boring. Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (9:30pm, I-House) provides the great film director/gimmick meister with a bouncy (but not too reverent) 101, and if aesthetically it’s no different from TV, firsthand accounts from the likes of John Waters and Joe Dante more or less compensate.

The Not So Good

A film with a deaf protagonist that replicates the experience of being deaf, Universal Signs (4:45pm, Ritz East) also happens to be a wan redemption saga, with some uncomfortably unsubtle plugs for the glories of getting your mean ass back in church. Hopefully the film print of Romania’s California Dreamin’ (6pm, Prince Music Theater) finally made it in after Friday’s disastrous screening; my heavily mixed reaction can be found here. The dystopian Exodus (7:15pm, The Bridge) is a severely troubled updating of the story of Moses that I eviscerate here. Sorry about yesterday – turns out today is the last time to catch the super-light East Berlin comedy Mrs. Ratcliffe’s Revolution (4:45pm, Ritz East). And the Thai Sperm (9:30pm, The Bridge) is vaguely likable sub-Troma nonsense, featuring some of the ugliest CGI since Little Nicky.

This guy just didn\'t do it

And those I haven’t seen (yet) but which possess buzz and/or look promising
Last seen with the fluffy Shall We Dance? (later remade with JLo), Masayui Suo goes serious with the well-reviewed I Just Didn’t Do It (2:15pm, The Bridge), an epic takedown of Japan’s court system that’s put to the test when a boy accused of a groping persists in exclaiming (altogether now) “I Just Didn’t Do It.” Russian experimentalist Alexander Sokurov (Russian Ark, The Sun) returns with Alexandra (7:15pm, Ritz East), a less out-there than usual film about Chechnya. City Paper’s Sam Adams raves highly about Secrecy (9:15pm, Prince Music Theater), an Errol Morris-style doc that unflinchingly examines the fact that more government information than ever before is being labeled as classified. And The End (9:30pm, Ritz East) sits down with some troublingly candid former East London gangsters, all of them shot in impossibly grainy 16mm.


Entry filed under: Picks, Uncategorized.

What I Peeped: Day Five What I Peeped: Day Six

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