Tiny Furniture (2010) Written and directed by Lena Dunham. Lena Dunham as Aura and David Call as Keith

Keith: So, how’re… how’re things?
Aura: Ummm… I’m really tired. I took three Klonopin and woke up next to a spoonful of peanut butter.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch
John Tormey as Louie, Cliff Gorman as Sonny Valerio, Henry Silva as Ray Vargo and Joe Rigano as Joe Rags.

Louie: For the past four years, this guy’s done maybe twelve perfect contracts. Perfect. Like a ghost. He’s very valuable. He’s totally untraceable. I’m sure he didn’t realize anyone was gonna be there when he did Handsome Frank or he woulda backed off. He sure as hell didn’t know that she was gonna… be there.
Sonny: Louie, unless you want to be buried next to Frank, now is the time to tell us everything you know about this mysterious, ghostlike, untraceable fuckin’ button man.

Hopscotch (1980) Directed by Ronald Neame.
Walter Matthau as Miles Kendig and Glenda Jackson as Isobel.

Isobel: Did you come to Salzburg to see me?
Miles: Mmm. You and Mozart.
Isobel: They still keep tabs on me in Washington?
Miles: Well, we knew you married some old Nazi.
Isobel: Come on, Kendig. He was Austrian!
Miles: So was Hitler.
Isobel: Yes, but he had no sense of humor.

Iron Man 3
“You forgot to DVR Mad Men?”

For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why a May Marvel release was set during Christmas, but that’s because I’d forgotten that Iron Man 3 was directed and co-written by Lethal Weapon screenwriter and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer/director Shane Black who favors the holiday as a setting for his action/comedy shenanigans. The other clue is that it’s got a reasonable amount of humor and an agreeable swagger that’s always self-effacing enough to ultimately call bullshit on its own macho-ness before it becomes ridiculous. Throw in a few narrative twists that threaten to breathe life into an increasingly stale superhero exercise and you’ve got a summer entertainment that isn’t as much fun as the equally ridiculous The Avengers, but is an improvement on the first two mostly dull Iron Man films and another nice antidote to the oppressively self-serious Dark Knight series.

Continued »

Major Dundee (1965) Written and directed by Sam Peckinpah
Charlton Heston as Maj. Amos Charles Dundee and Richard Harris as Capt. Benjamin Tyreen

Dundee: You’re a would-be cavalier, an Irish potato farmer with a plumed hat fighting for a white-columned plantation house you never had and never will.
Tyreen: How exactly do you see yourself, Major Dundee? Have you ever stopped to think why they made you a jailer instead of a soldier?

The Ruling Class (1972) directed by Peter Medak
Coral Browne as Lady Claire Gurney and Peter O’Toole as Jack Arnold Alexander Tancred Gurney, 14th Earl of Gurney

Claire: How do you know you’re God?
Jack: Simple. When I pray to Him, I find I’m talking to myself.

Gosford Park (2001) directed by Robert Altman
Kristin Scott Thomas as Lady Sylvia McCordle and Michael Gambon as Sir William McCordle

William: Who’s next to me at dinner?
Sylvia: Oh, you know. Aunt Constance and Lavinia.
William: Oh why do I have to have that bloody old trout all the time? I want Louisa!
Sylvia: Do I have to explain the table of precedence again, or can it wait?
William: I don’t give a shit about precedence!
Sylvia: Well you always complain that people look down on you and then you behave like a peasant.

Metropolitan (1990) written and directed by Whit Stillman
Edward Clements as Tom Townsend and Carolyn Farina as Audrey Rouget

Tom: You don’t have to have read a book to have an opinion on it. I haven’t read the Bible either.
Audrey: What Jane Austen novels have you read?
Tom: None. I don’t read novels. I prefer good literary criticism. That way you get both the novelist’s idea as well as the critic’s thinking.

Rabbit Hole (2010) directed by John Cameron Mitchell
Nicole Kidman as Becca, Aaron Eckhart as Howie, Colin Mitchell as Sam (not pictured) and Yetta Gottesman as Ana (not pictured)

Sam: We just have to remind each other that… it’s just part of God’s plan… and we can’t know why. You know? Only God can know why.
Becca: (rolls eyes)
Ana: God had to take her. He needed another angel.
Sam: He needed another angel.
Becca: Why didn’t he just make one?… another angel. I mean, he’s God after all. Why didn’t He just make another angel? Hmm?

The Limey (1999) directed by Steven Soderbergh. Screenplay by Lem Dobbs.
Terence Stamp as Wilson and Luis Guzman as Eduardo Roel.

