as it turns out, this week may very well be the non-festival cinema high point of my year. if nothing else, i have quantity, but i am feeling pretty good about the quality as well. here's the rundown.
sunday, 6.20.10: sara and i went to see banksy's exit through the gift shop (2010).
it plays like a junior varsity, street art version of f for fake (1975). i hope in my heart that it's an even more elaborate con than i imagine, and i imagine a lot. it follows the story of thierry guetta, whose habit of obsessively turning a video camera upon anything that moves eventually gains him access to the world of street artists like space invader and shepard fairey. he later parlays this into an audience with banksy who quickly brings him into the fold as a documentarian/accomplice. as it turns out, he is not much of a filmmaker so banksy dispatches him with the instruction to make some art of his own. this final act surrounding guetta, his art show and ballooning ego are where the hoax becomes disappointingly transparent. if i had been in los angeles at the time to see the reaction of everyone around it in real time it might have been a different story but watching it unfold onscreen it rings a little hollow. the joke starts to play so thin it threatens to derail the film, which is a shame because the first half is great, if only to see this handful of guerilla artists do their thing in their natural habitat. i believe the payoff is engineered to take place offscreen, though. that's where the true genius of this film potentially lies. i hope banksy has conned everyone, myself included. i hope he has duped the art world, his compatriots, the moviegoing public, everyone. and i hope it takes years for us to find out.
monday, 6.21.10: i begin a weeklong invasion of the paramount theater for the summer classics series. tonight's program - peter bogdanovich's the last picture show (1971).
if you graduate from high school in texas instead of a diploma they should give you a copy of this movie. a lot of breakout performances here including cybill shepherd's debut but the one that is the most pitch perfect, the one that always breaks my heart is cloris leachman. she has never been better.
tuesday, 6.22.10: texas goes from small and bittersweet to sweeping and epic with giant (1956).
can't wait to see this on the big screen. doesn't seem like any other kind of screen could hold it.
wednesday, 6.23.10: what could be the highlight of my summer. the paramount is screening wings (1927) with an original score from graham reynolds of the golden arm trio (among other things) to be performed live in the theater.
this was the first film ever to win best picture, a true milestone film. i've never seen this before and i cannot think of a better way to experience it for this first time. that clara bow is a pip!
thursday, 6.24.10: a night off. maybe.
friday, 6.25.10: back downtown for baby the rain must fall (1965).
never seen this one before either. mixed reviews abound. crossing my fingers that the presence of steve mcqueen and lee remick will raise it above average.
saturday, 6.26.10: the saturday matinee to end all saturday matinees - the adventures of robin hood (1938)!
those of you that are familiar with vitagraph know of my abiding affection for this one. a great film. saturday afternoon, technicolor splendor, swashbuckling adventure - how do you make that better? by having indoor archery contests prior to the screening, that's how! this is going to be a blast. austin folks, you should really come with me for this one.
and, as if that's not enough, i am hosting the second entry in our starlite cinema series at 9 p.m. that evening.
i will be showing a documentary double feature of off the charts: the song-poem story (2003) and monster road (2004). here are the details. please join us if you can.
all in all, a damn fine week, i think. see you in row q or at annie street.