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Mary Hanlon

CRITICISM
Dyer About Tarkovsky About Desire

Imagine a domain absent of cliché, gratuitous explosions, and Russell Brand, and enter Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room. Zona is a meditation on Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 film Stalker, and similar to the Zone in Stalker, is a sanctuary untouched by genre and traditional narrative.

Celebrating the Earth: The Films of Franco Piavoli

Franco Piavoli’s films, praised by greats such as Bertolucci, Brakage and Tarkovsky are unique, falling somewhere between Italian Neo-Realism and extreme formalism. Virtually free of dialogue, and sans subtitles, Piavoli draws the viewer into his world with images of nature-turned-abstract through his experimental editing techniques and eye for the fantastic. Humans are merely a cameo in Piavoli’s universe, and his perception of the earth is bountiful with details most never see, magnifying them and taking them to another realm. Though all very different, Blue Planet, Nostos: The Return, Voices Through Time and At The First Breath of Wind are all unmistakably marked with Piavoli’s triumphant style.

Sci-fi thriller? Slasher movie? Comedy? No, its M. Night Shyamalan’s latest flop…

I’ve never been too keen on M. Night Shyamalan’s work but next to The Happening, Signs seems Oscar worthy. Signs was (if you hadn’t heard) very bad, and in a nutshell The Happening is God-awful.

Filthy Lucre

Just when VH1 couldn’t go any lower, more humiliating or shameless, behold the latest and hottest reality show I Love Money. Chock full of familiar faces from reality shows past, Money skips all that “getting to know you” nonsense and gets straight to the disease swapping, endless drinking, and blatantly obvious prescription drug abuse.

Shine a Light

When I got wind that the scarcely seen Rolling Stones documentary Cocksucker Blues was screening at The Anthology Film Archives, I made sure to get a seat. Cocksucker Blues is the single Mick Jagger wrote to fulfill the band’s contractual obligations to Decca Records.

On Golden Pond, With a Psycho

John Stahl’s 1945 film Leave Her To Heaven is said to be nearly unclassifiable. Branded a “Technicolor Film Noir”, Heaven is dark, twisted, and the dark and light coexist quite well in this refreshing, disturbing, slightly misogynistic tale of love gone horribly wrong.

The Blonde

Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie was a commercial failure, and ill-received by critics at the time of its 1964 release. Despite its lack of success, Marnie is a visual masterpiece and a complex, unsettling, psychological drama.

Ground Control to Major Sam

Moon, Duncan Jones’s aka “Zowie Bowie’s” (David Bowie’s firstborn) directorial debut is an impressive one. Impressive in talent, style, and plot, Moon proves perfectly minimalist, a compelling sci-fi story touching on not only the future of the earth’s energy supply, but also the moral issues concerning artificial intelligence.

Charm School? Hardly

Charm School is VH1's new shameful display and exploitation of a posse of skanky cougar-strippers with pink streaks in their hair scratching each other's eyes out while wearing next to nothing, or, if its elimination night, sexy schoolgirl uniforms with white thigh-highs.

New Films from Kenneth Anger

American avant-garde underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger has been at it for 60 years, and though his new films may be lacking somewhat in iconic, jaw-dropping imagery, and the dark, aesthetic superiority his earlier works possess, they are unmistakably his.

BEYOND THE ABSURD: Roland Tavel and Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol’s 1965 film Vinyl is the lesser-known adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange. It lacks the aggression of Kubrick’s interpretation, which came out in 1971. Rather, it is a meditation on pure sensation, infused with raw, homoerotic, borderline pornographic images.

Go See Neil Patrick Harris Ride a Unicorn on Mushrooms

John Hurwitz’s and Hayden Scholssberg’s Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay is possibly the most anticipated sequel in years—at least for those who love that sweet, sweet cheebah.

Rock of Love Bus

What do you get when you mix tequila, Xanax, silicone, and plastic underwear? A miraculous fourth season of Rock of Love: Rock of Love Bus.

The Chelsea Hotel on Film

Alex Cox’s 1986 cult classic Sid and Nancy recounts the whirlwind relationship and tragic end of punk rock’s Romeo & Juliet, Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Gary Oldman is amazing, and portrays the Sex Pistols bassist hauntingly well. Chloe Webb is as terrific as she is irritating, and Nancy was most definitely the latter.

Ladies & Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (1981)

Director Lou Adler’s long lost cult classic, nearly thirty years old, provides the missing link in Rock 'N' Roll films. With a limited festival screenings late night TV spots, and this criminally delayed DVD, few have had the opportunity to experience this treasure.

Grasping at the C-list

I am not a big fan of reality TV, but VH1’s Rock of Love resonated with me from the beginning. Now in its second season, Rock of Love continues to be a looking glass into the world of those desperate to join the C-List.

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The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 19-JAN 20

All Issues