Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Theoretical Film Festival

There's a meme going around now where you get to pick 12 movies to program into 6 nights at a theoretical film festival. And I've been tagged twice on this one (SamuraiFrog, and Ms Go) so I will be making this a 12 night festival, 6 nights for each tag.

The rules (from meme-originator Piper):

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.

Night 1- Night of the Living Bread/ The American Nightmare/ Dawn of the Dead (American Horror Night)

To start off the opening night of the movie festival the short film Night of the Living Bread a fun parody of Night of the Living Dead with dangerous bread attacking from everywhere instead of the zombies from the original flick. Really funny!

Horror films have often been more than simple scares. At their best, they reflect society's anxiety's and concerns. In The American Nightmare, major horror film makers such as George Romero and Tobe Hooper discuss the creation of their films in the 1960s and '70s and how they related to contemporary events while interviewed intellectuals give their own opinions. Possibly the best horror film documentary I've seen.

In Dawn of the Dead the sequel to Night of the Living Dead, it's a few weeks later after the events of Night and the situation is getting worse. Two reporters, along with two SWAT team members, decide to steal a helicopter to find a place where they can hide from flesh eating zombies. They find a secluded mall and decide to stop there for the night in order to get some sleep. Deciding to stay in the mall, they barricade themselves in while defending themselves against zombies.

Night 2- Candy/ Barbarella (A Night of Terry Southern and Friends)

Trying to explain the plot of Candy is nearly impossible and ruins it's magic... but here goes... Candy Christian is an innocent young girl who finds herself in tight situations with an alcoholic Welsh poet (Richard Burton), a Columbian gardener (Ringo Starr), her father and his twin brother (both men played by John Astin), crazy General Smight (Walter Mattahu), an ego-maniacal brain surgeon Dr. Krankeit (James Coburn)and the great hindu Guru Grindl (Marlon Brando). Based loosely on Voltaire's Candide it's really kind of about Candy's spiritual journey and growth to awareness set to a soundtrack by The Byrds. SWEET!

The year is 40,000. Peacefully floating around in zero-gravity Barbarella (sexy Jane Fonda) is suddenly interrupted by a call from the President of Earth. A young scientist, Durand Durand, is threatening the ancient universal peace and Barbarella is chosen to find him and save the universe. During her mission, Barbarella never finds herself in a situation where it isn't possible to lose at least part of her already minimal dressing.

Night 3- Head/ Magical Mystery Tour (Mysteriously Weird/ Fun Music Movies)

In the surreal rock movie Head; Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Mike Nesmith - with the aid of writer Jack Nicholson, tackle such topics as film making, the media treatment and madness of the Vietnam War, Davy Jones' "way with the ladies", and, most importantly, commercialization. In Head they finally get to play their own instruments but get a little song writing help from Neil Young, Stephen Stills, and Carole King. It's a really weird...jaw-droppingly weird movie.

Directed by The Beatles themselves (mainly Paul McCartney) Magical Mystery Tour is the slightly incoherent story of a bus load of eccentric characters on a magic journey through the English countryside. Rather than a unified narrative, it becomes a series of psychedelic clips promoting various songs including "The Fool on the Hill," "Blue Jay Way," "Your Mother Should Know," (the highlight of the film watch for John's phony smile) "I Am the Walrus" and "Magical Mystery Tour." The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band are seen in a strip club playing "Death Cab for Cutie" while a super cute go-go dancer does her thing.

Night 4- The Killer/ Peace Hotel (Chow Yun Fat Double Feature)

The Killer is a bloody tale of loyalty and friendship, Jeffrey (Chow Yun Fat)is an assassin who wishes to leave the business so he can take care of Jennie, a beautiful lounge singer who he inadvertently blinded during a previous assignment. Danny Lee plays the determined cop who will stop at nothing to bring him in. To top it all off Jeffrey's employers refuse to pay him for his last job, money which is needed to restore Jennie's eyesight. Brilliant John Woo flick that's been ripped off in countless American movies.

Set circa 1930, "The King of Killers" (Chow Yun Fat), a one-man killing machine who, after his wife's murder, has decided to set up the Peace Hotel, a sanctuary where anyone can stay and be protected from those who want to harm them. Although he has pledged never to kick anyone out of the Peace Hotel, he is put to the test when a penniless female swindler, who is wanted by a vicious gang for murdering their boss, shows up. Now he has to decide whether to risk an all-out war with the gang, or whether to ask her to leave the hotel.

