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06/17/15 8:08am
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06/17/2015 8:08 AM |

photo courtesy of RLJE Image Entertainment

Burying the Ex
Directed by Joe Dante
Opens June 19

Be it ageism or just one flop too many, it’s been a long time since director Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins) has been allowed to be Joe Dante. If his last studio job, the flop Looney Toons: Back in Action, was any indication, his practical effects-driven fetishism of cartoons and B-movies is no longer tolerated. With Burying the Ex, he’s in a similar position to his salad days under Roger Corman’s watch: got something to prove? Make it fast and cheap. While that should invite a return to form (satirizing and rejuvenating stale genres with a dark sweetness), Dante settles into a laziness his former self would have shunned.

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04/15/15 6:29am
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04/15/2015 6:29 AM |

full moon in paris

Full Moon in Paris (1984)
Directed by Éric Rohmer
The fourth and most emotionally tumultuous of the elder statesmen of the nouvelle vague’s “Comedies and Proverbs” series leans closer to the moralistic than the humorous half its thematic epithet. An at times uncomfortable look at the nuances and negotiations inherent to romance, the film follows Louise (Pascale Ogier) and Rémi (Tchéky Karyo), an unmarried couple whose plan for living together grows complicated when the former chooses to keep her Parisian apartment as a pied-à-terre for nights of metropolitan partying. Meanwhile, Louise’s best guy and girlfriend (Fabrice Luchini and Virginie Thévenet) are both harboring secrets related to the couple which slowly tug at the seams of an already fraying relationship. Shot in Rohmer’s typically unadorned style, with an emphasis on dialogue and situational irony rather than decorous mise-en-scène, the film arrives very subtly at a climax all the more devastating for its inevitability. Jordan Cronk (Apr 17-30, showtimes daily at the Film Society of Lincoln Center; new DCP restoration part of “Éric Rohmer’s Comedies and Proverbs”)

04/01/15 9:00am
04/01/2015 9:00 AM |

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Some Call It Loving (1973)
Directed by James B. Harris
The octogenarian Harris is known best today for producing three of Stanley Kubrick’s early films, but he has also directed five films of his own. All are action movies save for the spellbinding, little-seen Some Call it Loving, a jazz-drenched romantic drama based on John Collier’s short story “Sleeping Beauty.” Its lead character is a haunted young saxophonist (played by Zalman King) whose eyes fall enraptured one night upon a carnival sideshow attraction—a lovely girl (Tisa Farrow) who has been lying dormant for eight years. He buys her and brings her back with him to the West Coast mansion where he resides with a domineering wealthy older widow (Carol White) and a comely maid (Veronica Anderson); his seemingly submissive role within this group of seduced and seducers changes once their newcomer wakes up. Like those of Kubrick, Harris’s films show conflict arising from peoples’ efforts to mold their surroundings into the things they want to see. Some’s man’s courtship of a sleeping beauty comes within a larger, more consuming search for the woman of his dreams. Aaron Cutler (Apr 1, 7:30pm at BAM’s “Overdue: James B. Harris,” followed by a Harris Q&A)