Eduardo: You know, you could see the sea out there, if you could see it.

Repo Man (1984) Written and directed by Alex Cox. Emilio Estevez as Otto and Sy Richardson as Lite

Lite: Do you like music?
Otto: Sure.
Lite: Mmm. In that case you’re gonna love this. I was into these dudes before anybody. Partied with ’em all the time. They asked me to be their manager. I called bullshit on that. Managing a pop group? Hey, that’s no job for no man.

Day of the Locust (1975) Directed by John Schlesinger from the novel by Nathanael West. Karen Black as Fay Greener and William Atherton as Tod Hackett (not pictured)

Tod: I love you.
Fay: Don’t say that!
Tod: It’s true.
Fay: Love’s special.
Tod: Yes, it is.
: Don’t make me hurt you. You’re very kind and clever, but I could only let a really rich man love me. I could only love someone criminally handsome. Please try to understand. That’s how I am. I’m sorry.

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) Directed by Tay Garnett. Lana Turner as Cora Smith and John Garfield as Frank Chambers.

Cora: Too bad Nick took the car.
Frank: Even if the car were here, we couldn’t take it – not unless we wanted to spend the first night in jail. Stealing a man’s wife, that’s nothing, but stealing a man’s car, that’s larceny.

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979) Directed by Allan Arkush. Joey Ramone as Himself.

Joey: Things sure have changed since we got kicked outta high school.

Get Carter (1971) directed by Mike Hodges
Michael Caine as Jack Carter and Ian Hendry as Eric Paice

Carter: Do you know, I’d almost forgotten what your eyes look like? They’re still the same. Piss holes in the snow.

Oscar Isaac in Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis
Oscar Isaac in Joel Coen and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis

Well, that was worth waiting up for. My most highly anticipated movie of 2013, Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, is making its World Premiere at my first Cannes Film Festival. Bring it.

Opening night film: The Great Gatsby, dir Baz Luhrmann

In Competition
Jury chair: Steven Spielberg

  • Only God Forgives, dir Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Borgman, dir Alex Van Warmerdam
  • La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty), dir Paolo Sorrentino
  • Behind the Candelabra, dir Steven Soderbergh
  • Venus in Fur, dir Roman Polanski
  • Nebraska, dir Alexander Payne
  • Jeune et Jolie, dir Francois Ozon
  • Wara no Tate (Straw Shield), dir Takashi Miike
  • La Vie D’Adele, dir Abdellatif Kechiche
  • Shoshite Chichi ni Naru (Like Father Like Son), dir Hirokazu Kore-Eda
  • Tian Zhu Ding (A Touch of Sin), dir Jia Zhangke
  • Grisgris, dir Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
  • The Immigrant, dir James Gray
  • The Past, dir Asghar Farhadi
  • Heli, dir Amat Escalante
  • Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian), dir Arnaud Desplechin
  • Michael Kohlhaas, dir Arnaud Despallieres
  • Inside Llewyn Davis, dir Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
  • Un Chateau en Italie, dir Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi

Closing night film: Zulu, dir Jérôme Salle

More after the jump

Continued »

Woody Allen and Diana Davila in "Play It Again, Sam" (1972)

Play It Again, Sam (1972) Directed by Herbert Ross from the play by Woody Allen. Woody Allen as Allan and Diana Davila as The Girl at the Museum.

Allan: That’s quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn’t it?
Girl: Yes, it is.
Allan: What does it say to you?
Girl: It restates the negativeness of the universe; the hideous lonely emptiness of existence; nothingness; the predicament of Man forced to live in a barren, Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation forming a useless, bleak straitjacket in a black, absurd cosmos.
Allan: What are you doing Saturday night?
Girl: Committing suicide.
Allan: What about Friday night?

The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (1966) Directed by Norman Jewison. Richard Schaal as Oscar Maxwell, Cliff Norton as Charlie Hinkson, Jonathan Winters as Norman Jones, Brian Keith as Police Chief Link Mattocks and Guy Raymond as Lester Tilly.

