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Natalie
Category Curator

Having made a number of art films & installations while keeping one finger dutifully dipped in pop culture and new media work, as Film Curator here at A+C I want to offer a wide range of movies from innovative experiments to... [more]

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Organizations

The Picture House Pelham, NY, United States

From their website:

About THE PICTURE HOUSE

The Picture House is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to restoring and transforming the 1921 Pelham Picture House into a... / read more

Columbia University, School of the Arts New York, NY, United States

MFA programs in:
Writing
Film
Visual Arts
Theatre / read more

New York University, Tisch School of the Arts Film School New York, NY, United States

Prestigious film school offering BFA or MFA programs in film theory and production. / read more

Maysles Institute New York, NY, United States

From their website:

The work of the Maysles Institute extends the Maysles Brothers’ principle that the lives and opinions of people not only deserve, but demand our attention. We strive to... / read more

NewFilmmakers New York, NY, United States

NewFilmmakers gives independent filmmakers the chance to show their work directly to the public and gives New York audiences the opportunity to see outstanding new films. They also have a Los... / read more

Viewpoints

Natalie says:
“John Candy theme weekend....”
Posted over 5 years ago
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Natalie says:
“Feeling very nostalgic for 70's films....”
Posted over 5 years ago
Chris Vroom replies:
“I wonder if your sense of the 1970s is the same as mine. From the standpoint of cinema, my vision the 70s is one of unvarnished, tell-it-like-it-is depressing realism with slow shots and no heroes coming to the rescue at the end. Think of The Parallax View, The Conversation, Easy Rider. If made today, Warren Beatty would NEVER had been blown away. ”
Posted over 5 years ago
Doug replies:
“My impression of 70's films looks like Boogie Nights...”
Posted over 5 years ago
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N
S Playhouse, Rob Zombie, Sally Hershberger, Saturday Night Live, Phil Hartman, Kris Kristofferson, Randal Kleiser, Mo Ma, Pee Wee
Pee Wee Herman
Tim Burton
Danny Elfman
Phil Hartman
Mtv
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Chris Isaak
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227
Pee Wees Big Adventure
Conan O'brien
Paul Reubens

Pee-Wee Herman appeared last night on the second to last episode of Conan O'brien's "Tonight Show," to help break down the events that lead up to Conan's break from NBC.



Pee-Wee (AKA Paul Reubens) aficionados know that the character -- loosely inspired by 50's TV host Pinky Lee -- was developed with Phil Hartman in the 1970's, when the two men worked together in the LA-based comedy troupe "The Groundlings." Pee-Wee didn't make it onto "Saturday Night Live" with Hartman, but his Pee-Wee Herman character appeared in "Cheech & Chong's Next Movie," and the popular stage show was punctuated with appearances on Letterman and HBO. Anyone around my age might have vague memories of Pee-Wee infused shows ranging from "227" to "Saturday Night Live." With the content adjusted to be more child-appropriate, "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" launched in 1981 and was a pop culture epicenter. (Google the resumes of folks like Sally Hershberger and Rob Zombie, to name just a couple....)


Reubens, Hartman and Michael Varhol went on to write 1985's "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" which, if you checked out the Tim Burton exhibit currently at MoMA, might already be on deck for a re-watch. Directed by Burton and scored by one of the biggest score-ers ever, Danny Elfman ("Beetlejuice," "Batman," "Good Will Hunting," to name just a few), "Big Adventure" became a cult classic. Randal Kleiser took over for the 1988 sequel, "Big Top Pee-Wee," which features some classic Kris Kristofferson.


In 1991 Pee-Wee appeared on shows more like "A Current Affair" after he was arrested for masturbating in a Sarasota, Florida movie theatre. Despite vocal celebrity defense from the likes of Bill Cosby, Cyndi Lauper and Zsa Zsa Gabor, the Pee-Wee character was tarnished in terms of marketability. That said, he became more of a dark, edgy persona, appearing to a memorable flurry of applause at that year's MTV Video Music awards.


(An aside: if, like me, you were a tween in 1991, let me put this into context: think REM's "Losing My Religion," Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" and a stellar Guns 'n' Roses performance of "Live and Let Die." The  irony of these hit song titles given their place in Pee-Wee history is funny, right?) Anyway, despite the ridiculously outsized villainization of some big-mouthed killjoys, Pee-Wee still had his fans.


