Friday, October 16, 2009

End of 2009 To-See List (Fox Searchlight Heavy)

It's no secret that I have always loved movies. I was raised on a wind-battered plain near Lake Michigan, and I spent my winters huddling under blankets in two pairs of socks, renting videos and sipping hot cider. I live in Atlanta now, so I don't have the excuse of long, cold winters anymore, but I remain hopelessly addicted, and I am very excited for a number of movies coming out in the nearish future.

1. Amelia - Mira Nair - 10/23

I am a story person more than a performance person, but despite that I cannot think of better casting for the lead role in this biopic. Hilary Swank has the horsey features and acting chops to play this girlhood hero of mine. On topic-iche, If you haven't read Jane Mendesohn's I Was Amelia Earhart, I highly recommend it.

2. Gentlemen Broncos - Jared Hess - 10/30

Let's just say I am always receptive to a certain brand of goofy humor, and I am quite sure that Gentleman Broncos, a movie about writing bad science fiction, will satisfy. Who doesn't like those yellow-brown Napoleon Dynamite aesthetics? Haters.

3. The Box - Richard Kelly - 11/6

There's room for debate, but Donnie Darko is one of the pivotal films of my generation. As an improvisation on Suburban teen themes, it was brilliant, unexpected, and gratifyingly funny. After that, Richard Kelly made not one but two completely unwatchable shit show films (Domino and Southland Tales). I am giving him this last chance to win me over.

The titular box contains a button- if a person chooses to push it, he or she will receive a million dollars- and effectively take the life of a stranger. Despite Cameron Diaz's starring role, I am intrigued.

4. Fantastic Mr. Fox - Wes Anderson - 11/25

When I first heard that Wes Anderson was doing a stop-motion animated film based on the Roald Dahl classic, I was less than excited. I thought I wanted more of his usual brand of whimsical, melancholic, Salingerian family drama. That was before I felt the vague disappointment of The Darjeeling Limited. With that behind me, I am more than excited for this movie. I'm delighted in advance.

5. The Road - John Hillcoat - 11/25

The Road is my favorite novel set in a post-apocalypse, because instead of expansive views of a demolished world, it takes the impact of a collapsed culture in microcosm. I am excited to see how this film scales the story of a father and son who journey to try to find a new life outside of a freezing husk North American civilization.

6. The Lovely Bones - Peter Jackson - 12/6

After typing the above, it's funny to relate that in this adaptation project I am excited for a grand Jacksonian vision. I think he'll do great with this story of a murdered girl who continues to observe the grief and recovery of her loved ones on Earth years after her death. And I have a fatal weakness for Marky Mark.

It's a great season for movies, I think. I didn't even mention Where the Wild Things Are and The Men Who Stare at Goats. It's definitely a fall to winter line-up I can get behind.

But how about I close this up with a rant on the one movie being being released this season I will definitely not be attending?

Antichrist - Lars von Trier

I hate everything Lars von Trier touches, but I sat through Breaking the Waves, Dogville, and Dancer in the Dark for the sake of cultural literacy. I think he's self-righteous, unfocused and shallow. His films are tantrums that point a vague accusation towards a general injustice by forcing an audience to watch women being tortured. Antichrist would probably provide me even more evidence, but I don't think I could make it through the entire thing, because it sounds like another wretched display of everything I dislike about the way he sees (and judges) the world.

From l'Agence France-Presse, via The Slog - "Cannes entered the final straight on Saturday with more controversy over Anti-Christ...Lars von Trier's film was declared 'the most misogynist movie from the self-proclaimed biggest director in the world' by an Ecumenical Jury, which....was so shocked by Von Trier's film—which closes with a shot of a clitoris being sliced off with rusty scissors—that it felt the need to award a special 'anti-prize.'"

Hey, Lars man, why you even got to do a thing?


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