Films seen in May
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02. The Sticky Fingers of Time (1997, USA) Hilary Brougher - a must see
Why can’t Hal Hartley’s new sci-fi be this interesting?

07. The Atomic Submarine (1959, USA) Spencer Gordon Bennet - worth seeing
09. Johanna (2005, Hungary) Kornél Mundruczó - worth seeing [C]
12. Reeker (2005, USA) Dave Payne - worth seeing [C+]
16. Ubalda, All Naked and Warm (1972, Italy) Mariano Laurenti - has redeeming facet
17. Dont Go in the House (1980, USA) Joseph Ellison - a must see
19. The Fireman's Ball (1967, Czechoslovakia) Milos Forman - Masterpiece
21. Sublime (2007, USA) Tony Krantz - has redeeming facet [D]
Decent concept/script, but why direct the film like a TV sitcom?

24. Smash Palace (1981, New Zealand) Roger Donaldson - worth seeing
25. The Ice Pirates (1984, USA) Stewart Raffill - has redeeming facet
26. Grey Gardens (1975, USA) Ellen Hovde, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Muffie Meyer - a must see
27. Skin Crawl (2007, USA) Justin Wingenfeld [video] - worth seeing [C+]
Home video is the Drive-In Theater of today and the Z-grade genre companies have been filling that niche liberally with cheaply made straight to video flicks since the early Eighties. Back then it was Troma films, now it is Shock-O-Rama (aka Pop Cinema aka EI Cinema). Functioning like a Porn Studio, and with a fair share of soft-core output, Shock-O-Rama has contract stars, which it pimps as the latest genre starlet, and consistently parodies popular films (cf. Spiderbabe, Lord of the G-Strings). I’ve never seen one that I’ve liked -- until now. Skin Crawl starts off like the usual supernatural effects-heavy schlock, but quickly evolves into a hard-edged noir. First time director Justin Wingenfeld modestly lets the story take form, then backs things up a few times to fill in some important off-screen details. It’s sort of a hokey narrative technique to be sure, but it tends to work and like everything in this film, comes off better than you feel it was intended to be. Julian Wells carries the film as the devious slut Femme Fatale and Debbie Rochon (impressive in yet another video noir -- Nowhere Man before this) plays the rich wife who gets knocked off. The video cinematography walks the line of competency but to its credit only helps to heighten the sleaziness of it all. Things sort of fall apart when the EC comic’s morality rears its monstrous face for the finale, but I have to say my interest was piqued. Here’s hoping that this is a sign of better things to come from Shock-O-Rama.

28. The Dead Girl (2006, USA) Karen Moncrieff - worthless [F]
29. Winter Soldier (1972, USA) Winter Collective - a must see
31. Hell Night (1981, USA) Tom DeSimone - worth seeing
32. Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (2006, France) Douglas Gordon & Philippe Parreno - a must see [B-]
34. I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958, USA) Gene Fowler Jr. - worth seeing
35. The Ultimate Degenerate (1969, USA) Michael Findlay - worth seeing
37. Hundra (1983, USA) Matt Cimber - has redeeming facet
38. The Aura (2005, Argentina) Fabián Bielinsky - a must see [B-]
39. Spirals (1926, Germany) Oskar Fischinger [short] - Masterpiece
40. Studie Nr. 6 (1930, Germany) Oskar Fischinger [short] - a must see
41. Studie Nr. 7 (1931, Germany) Oskar Fischinger [short] - worth seeing
42. Kreise (Circles) (1933, Germany) Oskar Fischinger [short] - a must see
43. Allegretto (1936, USA) Oskar Fischinger [short] - Masterpiece
44. Radio Dynamics (1942, USA) Oskar Fischinger [short] - a must see
45. Motion Painting No. 1 (1947, USA) Oskar Fischinger [short] - Masterpiece
46. Wax Experiments (1926, Germany) Oskar Fischinger [short] - has redeeming facet
47. Spiritual Constructions (1927, Germany) Oskar Fischinger [short] - worth seeing
48. Walking From Munich to Berlin (1927, Germany) Oskar Fischinger [short] - worth seeing
51. Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968, USA) William Greaves - worth seeing
54. The Night of the Hunter (1955, USA) Charles Laughton [2nd viewing; no change in rating ****]
55. Alone With Her (2006, USA) Eric Nicholas - worth seeing [C+]
59. Backstage (2005, France) Emmanuelle Bercot - a must see [B-]
61. Phone (2002, South Korea) Byeong-ki Ahn - worthless
62. Soft for Digging (2001, USA) J.T. Petty - a must see
63. The Lunch Date (1990, USA) Adam Davidson [short] - a must see
65. Five Feet High and Rising (2000, USA) Peter Sollett [short] - a must see
66. Freiheit (1966, USA) George Lucas [short] - has redeeming facet
68. Daybreaker Express (1953, USA) D.A. Pennebaker [short] - a must see
69. Terminal Bar (2003, USA) Stefan Nadelman [short] - a must see
70. Necrology: Roll Call of the Dead (1971, USA) Standish Lawder [short] - Masterpiece
72. The Wraith of Cobble Hill (2006, USA) Adam Parrish King [short] - has redeeming facet
74. George Lucas in Love (1999, USA) Joe Nussbaum [short] - worth seeing
77. Screen Test #2: Helmut (1965, USA) Andy Warhol [short] - a must see

 


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