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2 items from 2017

Film / Notfilm

18 March 2017 11:52 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

An experimental film by an Irish playwright, shot in New York with a silent comedian at the twilight of his career? Samuel Beckett’s inquiry into the nature of movies (and existence?) befuddled viewers not versed in film theory; Ross Lipman’s retrospective documentary about its making asks all the questions and gets some good answers.

First there’s the film itself, called just Film from 1965. By that year our high school textbooks had already enshrined Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot as a key item for introducing kids to modern theater, existentialism, etc. … the California school system was pretty progressive in those days. But Beckett had a yen to say something in the film medium, and his publisher Barney Rosset helped him put a movie together. The Milestone Cinematheque presents the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s restoration of Film on its own disc, accompanied by a videotaped TV production »

- Glenn Erickson

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SXSW Film Review: ‘Madre’

13 March 2017 11:37 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The age-old complaint that “you just can’t get good servants these days” is raised to a hysterical pitch in “Madre,” in which a bourgeoise Santiago housewife fears her Filipina nanny-cum-housekeeper is some kind of voodoo usurper. Flat and sometimes downright laughable as a thriller, and oddly skittish about embracing its horror aspects, this is a disappointing second feature for actor and VFX supervisor-turned-writer-director Aaron Burns, whose prior U.S. indie seriocomedy “Blatino” was well-received on the festival circuit. The marketable genre aspects of the Chilean-produced, Spanish-language film have nonetheless attracted Netflix, which picked up global streaming rights for this disposable home-viewing item.

Diana Prieto (Daniela Ramirez) is pregnant with a second child while stressfully coping with her first born. Diagnosed with severe autism, approximately 10-year-old Martin (Matias Bassi) can be unpredictably violent. He still wears diapers, must be spoon-fed in a high chair, and gets strapped down in bed »

- Dennis Harvey

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2 items from 2017

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