Slow Burn

In our first show of the 2012 season, we set off the filmmaking fireworks by finding out why Innkeepers director Ti West doesn’t believe in spooks, and by talking to indie icon Ed Burns about the twitter revolution, his $9,000 budget, and his new must-see movie Newlyweds. Plus, Neil Miller stops by to dangle the hope and potential of 2012’s most anticipated movies over our noses. Will he say the movie you’re thinking of and validate his opinion to you, or will he neglect it, making everything he says in the future suspect? Be prepared to find out a metric ton about movies and their makers, because it’s our third season, and we’re only getting started. Download This Episode

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I may be a tad biased towards films that work equally on celluloid as they would as a stage performance. It could be because I don’t go to the theater often and so I can kill two art birds with one 90 minute-sized stone. I tend to like pictures that take place within a very short time span where the setting is subjected to one or two locales and most character elements are observed and learned either through exposition, or stories being told about character history during the film’s downtime. The pictures are usually very small, but very focused when they’re done well; and The Devil’s Business is one done well. A pair of hitmen have been hired to murder a man in his home late one night upon his return from an opera. The two killers are opposite ends of the paradigm with one being the experienced, cold veteran while the other a talkative, annoyingly inquisitive youngster out on his first hit job. While waiting patiently for their victim to arrive the two men trade stories, though hesitantly from the older gentleman who would much rather remain quiet, professional and enigmatic. While their at the home the two men hear a sound outside in the backyard they initially believe to be their target, only to come to find out after searching the grounds and discovering a dark tool shed that they may be in for something slightly more sinister than they signed up for.

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Culture Warrior

There has been a heated debate happening in the world of art cinema criticism, from the printed words of Sight and Sound to the blogspots of grad students, about the status and function of a continually dominating aesthetic known as slow cinema. The discussion basically goes like this: on one hand, slow cinema is a rare, unique and truly challenging methodological approach to film that exists to push the boundaries and expectations of plot and pacing to an extreme antithetical to expectations conditioned by mainstream filmmaking, disrupting the norm by presenting a cinema that focuses on details and mood – in a way that only cinema can – rather than narrative; on the other hand, slow cinema has become such an established and familiar formal approach witnessed in art houses and (especially) film festivals (like Cannes, where such films are repeatedly lauded and rewarded) that they have devolved into a paint-by-numbers approach to get an “in” into such venues rather than a sincere exploration of the potentialities of cinematic expression, and furthermore the repeated celebration of slow cinema devalues the medium’s equal potential to manipulate time by condensing it or speeding it up (‘fast’ cinema).

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Minnie Driver in Take

Released in NYC today and going wide on July 25th, this stark drama will reward you for seeking it out.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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