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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Friday Movies: ONCE UPON A TIME …, Fassbinder Trilogy on Blu; Why FLORIDA PROJECT on 35mm?

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio star in ONCE UPON TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio star in ONCE UPON TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD.  Quentin Tarantino’s melancholy pop-rocket picaresque Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is the truest of true “hang-out” movies: key characters spend the greater part of their screen time getting from one place to another, wandering blissfully, even wantonly to an incessant song score, across a delirious period landscape, a wholly realized world. It’s also a Western, a war movie, and a snow globe, shaken now and again, of Tarantino’s fascination with the filmmaking process.

A swarming cast crosses the fates of three characters over three days in another time: Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio, hilarious and tragic, too), a stammering falling star with a drinking problem; his stunt double-turned-body man/dogsbody, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt embodying epic sangfroid), who has a knack for abrupt violence—“More than a brother but less than a wife” and Rick’s neighbor, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie, archetypal yet human, so human), a young actress who competes with the inexorable Southern California sunshine [Read More.]

THE BRD TRILOGY on Blu. A single, singular, boldly prolific filmmaker was an unstoppable force at the turn of the eighties, much as Godard had been in the early sixties when he turned out tasty, provocative film essays a couple times per annum. But Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the most prolific of the 1970s German New Wave directors, went out with his bad-boy image intact when he died thirty-seven years ago (at the age of thirty-seven), slumped over a flatbed editing machine after yet another long day of dogged work, plentiful cigarettes, bountiful beer, intermittent barbiturates, a taste of Jack Daniel’s and more than a tincture of cocaine. At the center of Fassbinder’s output were twenty-eight stage plays and forty-three or so films, including the magnificent parable of postwar German life, The Marriage of Maria Braun, and the epic fifteen-and-a-half-hour Berlin Alexanderplatz. [Read More.]

THE FLORIDA PROJECT. Sean Baker’s effortlessly headlong dive into a child’s imagination is a tender thunderclap, brisk, observant, funny, and built upon the writer-director’s customary attention to issues of class, and more specifically, the underclass. (It remains my choice for the best American feature film of 2017.) The Chicago Film Society hosts a premiere of a 35mm print of the movie, with Baker on hand. “Florida Project” was shot on film, but distributed in the standard DCP format. [Read More.]

2 Responses to “Friday Movies: ONCE UPON A TIME …, Fassbinder Trilogy on Blu; Why FLORIDA PROJECT on 35mm?”

  1. YancySkancy says:

    Great review of OUATIH. Correction though: Damian Lewis.

  2. Ray Pride says:

    Thanks! The fact-checker had not gotten to that review.

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“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima