Six Men Getting Sick


Dog Day Afternoon
September 26, 2008, 01:15
Filed under: 1970`s

Info: Based on a true 1972 story, Sidney Lumet’s 1975 drama chronicles a unique bank robbery on a hot summer afternoon in New York City. Shortly before closing time, scheming loser Sonny (Al Pacino) and his slow-witted buddy, Sal (John Cazale), burst into a Brooklyn bank for what should be a run-of-the-mill robbery, but everything goes wrong, beginning with the fact that there is almost no money in the bank. The situation swiftly escalates, as Sonny and Sal take hostages; enough cops to police the tristate area surround the bank; a large Sonny-sympathetic crowd gathers to watch; the media arrive to complete the circus; and police captain Moretti (Charles Durning) tries to negotiate with Sonny while keeping the volatile spectacle under control. When Sonny’s lover, Leon (Chris Sarandon), tries to talk Sonny out of the bank, we learn the robbery’s motive: to finance Leon’s sex-change operation. Sonny demands a plane to escape, but the end is near once menacingly cool FBI agent Sheldon (James Broderick) arrives to take over the negotiations.

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Midnight Cowboy
September 26, 2008, 01:07
Filed under: 1960`s

Info: Based on a James Leo Herlihy novel, British director John Schlesinger’s first American film dramatized the small hopes, dashed dreams, and unlikely friendship of two late ’60s lost souls. Dreaming of an easy life as a fantasy cowboy stud, cheerful Texas rube Joe Buck (Jon Voight) heads to New York City to be a gigolo, but he quickly discovers that hustling isn’t what he thought it would be after he winds up paying his first trick (Sylvia Miles). He gets swindled by gimpy tubercular grifter Rico “Ratso” Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) but, when Joe falls in the direst of straits, Ratso takes Joe into his condemned apartment so that they can help each other survive. Things start to look up when Joe finally lands his first legit female customer (Brenda Vaccaro) at a Warhol-esque party; Ratso’s health, however, fails. Joe turns a final trick to get the money for one selfless goal: taking Ratso out of New York to his dream life in Miami. One of the first major studio films given the newly minted X rating for its then-frank portrayal of New York decadence, Midnight Cowboy was critically praised for Schlesinger’s insight into American lives, with the intercut mosaic of Joe’s memories and Ratso’s dreams lending their characters and actions greater psychological complexity. While they may have been drawn by the seamy content (tame by current standards), the young late ’60s audience responded to Joe’s and Ratso’s confusion amidst turbulent times and to the connection they make with each other despite their alienation from the surrounding culture.

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Being There
September 14, 2008, 23:31
Filed under: 1970`s

Info: Having lived his life as the gardener on a millionaire’s estate, Chance (Peter Sellers) knows of the real world only what he has seen on TV. When his benefactor dies, Chance walks aimlessly into the streets of Washington D.C., where he is struck by a car owned by wealthy Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine). Identifying himself, the confused man mutters “Chance…gardener,” which Eve takes to be “Chauncey Gardiner.” Eve takes him to her home to convalesce, and because Chance is so well-dressed and well-groomed, and because he speaks in such a cultured tone, everyone in her orbit assumes that “Chauncey Gardiner” must be a man of profound intelligence. No matter what he says, it is interpreted as a pearl of wisdom and insight. He rises to the top of Washington society, where his simplistic responses to the most difficult questions (responses usually related to his gardening experience) are highly prized by the town’s movers and shakers. In fact, there is serious consideration given to running Chance as a presidential candidate. Both a modern fable and a political satire, Being There was based on the novel by Jerzy Kosinski and costars Melvyn Douglas, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as Eve’s aging power-broker husband.

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My Neighbor Totoro
August 27, 2008, 00:02
Filed under: 1980`s

Info: In the world of Hayao Miyazaki, the curiosity of two sisters drives the narrative for a story that seems created purely for the sake of whimsical pleasure. There are no villains, and the family actually cares for each other. What’s more, the imagination of little girls in the natural and spiritual world is encouraged and celebrated. While unheard of in an American animated adventure, all these elements create a joyous family film that is lighthearted fun for children, yet full of enough nuance to please an adult audience. With Miyazaki’s hand-drawn style of sweeping backgrounds and fuzzy creatures, the simple exploration of a backyard is transformed into a magical journey. Unlike typical Disney films, the children’s antics never seem contrived or fall into the battle-against-adults story line. My Neighbor Totoro embraces the creativity inherent in a little girl’s play time, while honoring it with the subtle details of a dramatic work. The features of Totoro and the Cat Bus are rendered lovingly, and the family is portrayed as a positive and comforting presence. However, My Neighbor Totoro is not a sugar-coated fantasy; some scenes portray the very real-life fears of being alone at night at a bus stop and being separated from an ill loved one. There are also some humorous bits that reveal a careful observation of children, as well as some genuinely inspiring moments in keeping with the ecological themes Miyazaki frequently returns to. This film does not suffer from a lack of conflict; it succeeds as an adventure fueled by the innocence and wonder of a little girl.

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Delicatessen
August 21, 2008, 15:27
Filed under: 1990`s

Info: A post-apocalyptic future becomes the setting for pitch black humor in this visually intricate French comedy called Delicatessen. The action takes place within a single apartment complex, which is owned by the same man that operates the downstairs butcher shop. It’s a particularly popular place to live, thanks to the butcher’s uncanny ability to find excellent cuts of meat despite the horrible living conditions outside. The newest building superintendent, a former circus clown, thinks he has found an ideal living situation. All that changes, however, when he discovers the true source of the butcher’s meat, and that he may be the next main course. This dark tale is played out in a brilliantly designed, glorious surreal alternate world reminiscent of the works of director Terry Gilliam, who co-presented the film’s American release. Like Gilliam, co-directors Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro hail from an animation background, and have a fondness for extravagant visuals, absurdist plot twists, and a sense of humor that combines sharp satire with broad slapstick and gross-out imagery. This mixture may displease the weak of stomach, but those attuned to the film’s sensibility will be delighted by the obvious technical virtuosity and wicked sense of humor.

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Forbidden Zone
August 17, 2008, 17:07
Filed under: 1980`s

Info: Forbidden Zone is a 1982 musical comedy film based upon the stage performances of the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. The film stars Hervé Villechaize, Susan Tyrrell and members of the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, and features appearances by Warhol Superstar Viva, Joe Spinell and The Kipper Kids. Originally shot on black-and-white film, the story of Forbidden Zone involves an alternate universe accessed through a door in the house of the Hercules family. Directed by Richard Elfman, who cowrote the film with fellow Mystic Knights member Matthew Bright, it was the first film scored by Danny Elfman. The film was completed in twenty one days over a period of ten months with minimum production costs and Villechaize being the only actor paid for the film.

Forbidden Zone was made as an attempt to capture the essence of The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo’s live performances on film, and also as a means for both Richard Elfman to retire from music to work on film projects, and to serve as a transition between Oingo Boingo’s former cabaret style and a New Wave-based style. Amidst negative reactions to content in the film that had been perceived as being offensive, the film was screened as a midnight movie, received positive notice, and developed a cult following. In 2004, the film was digitally restored, and in 2008, the film was colorized.

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Cinema Paradiso
August 15, 2008, 18:05
Filed under: 1980`s

Info: Cinema Paradiso offers a nostalgic look at films and the effect they have on a young boy who grows up in and around the title village movie theater in this Italian comedy drama that is based on the life and times of screenwriter/director Giuseppe Tornatore. The story begins in the present as a Sicilian mother pines for her estranged son, Salvatore, who left many years ago and has since become a prominent Roman film director who has taken the advice of his mentor too literally. He finally returns to his home village to attend the funeral of the town’s former film projectionist, Alfredo, and, in so doing, embarks upon a journey into his boyhood just after WWII when he became the man’s official son. In the dark confines of the Cinema Paradiso, the boy and the other townsfolk try to escape from the grim realities of post-war Italy. The town censor is also there to insure nothing untoward appears onscreen, invariably demanding that all kissing scenes be edited out. One day, Salvatore saves Alfredo’s life after a fire, and then becomes the new projectionist. A few years later, Salvatore falls in love with a beautiful girl who breaks his heart after he is inducted into the military. Thirty years later, Salvatore has come to say goodbye to his life-long friend, who has left him a little gift in a film can. In 2002, over a decade after the film’s original release, Tornatore brought the original 170-minute director’s cut to American screens for the first time.

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