Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): Over at the Examiner

Friday, November 13, 2009

Over at the Examiner

If there's any Bostonians out there (or perusers of random city's cultural scenes), here's a guide to the some of the movie goings-on for the next 7 days. This took way longer to assemble than I expected, and I didn't get a chance to compile much else, but there's some good stuff in store for the Examiner next week. I'll provide a preview on Sunday.

(The link is no longer active, but here are some of the films I mentioned:

Bicycle Thieves (1948)

One of the greatest movies over made. In postwar Italy, director Vittorio De Sica and writer Cesare Zavattini abandoned the glamorous studio films of the Mussolini era, writing real stories about real people, casting non-actors to fill the roles and shooting in real locations to capture the desperate mood of the times. The story is one of their simplest yet most effective: a working man has his bicycle stolen; needing it to support his family he sets out through Rome with his son to find it. Despite - largely successful - attempts at realism, the film is also quite poetic, with wonderful black-and-white photography, highlighted in a brand new 35mm print.

Pickpocket (1959)

Another one of the greatest movies ever made, and this one's showing for free! French director Robert Bresson's minimalist masterpiece is austere, but it's also one of his most audience-pleasing works given the exhilirating shots in which he tracks skilled pickpockets hard at work - you'll walk out of the theater and into the subway with one hand on your wallet and renewed respect for those who want to take it. But the heart of the movie is in its character's moral and spiritual crisis, inspired by Crime & Punishment.

Wings of Desire (1987)

A free screening for a Harvard class, open to the public. A few years before it became a reality, German director Wim Wenders imagined bodies passing through the Berlin Wall - though in this case they were heavenly bodies, celestial vessels for angels who could watch over human interactions without being able to affect them in any way. Eventually one angel, played by Bruno Ganz, has had enough and decides to "plunge in", giving up his wings to be mortal, and yet to be alive. Features some of the most stunning cinematography in cinema history.

Severed Ways

An epic vision of "the New World" circa 1007, when Native Americans, Irish monks, and Vikings lay claim to the land nearly 500 years before Columbus approached its shores. Shipwrecked Vikings make their way through the rugged wilderness. Eric Hynes of indiewire.com has called this "a visionary work from one of the most promising new American narrative filmmakers in recent years.")

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