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Entries in Animals (6)

Friday
Jan 01 2016

15 Great Moments Inside Movie Theaters in '15

Confession: I am extremely terrible about keeping a calendar,or evena letterboxd listwhich I update sporadically from time to time before forgetting again.In short the only "diary"of any sort I have is this ode to movies you're visiting now...The Film Experience.亚博主页Nevertheless in reviewing the film year I realized that I haven't been frequenting NYC's wonderful repertory theaters as much as in past years.Must fix.And I really have to do a better of keeping track of what I'm seeing in general lest I actually forget I saw something and it's missing from LISTS.*gasp*

But I  ♥ going to the movies.And if you're reading this it's safe to assume that you do too.So it's list time.Please shareyourfavorite moments of moviegoing this year in the comments.

15 Favorite Moments Inside Movie Theaters in '15
because it's the best place to be!

15The Incredible Hulk(2008)
April 29th: That moment when my best friend and I suddenly realized that we could leave anytime duringthe Marvel Movie Marathon(preceding the premiere ofThe Age of Ultron) and still get the same seat.What a relief.I mean...nobody should have to sit throughIron Man 2ever again!

14Clouds of Sils Maria(2014)
April 6th: Sitting down for a special invite-only screening ofClouds of Sils Mariaand seeing so many actors I loved in the audience (Diane Lane,Parker Posey,Kathleen Turnerand Bill Irwin).Turner was surprisingly willing to make conversation afterwards,her voice miraculously even lower than onscreen in person;she kindly ignored my fairly obvious terror at finally meeting one of my all time favorite goddesses.

13Hateful Eight(2015) - INTERMISSION ONLY!
Dec: Though I've admiredTeo Bugbeeas a writer for over a year (and she's written for the site on rare occasion) we finally met recently and every time we managed to sync up our schedules (lunch,drinks at a bar,a screening ofHateful Eight) it somehow become an extra imaginary screening ofCarolwe talked about the movie so much.Basically Teo is the only way I made it throughHateful Eight.

Carol,Chi-Raq,two older classicsand more after the jump...

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Friday
May 22 2015

Weekend Suggestions - Got Any Plans?

Some people plan weeks in advance but if you're a 'what shall we do this weekend?' last minute type like,my,uh,friend...who never has any firm plans until the last second even on holiday weekends...Here are some suggestions depending on where you live!

NEW YORK CITY
This weekend the Walter Reade has an Italian film program.You can see the Alain Deloin (mmmm) dramaThe Professor(1972) tonight and I personally don't plan to missSophia Loren's Oscar winningTwo Women(1961) on Sunday (two showings) since that one is very difficult to find a good print DVD of and it's a rare chance to see it on the big screen.The Maysles Cinema in Harlem isshowingIris(2015),Albert Maysles' last film,all week long with a few Q&As scheduled.The Museum of the Moving image has aMasaki Kobayashiretrospective starting this weekend and you can see the Oscar nominatedKwaidan(1964) on Sunday.Make sure to time your visit so that you can see MoMI's great expansiveMad Menexhibit.I already want to go back to it.

If you're not in the cinema mood (gasp),see one of the Tony nominees.Several of them are super expensive / sold out but you can still get discount tickets for arguable Best Play frontrunnerThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the NightTime,and the gorgeous dance musicalAn American in Paris(reviewed).The cheapest discount tickets that are 100% worthwhile areChita Rivera inThe Visit(the music is gorgeous and it may well be your last chance to see this legend live - she's 82!) and the exuberant funnyOn the Town(reviewed) but I apologize in advance should you become greatly obsessed withTony Yazbeck;It can't be helped really,you will.Great sources for discounts areToday's TixandTDF.

CHICAGO
Tonight at 7:45 PM TFE favoriteDavid Dastmalchianwill beat the Gene Siskel Film Centerto discuss his new filmAnimals,a tough but teary romantic drama about two small time grifters / addicts.So buy a ticket,won't you?I personally love it when actors create their own work to show Hollywood that they're more than just whatever they've been typecast as.

LOS ANGELES
Always the perfect weather there,right?And they make use of it withseveral outdoor screenings.This weekendAlmost Famous,Close Encounters of the Third Kind,Rear Window,andDazed and Confusedat various locations.

SAN FRANCISCO
TheRoxie theaterhas a double feature ofThe Talented Mr Ripley(1999) andThe American Friend(1977) as part of their "copy & paste"series on remakes and reimaginings.That could be fun.The Castro has a 85th birthday celebration for Harvey Milk with a screening and fireside chat ofThe Times of Harvey Milk(1984),the Oscar winning documentary that is one of the greatest documentaries I've personally ever seen.Selling fast apparently soif you're free tonight.

LONDON
There's a "Bollywood Fever"festival at the OXO Tower Wharf today through Monday with 15 different films,a few of which are sold out already.

I freely admit that if I were anywhere near London I wouldn't rest till I'd seen Imelda Staunton doing "Mama Rose"inGypsy(extended through November!)

