WEIRD HORIZON FOR THE WEEK OF 7/2/10

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.

Summer is the worst time for weird movies on the big screen, but this week something truly bizarre is occurring.  Rotten Tomatoes reports that only 2 films are opening this week; something about sparkly vampires and a critically shredded kiddie flick based on a Nickelodeon cartoon show directed by the doubtable M. Night Shyamalan.  Since, in a normal week, a dozen or two movies open (including little seen documentaries, token independent releases and screenings by large art theaters), I concluded Rotten Tomatoes must have just recently decided to abandon coverage of any movies predicted to take in less than $1 million in domestic box office receipts in its opening weekend.  So, I headed over to IMDB for the real lowdown on this week’s releases.  My hunch was correct; IMDB found a full 50% more releases this week than Rotten Tomatoes had uncovered.  Of course, that extra 50% only worked out to a single movie, a drama set in a Nevada brothel starring Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci.  It’s playing in seven or eight theaters across the country.

Is this what cinema in the United States is coming to?  An entire country of over 300,000 people gets only 3 choices for new movies to see in a week, with two of them aimed at teenagers and kids, and the one for adults showing on less than ten screens?  Of the hundreds of available independent productions itching for theatrical distribution, only one timid offering is seen fit to provide an alternative to Eclipse?

After I wrote the previous rant about the paltry three movies released in the U.S. this week, Rotten Tomatoes saw fit to provide a late update to its offerings with an additional four documentaries, one of which we’ve included in the listings.  Mea culpa, I apologize to the movie industry cartel for implying it supplies the moviegoing public with nothing but safe, dumbed-down, homogenized fare.  I will never again doubt Hollywood’s artistic integrity, or the taste of the general public.

IN THEATERS (LIMITED RELEASE):

Great Directors (2009): Documentary featuring interviews with nine directors on their styles and influences. Of most interest to our readers are talks with David Lynch and Richard Linklater; Catherine Breillat may also be appealing. The other featured directors are Bernardo Bertolucci, Liliana Cavani, Stephen Frears, Agnes Varda, Ken Loach, Todd Haynes, and John Sayles. Playing in the NYC area only. Great Directors official site.

NEW ON DVD:

When You’re Strange: A Film About the Doors (2009): This Johnny Depp-narrated documentary about the Doors from Tom (Johnny Suede) DiCillo is noteworthy because it incorporates footage from the rare and reputedly weird (and reader-recommended) Jim Morrison project HWY: An American Pastoral,which has never had a legitimate DVD release. Buy When You’re Strange: A Film About The Doors.

The White Ribbon[Das Weisse Band]: Read our capsule review.  Michael Haneke’s Palme D’or winning ambiguous b&w parable about the rise of Nazism in Germany is arguably very slightly weird, but still worth seeing for those with a taste for historical dramas. Buy The White Ribbon.

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

When You’re Strange: A Film About the Doors (2009): See entry in DVD above. Buy When You’re Strange: A Film About The Doors [Blu-ray].

The White Ribbon[Das Weisse Band]: See entry in DVD above. Buy The White Ribbon [Blu-ray].

FREE (LEGITIMATE RELEASE) MOVIES ON YOUTUBE:

In the Land of Milk and Money (2004): Self described “imaginative dark comedy” about genetic experimentation that makes wholesome American moms into homicidal killers after they drink tainted cow’s milk. Warning: the IMDB ratings are not high, and the fact that they misspelled their own title as “In the Land of Milk and Honey” does not inspire confidence (UPDATE: per the comment by the director below, she had nothing to do with the upload or the misspelling).  On the plus side, YouTube commenters seem befuddled by the flick.  Watch In the Land of Milk and Money free on YouTube.

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 7/2/10”

  1. I am glad that you posted about “In the Land of Milk and Money”. I wrote and directed that film and the site on YouTube is not my site. I didn’t misspell my own film title nor self describe the film that way. I don’t know how it got up on that site, but I’ve asked them to at least spell the name correctly.

  2. You’re welcome, Susan; I apologize for implying that any of the mistakes or description were yours. Either your distributor made the mistake or it was a “pirate” upload. If it’s the latter and you’d like to fix it, feel free to contact us for help.

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