Night 5- Vixen!/ Female Trouble (Unbridled Females Double Feature)

Vixen Palmer (Erica Gavin) lives in a Canadian mountain resort with her naive pilot husband. While he's away flying in tourists, she gets it on with practically everybody including a husband and his wife, and even her biker brother. This is one of the first films to receive an X rating.

Female Trouble is the story of Dawn Davenport (Divine), showing her progress from loving schoolgirl to crazed mass murderer - all of which stems from her parents' refusal to buy her cha-cha heels for Christmas (see parents...SEE!). She runs away from home, is raped, becomes a single mother, criminal and glamorous model before her inevitable rendezvous with the electric chair...

Night 6- Valmont/ Dangerous Liasons 1960 (Les liaisons dangereuses Double Feature)

Tonights fest features two film versions of Choderlos de Laclos french novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

Merteuil (Annette Benning) is a scheming widow and her lover Valmont (Colin Firth) make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman. Valmont a famous cad bets that he can seduce her, even though she is an honorable woman. If he wins, he can have his lover to do as he will. However, in the process of seducing the married woman, Valmont falls in love. This film is much supperior to the Pfeiffer, Malkovich Dangerous Liasons made at the same time.

Dangerous Liasons 1960 is a modern french retelling of the tale staring Jeanne Moreau (Juliette Merteuil) and Gérard Philipe (Valmont) as a sophisticated couple, always looking for fun and excitement. Both have sexual affairs with others and share their experiences with one another. But there is one rule: never fall in love. But this time Valmont falls madly in love with a girl he meets at a ski resort, Marianne (and who could blame him as Marianne is played by the beautiful Annette Vadim).

Night 7- All the Colors of the Dark/ Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (The two sides of Edwidge Fenech)

Edwidge Fenech is possibly the most beautiful actress to ever grace the silver...er...technicolor screen and here are two films that feature her range as an actress...and her...um...range as an actress...

In All the Colors of the Dark Fenech plays Jane who lives in London with Richard, her boyfriend. Jane has suffered much tragedy in her life first when she was five, her mother was murdered, and more recently she lost a baby in a car crash. To top it all off she's plagued by nightmares of a knife-wielding, blue-eyed man. Richard, thinks the cure is vitamins; Jane's sister Barbara, who works for a psychiatrist, recommends analysis; a neighbor Jane's just met promises that if Jane participates in a Black Mass, all her fears will disappear. Jane tries the Mass, but it seems to bring her nightmares to life. Is there any way out for her short of death or a living Hell?

Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (great title) is the story of a burned-out writer Oliverio, living at his estate near Venice, his dead mother dominating his imagination. He is also a degenerate: sleeps with his maid, his ex-student and his neice, it's not uncommon for him to host Bacchanalias for local hippies, and loves to humiliate his wife Irina in front of strangers. When a young woman is murdered, police suspect Oliviero. Things get complicated when his young, beautiful, and self-confident niece, Floriana (Fenech), pays an unexpected visit. Watching all is a black cat named Satan.

Night 8- Faster Pusycat Kill! Kill! / Deathproof (uncut)(Hot Girls in Fast Cars Night)

Russ Meyer's genius film Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! is the story of three wild women in three fast cars take time off from stripping in clubs to go on a murder rampage. They kidnap and drug the girlfriend of one of their victims and hole up at a secluded ranch owned by a wheelchair-bound man and his two sons. IF you haven't seen this movie you must. In fact stop reading this blog turn off the computer and find it...now...seriously.

Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) is a former Hollywood stunt race car driver who targets and kills women with his "Death Proof" stunt car. What more do you need to know? Except there are 3 pretty foxy ladies and one super sweet car featured in the climax. Super sweet! The film fest would feature the uncut version of this film that was released on DVD only. It's a bit longer but it really fleshes things out just the right amount.

Night 9- In Bruges/ The Long Good Friday (Brit Crime Double Feature)

Harry Waters, a London thug, sends Irish hitmen Ken (Brendan Gleeson) and Ray (Colin Farrell) to Bruges to lie low after a job goes awry in a London church. Ken's the old hand, fascinated by Medieval Bruges, with a fatherly attitude toward Ray, who's young and bored but chastised after the London job. Ray's disposition changes when he meets Chloë, a hip young woman who sells drugs on the local set of a movie featuring Jimmy, an American dwarf. Harry calls with irrevocable instructions involving Ray. Ken balks, setting up a showdown in the town square. A pregnant innkeeper, dumdum bullets, and a code of conduct play into the resolution In Bruges (See I knew I could work the title into this entry).