EVERYWHERE
Movies available to rent or download from iTunes that are also in theaters OR skipped them altogether are the aforementionedAnimalsfrom friend of TFE Dastmalchian and a movie you might not have heard of calledAsk Me Anything.I haven't seen it yet but full disclosure,I know people involved:a friend of mineproduced it andit won Best Actress at the Nashville Film Festival last year(which I've attended as a jury member a couple of times)!Put it in your curiousity pile if you enjoy Britt Robertson.She's already headlined a few small pictures before her mainstream breakthrough-bid this year (TomorrowlandandThe Longest Ride) and this one,about a girl between high school and college chronicling her life on an anonymous blog,is the most recent of them.It was even cited by Taste of Cinema asone of the ten most underappreciated indies of recent year.

Sunday
May 17 2015

The Age of Mad Max's Perfect Pitch

"We're Back Pitches!"

ActuallyEVERYONEwas back this weekend in the sequel-saturated landscape.The nice surprise is that it was totally infused with girl power.The real kind,not just the lip service kind with "Strong Female Characters"that the boys then rescue.OK,The Scarlet Witch is rescued by The Vision inAge of Ultron,but she brings it in the power department overall and the film just passed the one billion mark worldwide and became the top grosser of 2015 (in the US).But the top two this week were newer 'old' ones.Anna Kendrick and her harmonizing family The Barden Bellas returned to rescue themselves as they headed toward graduation and the world championships.MeanwhileMad Max: Fury Roadwon the hearts of critics with its surprisingly feminist storyline and ambitous action setpieces.The film essentially has two title characters because the story may start with Mad Max but it's Imperator Furiosa in the driver's seat and she's taking this franchise down roads it's never been down before.Charlize Theron once again reminds the world that she's every bit as strong an action star as any man (and considering that Blunt,Jolie,and Johansson are also aces in this department,there are surely others who could carry an action picture if given the chance these actresses have had).

And "They"say nobody will go see female superheroes.That's what all of these bitches are,you regressive studio execs!WAKE UP.Fund more female-driven movies.

TOP TEN BOX OFFICE
May 15-17 Weekend
01Pitch Perfect 2$70.3NEW
02Mad Max: Fury Road$44.4NEWReview
03Avengers: Age of Ultron$38.8 (cum.$372)Review&Marathon&Podcast
04Hot Pursuit$5.7 (cum.$23.5)Review
05Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2$3.6 (cum.$62.9)
06Furious 7$3.6 (cum.$343.8)Review
07Age of Adaline$3.2 (cum.$37)
08Home$2.7 (cum.$165.6)
09Ex Machina$2.1 (cum.$19.5)Review
10Far From the Madding Crowd$1.3 (cum.$2.6)

NEW LIMITED RELEASES
May 15-17 Weekend
01Where Hope Grows$490,000 (276 Theaters)
02Good Kill$17,000 (2 Theaters)
03I'll See You in My Dreams$16,000 (3 Theaters)
04In the Name of My Daughter$14,000 (3 Theaters)
05Animals$12,000 (10 Theaters)
06The Connection$9,800 (2 Theaters)

In truly perplexing news,who is still buying tickets toPaul Blart Mall Cop2when there are this many good movies in theaters of pretty much all genres !?

In 'Less Likely To Be At a Theater Near You' news,Far From the Madding Crowdhad a great weekend,vaulting into the top ten with an expansion despite still being in a few thousand less theaters than everything else in the top ten.

Kim Shaw and David Dastmalchian in "Animals"

Of the other new releases, we hope y'all will go seeANIMALS.It's true we're biased in favor of the movie since the film's screenwriter/star David Dastmalchianguest blogged here just recentlyand I had the pleasure of moderating their Q&A here in NYC this weekend at the Village East cinema.But you don't have to take my word for it since it was a big hit at SXSW and also hasthe thumbs up from critics.It's currently available for download and playing theatrically in NYC,Atlanta,Kansas City,Detroit,Seattle,Phoenix,Miami,Columbus,and Los Angeles.Next week it adds Chicago,where it was filmed and where many of its actors are from,to the list so if you live in Chicagohead to the Gene Siskel next weekend!I told Dastmalchian that it seems terribly fitting that I went to the movie specifically to see him work a rare leading role and I came out appreciating not just him but actors I wasn't yet familiar with in other much smaller roles,the kind he used to get noticed for.

Tuesday
May 05 2015

The Soundtrack of My Life

David Dastmalchian concludes his guest blog takeover with this playlist (which we've helpfullycollated on Spotify for you) - you should follow him onTwitter&Instagram!- Editor

Photograph by Braden Moran

Soundtrack of My Life
-by David Dastmalchian

I read once that memory is like film editing.  We cut and paste the sequences together in a way that make our past fit into the context of our present.  I have this strange kind of daydream that feels like a movie trailer and I've been doing it since I was a kid.  I look at a time in my life – or my life as a whole – and imagine it with few words but with a great deal of music.  I change the songs often and the points of focus shift from day-to-day but I will share just a few of the predominant soundtrack jams from the life and mind of,well,you know – me.