Norman Jones: Chief we gotta do something. I mean, we really gotta do something. There are people running around down there with guns!
Link Mattocks: Well, that’s great. That’s just great. I thought all the nuts went home after Labor Day.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) directed by Milos Forman
Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched (not pictured), Jack Nicholson as Randall Patrick McMurphy, William Redfield as Harding, Sydney Lassick as Cheswick (not pictured) and Delos V. Smith Jr. as Scanlon (not pictured)

Nurse Ratched: Do you want to say something to the group, Mr. McMurphy?
McMurphy: Well, yeah. I’d like to know why none of the guys never told me that you, Miss Ratched, and the doctors could keep me here ’til you’re good and ready to turn me loose. That’s what I’d like to know.
Nurse Ratched: Fine, Randall. That’s a good start. Would anyone care to answer Mr. McMurphy?
Harding: Answer what?
McMurphy: You heard me, Harding. You let me go on hassling Nurse Ratched here knowing how much I had to lose and you never told me nothin’.
Harding: Now, Mac. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I didn’t know anything about, uh…
McMurphy: Shit!
Harding: …Wait a minute. Now listen. I… Now look. I… I’m voluntary here. See, I’m not committed. I don’t have to stay here. I mean, I can go home anytime I want.
McMurphy: You can go home anytime you want?
Harding: That’s it.
McMurphy: You’re bullshittin’ me.
Harding: No.
McMurphy: He’s bullshittin’ me, right?
Nurse Ratched: No, Randall. He’s telling you the truth. As a matter of fact, there are very few men here who are committed. There’s Mr. Bromden, Mr. Taber, some of the chronics, and you.
McMurphy: Cheswick? You’re voluntary?
Cheswick: (nods) Mmhm.
McMurphy: Scanlon?
Scanlon: (nods)
: Billy, for chrissakes, you must be committed, right?
: N-n-no.
: You’re just a young kid! What are you doing here? You oughta be out in a convertible, bird doggin’ chicks and bangin’ beaver. What are you doing here for chrissake?

Richard Benjamin and Walter Matthau in "The Sunshine Boys" (1975)

The Sunshine Boys (1975) Directed by Herbert Ross from the play by Neil Simon. Richard Benjamin as Ben Clark and Walter Matthau as Willy Clark

Willy: How do you like that? Saul Burton died.
Ben: Who?
Willy: Saul Burton the songwriter. Eighty-nine years old. He went just like that from nothing. You know what kind of songs he wrote? Shit. (sings) “Lady, lady, be my baby.” Lady rhymes with baby. Oy. No wonder he’s dead.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) Directed by Mike Nichols. Elizabeth Taylor as Martha and Richard Burton as George

Martha: Fix me another drink, lover.
George: My God, you can swill it down, can’t you?
Martha (in baby voice): Well, I’m thirsty.
George: Oh, Jesus.
Martha (angry): Look, sweetheart. I can drink you under any goddamn table you want, so don’t worry about me.
George: I gave you the prize years ago, Martha. There isn’t an abomination award going that you haven’t won.
Martha: I swear if you existed, I’d divorce you.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) Directed by George Clooney
Sam Rockwell as Chuck Barris

Chuck Barris (in voiceover): When you’re young, your potential is infinite. You might do anything really. You might be Einstein. You might be DiMaggio. Then you get to an age when which you might be gives way to what you have been. You weren’t Einstein. You weren’t anything. That’s a bad moment.

Official Cannes 2013 Poster

If you’re on the Twitters or the Facebook, you might already know I’m going to the Cannes Film Festival this year, but I was waiting until all the ducks were in a row before making an official announcement here on the blog. Yes, as unlikely as it seems, the passport is ready, the press pass is approved, the plane tickets are purchased and the lodging reservations are made. I’m going and there’s not a goddamn thing standing in my way.

I know, the last few months have not been the finest in the history of Living in Cinema, but I assure you I had no intention of devolving into nothing more than a Movie Quote of the Day. Of course longtime readers will know that I’ve always had unscheduled lulls in output, but I don’t recall one going on quite as long as this last. I don’t believe in excuses so I’m not going to make any. It is what it is or it was what it was, and I’m moving on. To Cannes, bitches!

All of my official writing on the festival which kicks off on May 15 will be for Awards Daily, but I’ll be linking to it here and I’m thinking about doing some sort of informal diary-type “so this is what Cannes is like” pieces which I’ll be publishing here.

I’m hoping to use the festival are sort of a relaunching of my enthusiasm for the whole blog thing in general. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what LiC was, what is has become and what it could be in the future. Things are all kind of up in the air at the moment, but I’m feeling some momentous changes afoot one way or another.

So anyway, I want to give an especial shout out to those of you who have stuck with me through this disconcerting dry spell. In a very real way, I owe this exciting Cannes opportunity to you.

Room 237

Near the beginning of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Dick Hallorann (Scatman Caruthers) warns young Danny Torrance, “There ain’t nothin’ in Room 237.” He’s lying to the boy, but he could just as easily be speaking directly to the audience of the new Shining documentary Room 237, a festival favorite examining some of the meanings people have attached to Kubrick’s horror tale. It’s ironic the documentary quotes this scene directly because there’s nothing to see here unless a lot of continuity errors, subliminal boners and an imaginary Minotaur are your idea of something.