Now, if you look up Pee-Wee Herman on IMDB, you'll notice a lot of titles you're familiar with, though you may not remember them as Pee-Wee movies. Reubens tried to make it as a non Pee-Wee actor, too, and his face is stamped in a vast number of films in bit parts and camios. A few years later, Reubens was seen playing significant roles on hit TV programs, including a memorable stint as Andrew on "Murphy Brown." 


Reubenns continued to work pretty consistently as an actor, and now he's revived Pee-Wee, a bit older and maybe a bit saltier. You might find it depressing, or nostalgic, desperate, or wildly fun and exciting. It might be too early to tell. I haven't had a chance to see "The Pee-Wee Herman Stage Show: The Return," his new show at the Nokia Theatre in LA. "Pee-Wee's Playhouse: The Movie," after a host of delays that can be blamed on everything from red tape to the economy, is said to be coming in 2011. The story is about the characters from the Playhouse being shoved out into the reality of Puppetland, where they embark on a journey to find their missing roomate. (I can't help thinking poignantly about Phil Hartman....)


In the meantime, the Pee-Wee appearance on Conan was quite funny, indeed. (Though I have to wonder whether they missed an opportunity to bring out Conan's Masturbating Bear.) So cheers to Pee-Wee, and consider yourself armed with some good bar conversation fodder (if you hang out at bars full of people in their 30's, that is).

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Posted over 3 years ago
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Ben Kingsley
Michelle Williams
Emily Mortimer
Max Von Sydow
Elias Koteas
Mark Ruffalo
Martin Scorsese
Dennis Lehane
Prison
Massachusetts
New Releases
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Thelma Schoonmaker
Orson Welles
Robert Richardson


Mysteries, quests and shady characters are some of my favourite things about winter movies. (I personally challenge you to dispute that comedy is best viewed while wearing shorts!) Leonardo DiCaprio trapped in an insane asylum? Definitely!


What's coming:


Martin Scorsese's new thriller, "Shutter Island," based on the Dennis Lehane novel of the same name, takes place in the 1950's and tells the tale of two U.S. marshals sent to a sketchy Massachusetts island to investigate the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane. Smoke, mirrors and deceptions, along with a hurricane and an inmate riot, trap them in the fray and sanity becomes a relative term.


What to watch while you wait:


Scorsese has sighted Orson Welles' adaptation of Kafka's "The Trial" as a major influence on "Shutter Island," specifically the winding, tunneling institutional hallways, claustrophobic spaces, and angular lenses. "The Trial" is a highly recommended NetFlick for those who are into this stuff -- amazingly tense storytelling and dramatically composed shots, it's an often overlooked Welles movie these days, but definitely one worth seeing.


"Shutter Island" comes out on February 19th. 


Mark Ruffalo plays Leonardo's partner, and the cast features, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Max Von Sydow and Elias Koteas. The film was shot at various locations in Massachusetts by cinematographer Robert Richardson, whose work you may be more familiar with in collaboration with Oliver Stone, and the result looks like a good mix of Richardson's influence on Scorsese's signature swooping movements and elegant follows. It was also edited by Scorsese regular, Thelma Schoonmaker, who has a classic touch for creating drama. 


 

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“Oops! I was wrong. This movie was a little boring. :)”
Posted over 3 years ago
“I really love this film and Inception! ;)”
Posted over 3 years ago
Unknown User says:
“Looks like a good movie. I want to see it.”
Posted over 4 years ago
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Music
Experimental Music
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I Phone
Orchestra
Experimental Music
Technology
Mobile
Stanford University

Check out Stanford University's Mobile iPhone Orchestra making music out of iPhones!


Learn more from the NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/05/technology/05orchestra.html?_r=1&src=tptw

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“I got to hear them perform at the International Computer Music Conference in Belfast last year. It was great. Members of the group were placed around the room - the sonic textures that they create are so different than just listening to loudspeakers, even ones in a surround setup. You really feel like you are inside some kind of sound-organism when you have 30 iPhones playing similar sounds all around you.”
Posted over 5 years ago
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Stella Schnabel
Ry Russo Young
You Won't Miss Me
New York
Mumblecore
Urban
Love
Mental Health
Angst

Ry Russo-Young's new film entitled "You Won't Miss Me," which she co-wrote with Stella Schnabel, is an experimental narrative about 23 year-old Shelley (played by a brilliant Schnabel), a New Yorker who has just been released from a mental institution. "You Won't Miss Me" is a refreshing take on the difficulty of love, and one of the most resonant movies I've seen recently.


