Sections

7 Days in cinema

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

RECENTLY NOTED:

The Descent Well before the 2004 election made the blue state/red state divide a media cliché, it was explored metaphorically in films like John Boorman’s “Deliverance,” Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and Wes Craven’s “The Hills Have Eyes.” The horror genre has spent the past 35 years depicting urbanites’ nightmares about the great outdoors and its denizens. “The Descent,” set in Appalachia but shot in the U.K., continues this thread, putting a female twist on the male fears of “Deliverance”—all six of its characters are women. Even by a horror fan’s standards, watching “The Descent” is a masochistic experience. The film itself provides a vicarious immersion in claustrophobia and disorientation. The fact that the cast is all female suggests feminist intent but “The Descent” is no ode to female bonding. At its most ambitious, it leans towards a blood-soaked exploration of women’s power dynamics and resentments. AMC Empire 25. (Steve Erickson)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

HALF NELSON In a mostly black working-class corner of Brooklyn, history teacher Dan Dunne (Ryan Gosling), a baby-faced white hipster, does his best to flout the received curriculum and impart critical precepts to a class of improbably docile eighth graders. He is outwardly righteous but privately beset by demons. Dunne takes special interest in Drey (Shareeka Epps), a student who stands apart with thoughtful, coiled reserve. Doubling as girls’ basketball coach, he’s caught by Drey after a match one evening in the stall of a locker-room toilet, sucking on a well-used crack pipe and sliding into a bummer trip on being exposed. Contrary to rumors of obsolescence, Norman Mailer’s white negro is alive, well, and firmly ensconced in the 112. Angelika, BAM Rose Cinemas, Chelsea West. (Ioannis Mookas)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

HOLLYWOODLAND Television has great potential, as we’ve seen through its journalism and occasionally its programming. However, television isn’t cinema, a point that it is important not to forget. Thus is the downfall of Allen Coulter’s new film “Hollywoodl­and,” a watered-down—or waterlogged—“Chinatown” knockoff featuring Academy Award winners Adrien Brody and Ben Affleck. The film, a neo-neo-noir, is based around the true story of actor George Reeves (Affleck) who played Superman on the popular ‘50s TV show before being found dead in his apartment with a bullet in his brain. Brody plays Louis Simo, a P.I. investigating Reeves’ death out of what appears to be nothing more than a desire to drive the story forward. (Nick Feitel)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

OLD JOY Kelly Reichardt’s “Old Joy” imagines the evanescent reunion of two white male friends across a weekend camping trip. Hewn from the all-American archetype of “lighting out for the territory,” Reichardt and writer Jonathan Raymond stage a masculine flight from adult obligation as a melancholy slacker odyssey, a final, futile romp in the wild before the chains of paternity snap shut. Film Forum. (Ioannis Mookas)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Quinceañera The outstanding film “Quinceañera” portrays the bond forged between Magdalena (Emily Rios, a pregnant 14-year-old, and her gay cousin Carlos (Jesse Garcia) in Echo Park, Los Angeles. This may be an odd choice of subject matter for filmmakers and partners Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland whose last film “The Fluffer,” was an insider look at porno-filmmaking, but there are, in fact, thematic similarities between this new film and that. In both dramas, the main characters were trying to assert—or come to terms with—their identities. It is only through their unexpected and unsuccessful interactions with others that they ultimately realize who they truly are. Quad Cinema. (Gary Kramer)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

RED DOORS Writer/director Georgia Lee describes the Wong family—around whom her film “Red Doors” revolves—as dysfunctional. She’s being unkind to her characters, who are actually quite wholesome. Sure, her patriarch vanishes halfway through the film, but the rest of the family gets along okay without him. Lee avoids a Todd Solondz/Alan Ball-inspired depiction of suburbia as a hellhole of sexual and substance abuse. In some ways, the “Red Doors” version of family values—gay-inclusive and optimistically feminist—recalls the current Indiewood hit “Little Miss Sunshine,” which is basically a would-be hip remake of “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” Lee’s film seems born both out of a love for pop culture and a frustration with the way it usually renders Asian-Americans invisible. At heart, it’s a blown-up sitcom. Angelika. (Steve Erickson)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

SCIENCE OF SLEEP How can a film as witty and imaginative as “The Science of Sleep” be so unsatisfying? It’s filled with laugh-out-loud moments and quotable dialogue, while Gondry’s low-tech evocation of its protagonist’s dreamworld is spectacular. In the end, all this adds up to something less than the sum of its parts. It’s visually amazing but emotionally tone-deaf. Far more than in his documentary “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party,” which is largely devoted to music, Gondry’s roots as a music video director are visible here. “The Science of Sleep” is loaded with concepts that would be dazzling—if they only lasted for three minutes. Angelika. (Steve Erickson)

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Services

gaycitynews.com

Updated 5:17 pm, July 20, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reader feedback

Comments closed.

Classifieds

Schneps Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: