Category Archives: Miscellanea

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 5/1/09

A look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available on the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Eldorado (2008): Belgian comedy about an antique car dealer and a burglar/ex-junkie who hit the road together.  Road movies are traditionally quirky; it remains to be seen whether this will cross the line into the genuinely weird.  Features the music of freak-folk icon Devandra Banhat.  Eldorado official site (in French).

I Can See You (2008):  From the New York Times:  “[Director Graham Resnick has] one eye on genre mechanics, one eye on avant-garde conceits and a third eye for transcendental weirdness.”  Sounds like a must-see to me; hope it makes it to your (and my) neck of the woods before it shuffles off to video.  I Can See You official site.

The Limits of Control (2009):  The latest from Jim (Dead Man) Jamursch about a mysterious criminal working on an unspecified job in Spain has been described as “dreamlike” and “hypnotic”.  Heavyweight thespians John Hurt and Bill Murray appear in small roles.  Definitely promising.  The Limits of Control official site.   

NEW ON DVD:

Johnny Got His Gun (1971): It’s about time this anti-war classic about a quadruple-amputee–told in hallucinations, flashbacks, and conversations with Jesus Christ (played by Donald Sutherland)–got DVD release. Buy from Amazon.

Martyrs (2008):  It sounds like an art-house version of The Last House on the Left (wait, wasn’t that The Virgin Spring)?  Whatever it is, it’s clear that the violence and cruelty is extreme, and it’s been gathering powerful negative/positive reactions from viewers, and looks like it may be on it’s way to becoming a modern cult film.  Buy from Amazon.

SCREENINGS (INDIANAPOLIS, IN):

Thomas Pynchon: A Journey into the Mind of P. (2001):  A conspiracy-minded documentary about reclusive, postmodern (and quite weird) author Thomas Pynchon.  Showing at the Earth House Collective in Indianapolis on Thursday, May 7th at 7:00 pm.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 4/24/09

Every Friday, we take a look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available on the official site links.

NEW ON DVD:

Dante 01 (2008):  This sci-fi penal colony film with messianic overtones slipped well under the radar, which is somewhat surprising since it’s directed by Marc Caro, who together with Jean-Pierre Jeunet was one half of the directing team behind the classic weirdfilms Delicatessen (1991) and City of Lost Children (1995). Poorly reviewed. Buy from Amazon.   

The House of the Sleeping Beauties (2006): Allegorical German adult fairy tale about a brothel where men pay to spend the night with beautiful women who are trapped in a permanent slumber.  From the Japanese story “Nemureru bijo” by novelist Yasunari Kawabata, which has been adapted on film three times in Japan (1968, 1995, 2007).  Buy from Amazon.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Sin City (2005):  The Robert Rodriguez-directed, Frank Miller-penned, noirish comic-book-come-to-life receives a 2-disc Blu-ray special edition, with the original theatrical release on disc 1 and a “recut” version (actually, it sounds like it’s four new versions, since each of four separate storylines is edited into it’s own mini-movies).  Contains 20 minutes of extra footage and abundant extras.  Buy from Amazon.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 4/16/09

Every Friday, we take a look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available on the official site links.

FILM FESTIVALS:

The San Francisco International Film Festival opens April 23 and runs through May 7.  Francis Ford Coppola (Apocalypse Now) will be honored and do an in-person Q&A session on May 1.  Intriguing revivals include Fellini’s (non-weird) Nights of Cabiria (1957) on May 3rd, Sergio Leone’s (non-weird) Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) on May 3rd, and the silent stop motion dinosaur adventure film The Lost World (1925), with a new score composed and performed by Dengue Fever on May 5th.  New films of potential weird appeal include:

  • Everything Strange and New, a minimalist story of suburban angst with a twist (Apr. 26, 28 & May 2)
  • Grace, the tale of a baby who is born undead (May 1 &4)
  • Handle with Care, a compilation of seven short visually experimental pieces (Apr. 26, May 1)
  • Korean director Pil-sung Yim’s dark take on the Hansel & Gretel fairy tale (Apr,. 24, 27 & 30)
  • The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, an absurdist comedy about janitors undergoing male pregnancy (May 2 & 6)
  • Parting Shots, another collection of experimental shorts (Apr. 25 & 28)
  • Rembrandt’s J’accuse, an essay/documentary on the Rembrandt painting by weird director and artist Peter Greenaway (Apr. 26, 27 & 28)
  • The Tiger’s Tail, a doppelgänger fable set in modern Ireland (Apr 24 & 26)
  • Wild Field, a Russian film about a doctor relocated to rural Kazakhstan, described as coming out of the “tradition of dark, existential Russian tragicomedy” (Apr. 25 & 28).