Fragmentation shapes Russo-Young's film, which moves in a non-chronological series of seemingly estranged moments which mirror the disorienting structure of Shelley's impressions of her experience. Shot on Flip video, HD, DV, Super 8 and Super 16, and in both colour and black and white, the aesthetic reflects the various moods and textures of a quotidien NYC, everywhere from a vibrant blue, neon evening to a tactile, granular daytime Brooklyn.


In many ways, Shelley represents that beloved NYC energy that continues to pulsate no matter what the world throws at her; she might be a bit lost but she's surely alive and kicking. She endures acting auditions for arrogant directors who generate needlessly embarassing interactions -- (featuring some humerous cameos by mumblecore directors Aaron Katz and Joe Swanberg) -- and transitions to malnourished friendships and a disconnected romantic life composed of quick encounters and disappointments.


There's a very hand-made feeling to the film, which could be dangerous but ends up working beautifully because of Russo-Young's restraint and his devotion to a non-judgemental point of view. We watch Shelley's emotions spread themselves across the city in an almost confessional way, on the back of a motorcycle where she clings to a practically anonymous male form, or speaking to her psychiatrist, who is rendered as merely a shoulder that frames the image. It implies her connection to people in time and space, which amplifies her emotional disconnection and lonliness in a surprisingly relatable way.

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Naomie Harris
Sho Kosugi
Rain
Andy Wachowski
Larry Wachowski
James Mc Teigue
Horror
Horror Film
Thriller
Blood
Ninja
Cult Film

Over the weekend I had a chance to check out director James McTeigue's ("V for Vendetta") new bloodbath film, "Ninja Assassin." McTeigue and his producing partners, Larry and Andy Wachowski ("The Matrix"), offer up 99 minutes of shadow-laden ninja fights linked together by a thin semblence of story. Quality? Meh, but Entertaining? Yeh. Expectations? Met.


Here's the breakdown:


-Star Power: Korean boy band sensation, Rain stars as Raizo, the monotone avenger of ninjadom.


-Setting: Shadowy, ninja-laden Berlin cut with flashbacks to a secluded ninja training school in the foggy ambiguously located mountains.


-Villain Style: Ozunu (Sho Kosugi, reliable 1980s ninja movie star) plays an elder, paternal figure who trains kidnapped young kids to become heartless ninjas and speaks with a 90's Matt Dylan-ish husk.


-The Girl: There are two -- the sweet-faced trainee-in-trouble who defrosts young Raizo's heart, and Mika (played by Naomie Harris), a determined investigator working for an organization akin to Interpol. Mika offers perhaps the most naturalistic (and reacting) performance in the movie, displays a couple of moments of bravery, and boasts a life-saving sincerity.


-Preferred Method of Violence: The varied and creatively clean-severed limb featuring prolific digital blood sprays.


-Blood Hue: A necessarily ketchuppy red, presumably used to make sure the blood shows against the (slightly too) murky, shadowy scenes.


-Fight Scenes: Lots of ninja kicks, star throws, chain weoponry, leaps down from above, mind tricks and secret ninja mysticism. Also features considerable gunfire in combat, choppy, fast editing and disorienting close-ups.


-Audio Cue Indicating Ninja Presense: a chorus of whispers, highlighting the word, "kill." Cues are bold but the ninjas can tend to get lost in the darkness so the soundtrack helps.


 


-Ninja Fashion: The ninjas wear typical, classic ninja-wear, tight black jumpsuits with headwraps generously sliced to show fierce ninja eyes. The everyday clothes featured range from pleathury jackets and Gap jeans to EMS vests.


-Laughs: There are a couple, but overall the comic relief is not as strong as the ninja watching. That said, you'll be laughing at some of the violence in a good way. This film is harsh but not scary. (It's up to you whether that's a good thing.)

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Doug says:
“I gotta say Ninja Assassin was $12.50 well spent. Totally ridiculous and over-the-top blood, guts, severed heads and well choreographed ninja battles. Add amazing effects, campy 1 liners and you got me sold.”
Posted over 5 years ago
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