1.Shine on You Crazy Diamond– Pink Floyd
My parents used to shoot super 8 films of us as kids in Kansas and my dad had them all edited together onto a DVD a few years back.  There's no audio so you're just sitting there watching us all blowing out candles or learning how to swim in silence.Actually,I think there was some bad Vince Guaraldi rip-off jazz that the Costco or wherever people had dubbed in.I just popped in my Wish You Were Here and listened and watched.  Perfect music to sum up so much.

2.  The Rainbow Connection – Jim Henson
The Muppet Movie and its effect on my life are no small secret.  I first took to a stage when I was 6 years old in Kansas so that I could strum a ukulele in my overalls and sing this song which says EVERYTHING you need to say about love and imagination.  Beautiful,man.

3.Come Togetherand Let it Flow – Spiritualized
These anthems of my late teens and early twenties sum up the tracking shot of a dude with blasted pupils,sitting wayyyyy back on a couch in a poster-lined apartment in Chicago and watching the wax slowly melt off the candles.  I believe that I was really trying to find some way to link up with the people around me and only inadvertently succeeded in isolating myself from them all.

4.Goodnight,Irene– Leadbelly
And old pal of mine used to do a bang-up version of this song when he would play around Chicago – but it really strikes up an image for me of driving across the long expanse of endless highway across my Kansas homeland.Those early memories of sitting in the back of my parents station wagon and rolling through the wheat-lined roads of the Midwest are some of my most cinematic mental images.

5.Smoke Gets in Your Eyes– The Platters
My mother had a "Golden Collection"of the Platters (one of those record sets you'd order off TV that came with special liner notes and fancy packaging) and I loved it.  We would listen to the records on the old Motorola console in our living room and I would slow dance with an imaginary woman of my dreams – I think at that time it was probably Kristy McNichol or Justine Bateman.  Or Lita Ford.

6.Simple Twist of Fate– Bob Dylan AND Joan Baez have versions of this classic jam that sum up the quick cuts of my early 20's when I was hitch-hiking and riding Greyhound busses from Seattle to Asheville and trying to find my way back to Alaska while riding out the decade-long trip of simpleadventure and recklessness that was starting to ramp up in speed and severity,which leads to….

7.Stuck on You(Failure)
One of those songs that plays perfectly in the long,spiraling overhead crane shot as it comes down to face a guy who thought he knew what he was getting into and didn't realize until it was too late that he was in way,way,way too deep over his head.

8.  Some transition jams -Drowning in the Sea of Love(Joe Simon),Twin Cinema(New Pornographers),Wraith Pinned to the Mist(Of Montreal),Wave of Mutilation(Pixies) and the rising climax leads us to the beautiful moment of finding true love and a family and dancing in the grass toIn the Aeroplane Over the Sea(Neutral Milk Hotel).

9.  Which leads to that final deathbed moment.  It's a beautiful song but sad – but shouldn't it be sad?  It's okay for deathbeds to be somber.  I don't want a marching band playing "Oh When the Saints"– I want all my loved ones crying and lamenting that we won't be having any more adventures… for a while at least.Wish You Were Here(Pink Floyd) Yes,that IS two Pink Floyd songs on my trailer track list – so sue me.  It's my guest blog and I can do what I want.

And now I leave you with this – the trailer for our upcoming release,ANIMALS,which will be in theaters and on VOD on 5.15.15.  For details on where you can see the film,please visitwww.animalsthefilm.comAnd if you love the song as much as we do,it's from a band called "Lavendar Diamond".  Go find and buy all of their beautiful music here:www.lavenderdiamond.net

Thanks for reading and THANKS to Nathaniel for letting me sit in the driver's seat for a day.  It was a lot of fun and I hope you didn't get too many unsubscribes during my brief tenure.  Now… back to your regularly scheduled programming!

Previously
David What?,What I Learned From Paul Rudd,Films I Love,andInefficient Filmmakers Guide

Tuesday
May 05 2015

The Inefficient Filmmakers Guide to Making a Movie in Six Years

One of "Animal"'s incredibly evocative posters.

"Or, How to Have the Most Fun While Having a Nervous Breakdown"
-by David Dastmalchian

[ICYMI -the rising actor David Dastmalchian is guest blogging today!-ed.]

I have said this in jest many times – and will probably continue to joke about it again and again – but the truth of the matter is that I came dangerously close to having a severe nervous breakdown in the weeks that led up to the filming ofAnimals.  For the uninitiated,Animalsis a feature film that I wrote,acted in and produced.  My close friend and Midwest compatriot,Collin Schiffli,directed the film about a homeless couple who struggle between the reality of their addiction to heroin (and one another) and the fantasy life that they imagine for themselves.

Although it's not a "biopic"by any means,the film was definitely influenced by my own personal battles with the same demons as my characters.More...

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