Harold (Bob Hoskins), a prosperous English gangster, is about to close a lucrative new deal when bombs start showing up in very inconvenient places. A mysterious syndicate is trying to muscle in on his action, and Harold wants to know who they are. He finds out soon enough, and bloody mayhem ensues on The Long Good Friday! (see I did it again).

Night 10- Blood and Roses/ Girl on a Motorcycle (Motorcycles and Roses Night)

In Blood and Roses we meet young Carmilla (Anette Vadim) who is jealous of her close friend's recent engagement. Growing obsessed she somehow finds herself at the tomb of a ancestor and rumored female vampire. The vampire possesses her and leads her to kill and terrorize the inhabitants of the estate. But is it all in her mind, or is she really under the control of an ancient vampire ancestor? Wonderfully sophisticated horror from the mind of Roger Vadim.

Girl on a Motorcycle is the wonderfully psychedelic tale of newly-married Rebecca (Marianne Faithful) who leaves her husband each day on her prized motorbike to visit her lover in Heidelberg. En route she indulges in psychedelic reveries and relives her changing relationship with the two men on the screen. Beautiful and weird film from Jack Cardiff.

Night 11- Die! Die! My Darling/ Straw Dogs (2 Good Reasons Not to Live in the Countryside)

In Die! Die! My Darling, while on holiday in the English countryside Pat (Stefanie Powers) decides to pay a courtesy call on the mother of her dead fiance Stephen, who was killed in an auto accident several years earlier. The overbearing/ creepy mother, Mrs. Trefoile (Tallulah Bankhead) is very controlling/ creepy and presses Pat to stay overnight and go to church with her in the morning. In short order, we discover Mrs. Trefoile is a religious fanatic who uses her servants to enforce her creepy will and keep Pat as her prisoner. Creepy. Great flick though.

Straw Dogs is the story of married couple David (Dustin Hoffman) and Amy (Susan George) who decide to move into a country house where Amy grew up. Astrophysicist David seems like an easy mark and before you know it he is being bullied and taken advantage of by the locals. When David finally takes a stand it escalates quickly into a bloody battle as the locals assault his house. Peckinpah at his best!

Night 12- F is For Fake/ Chopper (Reality Cinema night)

Reality TV is a hit right so why not reality cinema? Well not really I guess F is For Fake is a fantastic sort of free-form documentary made by Orsen Welles that focuses on various fakeries including notorious art forger Elmyr de Hory and Elmyr's biographer, Clifford Irving, who wrote the famously fraudulent Howard Hughes autobiography and even mentions a few tricks a certain director...and radio star used to convince the world Martians had landed in Grovers Mill.

Chopper tells the story of the charismatic criminal Mark "Chopper" Read, a legendary criminal who wrote a best-selling autobiography while serving a murder sentence in prison. The movie was based on this book (obviously I suppose) and has one hell of an amazing performance from Eric Bana as Mark Read.

Now I get to tag 5 people! Please remember that I was tagged twice aso I did 12 days instead of the 6 that the rules called for. I'm looking forward to see what people pick...but if this isn't your kind of thing please don't feel obligated to do this meme :)

1. Ben
2. Bill
3. Gilligan
4. PJ
5. Lee (I know you don't usually like memes but it sounded like something you might have fun with!)


Swinebread said...

Head! Alright! I knew you were cool!

Anonymous said...

Meme accepted!

I'll do this over the weekend.

Great list by the way, if copyright laws were more flexible how cool would it be to put on these nights :)

Anonymous said...

I forgot to tell you too that I've met Chopper.

Video Zeta One said...

Meme accepted! I absolutely loved your choices - if only I could really attend an actual Skull Cave Film Festival!

I'll put this meme together this weekend. Always a joy to loiter at the Skull Cave.

Ben Varkentine said...

It's did.

Dean Wormer said...

That is one killer list.

Becca said...

Head is unbelievably weird and wonderful! Had to include it!

I like the way your doing the meme night by night. Cool graphics too!

What was he like?

If only I had my own theater...sigh...

great picks on your site too!

Thank you it was awesome! Great rule changing on your part!

Awww thanks!

PJ said...

Hi B, thanks for the tag. You've made some wonderful selections here. I remember watching Vixen late one Saturday night during my early teens, and feeling appalled but fascinated.

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