Continued »

It's a Disaster

(This review originally appeared last summer when I saw the film at LA Film Fest. It opens in limited theatrical release today and is also available On Demand and online through Amazon etc.)

Writer/director Todd Berger’s It’s a Disaster turns out to be the apocalyptic relationship comedy that last year’s wretched Seeking a Friend for the End of the World lies awake at night wishing it had been. For starters, it’s flat out funny (and that’s probably the most important thing), but underneath the humor there is a vein of honesty about how people are, what they want and how they relate to one another that sets it apart from other black comedies of its type. It never sells out its comic soul to land a point, but the two sensibilities fuse naturally into an uncommonly good indie comedy.

Continued »

Ken Loach's "Angel's Shar"

Carrying the similarly light and laid back comic tone of his Looking for Eric, Ken Loach heads north to Glasgow, Scotland for Angel’s Share where he finds a group of wayward youth sentenced to community service for assorted crimes small and large. In particular, there is Robbie, a young man whose temper and bad family blood always seem to keep him from straightening up and flying right even for his newly pregnant girlfriend. Luckily for Robbie, his community service supervisor takes an interest in him and shows him a better way through, of all things, the joys of very expensive fine malt whisky. It turns out Robbie has a talented nose for the stuff which comes to the attention of a buyer who works for a shady foreign whisky enthusiast. Combining talents from his old life and his new, Robbie rallies his pals and hatches a plan to get his girlfriend and new son away from Glasgow once and for all.

Continued »

Adam Sandler and Emily Watson in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Punch-Drunk Love" (2002)

Punch-Drunk Love (2002) Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Adam Sandler as Barry Egan and Emily Watson as Lena Leonard

Barry: I didn’t ask for a shrink, that must’ve been somebody else. Also, that pudding isn’t mine. Also, I’m wearing a suit today because I had a very important meeting this morning and I… don’t have a crying problem.

Manhattan (1979) Written and directed by Woody Allen. Mariel Hemingway as Tracy and Woody Allen as Isaac Davis.

Isaac: Where the hell does a little Radcliffe tootsie come off rating Scott Fitzgerald and Gustav Mahler and, and Heinrich Boll?
Tracy: I don’t understand why you’re getting so mad.
Isaac: I’m mad because I don’t like that pseudo-intellectual garbage that she… Pedantic! “Van Goch!” Did you hear that? She said “Van Goch.” I couldn’t… Like an Arab she spoke. I couldn’t… And if she had made one more remark about Bergman, I woulda knocked her other contact lens out.
Tracy: What, is she Yale’s mistress?
Isaac: That will never cease to mystify me. I mean, he’s got a wonderful wife and he prefers to, to… diddle this little yo-yo that, that, you know, and uh, but he was always a sucker for, those kinda women. You know, the kind that, that would involve him in discussions of existential reality. You know? They probably sit around on the floor with wine and cheese and mispronounce “allegorical” and “didacticism.”
Tracy: Well, I get the feeling that Yale really likes her.
Isaac: Well I, I’m old fashioned. I don’t believe in extramarital relationships. I think people should mate for life like… pigeons or… Catholics.
Tracy: I don’t know, maybe people weren’t meant to have one deep relationship. Maybe we’re meant to have, you know, a series of relationships of different lengths. I mean that kind of thing’s gone out of date.
Isaac: Hey, don’t tell me what’s gone out of date, ok? You’re seventeen years old. You were brought up on drugs and television and the pill. I, I, I was World War II. I was in the trenches.
Tracy: You were eight in World War II.
Isaac: That’s right I was never in the trenches. I was caught right in the middle. It was a very tough position.

Mohammed to Maya

Screening in competition tonight at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles is Mohammed to Maya, a documentary chronicling a year in the life of a 42-year-old devout Muslim as she undergoes gender reassignment surgery.  Even in the relatively permissive West it’s difficult to imagine the difficulties of making such a transition, but it’s almost inconceivable this case.

Continued »

Boxcar Bertha (1972) directed by Martin Scorsese. Barbara Hershey as Boxcar Bertha and Barry Primus as Rake Brown (not pictured)

Bertha: Folks? May I have your attention? Folks?
Rake: Shhh. The lady would like to say somethin’… Go ahead kid.
Bertha: Thank you. Yes, I’d just like to say this is a holdup. We’ve come for your money and jewels. So, if you’d just line up against that wall there, Bill, Rake and Von won’t have t’ shoot ya.

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All material copyright 2007-2012 by Craig Kennedy unless otherwise stated