Thursday, August 7, 2008

Joe's personal film festival

I was tagged by Kat Candler who was tagged by Lazy Eye Theatre on the following fun assignment: the 12 Movie Meme. Program a weeks worth of films at a local theater in your town.

Here are the rules:
1) Choose 12 Films to be featured. They could be random selections or part of a greater theme. Whatever you want.
2) Explain why you chose the films.
3) Link back to Lazy Eye Theatre so I can have hundreds of links and I can take those links and spread them all out on the bed and then roll around in them.
4) The people selected then have to turn around and select 5 more people.

Monday: Aussie teen night

I have a thing about high school movies, and two of the best are by John Dungan:

The Year My Voice Broke (1987). The first part of what was said to be a coming-of-age trilogy starring Noah Taylor. The third part was never made.

Flirting (1991) Duigan’s followup has a young and very hot Nicole Kidman as the bitchy girl at an isolated boarding school.

Neither of these films has been released on DVD, but apparently something is in the works.

Tuesday: Not gangster night

When I was 18 I got seriously addicted to gangster movies, which are really, really out of vogue now. You all need more vintage gangsta in your diet. Here are a few on the edges of the genre that you’ve probably never seen that I wish Austin’s Paramount Theatre would program one summer.

Brother Orchid (1940) is a gangster film for people who don’t like gangster films. It’s stars Edward G. Robinson, my favorite gangster next to Bogart, as a mug who hides out in a monestary. Yes, it’s a sweet little film, and the only one featuring both Robinson and Bogart where neither is killed!

They Drive By Night ( 1940) Humphrey Bogart and George Raft are long-haul truckers aiming to succeed in a crooked business. Tragedy and murder ensues. And it has Ida Lupino in it!

Wednesday: American teen night

Like I said, I love the teen film, and these two particularly do it for me.

The Last American Virgin (1982) is an odd remake of Boaz Davidson’s autobiographical Lemon Popsicle about growing up in Israel. Only he moves it to California and adds a great New Wave soundtrack. What’s even more interesting is the sharp turn the film takes. A goofy comedy at the beginning, it turns deadly serious and the ending is earned but surprising.

Foxes (1980). Jody Foster and Cherie Currie (of the all-girl band The Runaways) star in this very realistic film of growing up amid drugs, sex and all the rest in an era that was a whole lot more permissive than today. Totally high Currie staggering down the middle of a freeway is spot on perfect.

Thursday: Peter Sellers night

Being There (1979) says more about U.S. politics than any other film. Period. It also speaks volumes about class and illusion. I like that the original story came from foreigner Jerzy Kosinski, who puts a laser beam on our screwed up values. Peter Sellers fought to do this role and then died shortly after making it.

The Party (1968) displays Sellers’ comedic genius. The film is said to have had no more than an outline for a script. Sellers fills in the blanks with incredible physical comedy. The target of humor this time is the movie industry itself at a big party that quickly turns to chaos.

Friday: Bud Cort night

The perfect odd bug of a boy, Bud Cort made two films that are gems.

Harold and Maude (1971) is a sweet film about death. So what if the filmmakers chickened out on an actual love scene (they found the biggest damn bed I've ever seen and put them at opposite ends of it!) between a young man and an old woman? It's funny, quirky and stands the test of time.

Brewster McCloud (1970) features Cort flying around the Astrodome wearing giant wings. It's directed by Robert Altman, weirdly moody and thoroughly fascinating.

Saturday: Two from Texas

Sure, you know the legendary Texas films like Giant and The Last Picture Show, but these are odd little films that you may have missed.

The Hot Spot (1990) is one of the underrated and forgetten Texas-shot films. Directed by Dennis Hopper, it's a modern noir with a very interesting storyline and a very young Jennifer Connelly exposing her assets. Ah, the intrigue of used car lots. And it was filmed down the road from me in Taylor!

Roadie (1980). It's not a masterpiece, but Meatloaf stars as a stumbling, bumbling Roadie and we Roy Orbison singing "The Eyes of Texas," Blondie singing "Ring of Fire," plus Austin new wave legends Standing Waves and swinging Asleep at the Wheel just singing. The most truly Austin of any film ever. Was cowritten by Big Boy Medlin and Michael Ventura.

OK, now to pass on the favor, I tag Ms. Pierson, Mr. Egerton, Ms. Schoolfield, Ms. Marsh and Mr. Kent.


Owen said...

Wow. What a collection! Last American Virgin!
But all this seems like a lot of work... I'm tired.
Still, I'll get on it...

Kat Candler said...

i love it. i totally forgot about foxes.