CONTEST: Win tickets to Xavier Dolan’s new film – HEARTBEATS

Xavier Dolan’s wonderful new film, Heartbeats, chronicles a French Canadian hipster love triangle and FREEwilliamsburg has a pair of opening week tickets to give away. To enter, submit your most bizarre love triangle stories by email (rfinger@freewilliamsburg.com), or in super-condensed twitter form (@freedubya) by midnight this Friday. The winner (loser?) will receive two tickets in addition to having their story published at the top of Friday’s Heartbeats review.

Check out the trailer after the break.

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FILM REVIEW: The Housemaid

The screenplay for The Housemaid, a new thriller from South Korea, must have had audience reactions written in the margins. Because the narrative should be familiar to all of us, we react not because we don’t expect the film’s more violent and erotic moments, but because cues are being given to us. While watching the shirtless and well-toned husband leave his pregnant wife in their bed and creep downstairs to find his young new housemaid reading topless, our eyes don’t widen out of free will – we’re simply doing what we’re told.

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FILM REVIEW: Tiny Furniture

To put it simply, Tiny Furniture is a film about post-college malaise. After graduation and a break-up, 22-year-old Aura (writer/director Lena Dunham) comes home to New York intending to move in with her best friend who has yet to arrive from their Ohio college. In the meantime, she returns to her mother’s apartment/art studio in Tribeca with an irritatingly successful 17-year-old sister (who has re-purposed Aura’s old bedroom into a “special space”), her quietly loving artist-mom, a few old friends, and two guys who may or may not be boyfriend material. We’ve seen this story countless times, but rarely has it been this stark and honest.

Using a stationary camera, Dunham captures snapshots of of these situations and characters with a confident eye and dry sense of humor. We see her fight with her sister, sulk with her mother, barely stay conscious at a new day-hostess job, and awkwardly attempt to woo a couple of guys. Desperate for anything, she lays everything out on the table. Though it lacks any memorable narrative hook and is populated with characters whom we can relate to more in theory than in reality, it’s that emotional frankness that makes Aura’s story one worth watching. Though not much changes for Aura during the film, Tiny Furniture grabs you strongly enough that after it ends, you hope something will.

Dunham has made a quiet, honest film that understands well the desperation, loneliness, and uncertainty of that time before total independence and after your old bedroom has been re-purposed, so simply calling it a film about post-college malaise may seem reductive. But what Dunham also understands is that sometimes, perhaps most of the time, you just want to call it “post-college malaise,” tell everyone to shut up, and figure out how the hell you’re going to move on.

3/5

FILM REVIEW: Morning Glory

In the frustrating yet delightful new comedy, Morning Glory, the most important relationships are underdeveloped, romantic relationships aren’t developed at all, intelligence is treated as an irritating quirk, every storyline is wrapped up in a dialogue-free montage during the movie’s final moments, and Rachel McAdams is absolutely charming. She’s Becky Fuller, a clumsy, perky go-getter who’s just landed a job as Executive Producer for the lowest-rated and most ridiculed morning show on national television, “Daybreak.” The show can’t even manage the fluff, let alone any significant news, and has just hired a new co-anchor (Harrison Ford) for the perpetually unsatisfied and cynical Colleen (Diane Keaton). Rachel McAdams has 102 minutes to improve the show’s reputation, her own love life, and the attitude of her idol, Mike Pomeroy, Harrison Ford’s attempt at an alcoholic, loathsome Dan Rather. Don’t worry, I won’t let you know whether or not she succeeds. [Read more…]

FILM REVIEW, For Colored Girls

LOOK AT THIS CAST. JUST LOOK AT IT.

“We should be immune if we’re still alive. How are we still alive?”

For Colored Girls brings together some of the most talented actresses in Hollywood in an unprecedented ensemble drama about “being alive and being a woman.” To see Loretta Devine, Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, Anika Noni Rose, Kimberly Elise, Kerry Washington, and Phylicia Rashad on screen together is a major event, regardless of the circumstances. It tells the story of a group of women, each struggling with their own personal drama stemming from the psychological and societal effects of being a “colored girl,” who are all living in or connected to a Harlem apartment building. The majority of For Colored Girls is either painfully dull or brutally over-the-top, but just admit it – the presence of these women is the reason you’ll be buying your ticket.

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Ticket Giveaway: MoMA's Annual Film Benefit Afterparty

Kathryn Bigelow on set. Photo by Jonathan Olley

On Wednesday, November 10th, the Annual Film Benefit at the MoMA will be honoring Kathryn Bigelow– best known for making history as the first woman to win an Oscar in the Best Director category for her film, The Hurt Locker. Or some of you may know her from a little number called Point Break. Either way the lady deserves a party or two.

That said, the MoMA will be hosting an afterparty immediately following the benefit gala with a special acoustic performance by Metric as well as a DJ set by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. At $100 a pop, and the promise of an open bar (man, museums really do throw the best shindigs), these are the hottest tickets in town… and we’ve got a pair to give to one lucky reader. It’s as simple commenting below!

Vaya Con Dios! <— I just couldn’t resist.

Happy Hausuween

It’s been selling out midnight screenings for a few years now, but Criterion has finally released the previously hard-to-find-but-beyond-worth-it-once-you-finally-find-it Japanese horror classic, Hausu (House), on DVD and Blu-ray just in time for a nice Halloween cash-in. There’s really no better experimental horror-comedy (with cats) out there, so it’s definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it. And even if you’ve seen it, cherish the opportunity to watch this again:

Finally! The sequel to Birdemic is cast!

There are a few things we can be certain of about Birdemic II: The Resurrection (in 3D) : It will break cinematic ground; the Hollywood sign will not be blown up; it will definitely not be in 3D (no matter what type of glasses you are given at the door); I will be going to see it opening night. Those things are all for sure.

If you didn’t get a chance to see Birdemic: shock and Terror yet, you are seriously missing out. The movie made its way across the country and internationally appearing at independent theaters, mostly at midnight screenings. And during that time it gained cult status and was basically the coolest thing in any movie theater this year. Now: A SEQUEL!

Synopsis:   A platoon of eagles and vultures attack Hollywood, California.
Why did the eagles and vultures attack?  Who will survive?

The cast has been announced, and you will be pleased to see some familiar faces! No release date yet, but keep your eyes open and get ready!