WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 2/11/11

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):

The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2011:  The title is self-explanatory.  Very few of the short films nominated this year hold any weird appeal; two titles caught our interest, though, both in the animation category.  One is “The Lost Thing,” an Australian fantasy about a boy who discovers a strange contraption on the beach, but finds that no one cares about it but him.  The second film was not actually nominated for an Oscar but was included as a “highly commended” short in order to pad out the running time: it’s sometime-weird animator Bill Plympton’s “The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger,” described as “a children’s fable about the power of advertising.”  Playing in scattered cities across the US and Canada and also in London; check the official website for a location near you.   The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2011 official website.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

Amarcord (1973): The Criterion Collection upgrades its edition of the Fellini classic (in which the director recalls a highly fictionalized and, well, Felliniesque childhood) to Blu-ray.  We believe all the same special features were available on the previous DVD version. Buy Amarcord (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray].

Barb Wire (1996):  How can you ensure your sci-fi remake of Casablanca will be a flop?  Cast bodacious but scarcely talented Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson as the titular (1000 pardons, gentle reader) character.  Some contend this disaster has camp value. If you’ve always wanted to see them in hi-def, here’s your chance. Buy Barb Wire [Blu-ray].

FREE MOVIES ON THE WEB:

“The Marvellous World of the Cucu Bird” (1991): Made in the early nineties and only shown at two or three film festivals, director Carlos Atanes has resurrected this 18 minute short made when he was 19 years old, and considers this Internet premier to be the film’s real debut. Shot in Barcelona, the grainy black and white film has Italian neorealist visuals, but the story is anything but realistic. It concerns a love affair—perhaps—between a prostitute and a butcher’s assistant, and a talking bird trapped under a sewer grate, a mysterious man on crutches dragging a useless leg behind him, and symbolist poetry all feature heavily. There’s also a good dose of tasteful eroticism and violence, and the film has a very disorienting/impossible timeline. Worth seeing. Watch “The Marvellous World of the Cucu Bird.”

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.

2 thoughts on “WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 2/11/11”

  1. 1) Love premiered February 2, 2011, which seems to deal with a solitary astronaut having some kind of mental breakdown due to isolation (…or is he? DUN dun dunnn!). There’s also a secondary plot about a soldier in the Civil War. I think both plots eventually connect via a time distortion of sorts. I dunno; I can’t tell what’s happening from the trailer, although it seems that humanity finally annihilates itself through war, abandoning the astronaut in orbit … and then odd visuals ensue.

    2) Sucker Punch, which premieres March 25, 2011. So … some girl wants to escape an asylum, and her attempt to do so is visualized as a hallucinatory journey through various genres (steampunk, fantasy, scifi, kungfu, period pieces, etc). If Zack Snyder stays consistent with his filmography, this will be a visually fantastic spectacle (as per the trailer) with hollow storytelling. However, this may not fall under this site’s definition of “weird” (I think that, despite the visuals, the narrative seems pretty straightforward and as linear as they come; The Matrix trilogy probably disturbs your sense of causality and logic far more than Sucker Punch will).

    1. Good catch with Love; that one eluded us. We’ll keep an eye out for a DVD as its one of those things I suspect is not coming to a theater near us anytime soon. Sucker Punch probably will come to a theater near us, but like you, I’m skeptical about it’s potential weirdness. I think Zack Snyder is a good director (I liked Watchmen), but he’s pretty conventional in his approach.

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