NEW ON DVD:

The Spirit (2008):  Frank Miller’s followup to the cult hit Sin City (2005), with Samuel L. Jackson, is another visually inventive comic book adaptation, but this one was critically panned as incoherent (not necessarily an indictment, if you’re into weird).  Buy from Amazon

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

The Thirteenth Floor (1999):  A scientist must enter a computer-simulation of 1930s Los Angeles to discover the truth about a murder in this recursive virtual reality thriller that was overshadowed by The Matrix on release .  Buy from Amazon

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 4/10/09

A look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available on the official site links.

Slim pickings again this week… it’s feast or famine in the weird world.

NEW ON DVD:

No Country for Old Men (3-Disc Collector’s Edition + Digital Copy) (2007):  This 2007 Academy Award winner for Best Picture doesn’t seem too weird, but the Coen Brothers (Barton Fink) are always of interest.  This Collector’s Edition includes a digital copy for downloading onto your computer’s hard drive or Ipod.  Buy from Amazon

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984):  This sequel to Kubrick’s classically weird 2001: A Space Odyssey is a straightforward sci-fi tale that values over-explanation instead of cosmic mystery, but it has its defenders and it’s something that fans of the original will be interested in checking out. Buy from Amazon.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

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WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 4/2/09

A look at what’s weird in theaters, on hot-off-the-presses DVDs, and on more distant horizons…

Trailers of new release movies are generally available on the official site links.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Alien Trespass:  A stylized spoof of 1950s drive-in sci-fi fare.  Reviewers have been unkind (only 27% positive at Rotten Tomatoes).  Alien Trespass official site.

C Me Dance:  Story of a teenage dancer who develops the ability to convert people to Christianity, which cheeses off the Devil and brings him to suburbia.  It seems sincere, which is the necessary substrate for camp.  It’s highly unlikely anyone will ever release a good movie that contains textspeak within the title.  C Me Dance official site.

Gigantic:  Self-described “funny, surreal love story” about a mattress salesman who dreams of adopting a Chinese baby and finds true love when a customer falls asleep on one of the mattresses.  This indie comedy looks more “quirky” than “weird,” but no one can know for sure without watching it.   With Zooey Deschanel and John Goodman.  Gigantic official site.

NEW ON DVD:

A Cat in the Brain (1990):  Everyday life is causing an Italian grindhouse director (director Lucio Fulci, playing himself) to flashback to scenes of cannibal orgies from his own movies.  He sees a psychiatrist who may be even nuttier and more depraved than the director.  Unapologetically ultraviolent. 

Cthulu (2007):  If you always wondered, “what eons-forgotten actress has the eerie, alien look which best evokes the Old Ones of H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos?” and came up with the answer “Tori Spelling,” then this just might be the movie for you.  Based on the Lovecraft story “The Shadow over Innsmouth.”    

Tehilim (2007):  Allegorical tale told in documentary style about an Israeli family who use various methods of coping when the father inexplicably disappears.  Nominated for the Golden Palm at Cannes in 2007.

Tokyo Zombie (2005):  It’s been called a Japanese Shaun of the Dead, which suggests something gorier and more extreme in the violence department, and wackier and more unhinged in the comedy department.  Directed by Sakicho Sato, who scripted Ichi the Killer, so it has a weird pedigree. 

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Ghosts of Mars (2001):  From borderline weird cult director John Carpenter (Big Trouble in Little China) comes this unofficial remake of his earlier action classic Assault on Precinct 13, this time with the action happening on Mars.  This movie had few defenders even among Carpenter fans, and almost none elsewhere.  With Ice Cube.

What are you looking forward to? If you have any weird movie leads that I have overlooked, feel free to leave them in the COMMENTS section.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINE

A full review of the classic 1962 microbudget horror, Carnival of Souls, should post tomorrow.

Next in the review queue is Terry Gilliam’s 2005 offering, Tideland.

Alfred Eaker has agreed to provide writing for the site on a weekly basis.  We’re looking forward to his critical re-evaluation of Tod Browning’s Dracula on Thursday.

In addition, we are working on moving the entire site to new hosting as soon as possible.  WordPress free hosting has been truly wonderful and we recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone looking to start a free blog.  We can offer more content and hopefully deliver some improvements to the site by moving it to our own domain, however.  This website will remain here indefinitely, but new content will be posted at the new domain once it’s up and running.