Tuesday, June 9, 2015

the Nine Best Movies Playing in NYC right now .. .. in order

1: Love and Mercy

The Brian Wilson story is told in a deviation from the norm of music bio films . the Director  chooses to not be chronological  and by mixing the young Brian (Paul Dano) with the Brain of today  (John Cusack)  clears away  a lot of the clutter ,.. Paul Giamatti plays the the psychologist who both saved and controlled Wilson life and Elizabeth Banks plays the car saleswoman who put end to the 24/7 controlled environment, All the actors are interestingly cast and delivery from minor to major roles Wilson, no matter what his mental health issues were,  was a musical genius .The most intensely gripping moments are when in the middle of recording, Wilson gets auditory hallucinations. The extended scene in the studio complete with the the wrecking crew including Carol Kaye is the anchor of the film. Not our typical rock star bio pick .. but much more insightful into the sufer driven band the script by the Director/ writer is pitch perfect.

 2: Clouds of Sils Maria

3: the seven five

4: Mad Max

5: Iris

6: Dior and I

7: the Testament of Youth 

8: Saint Laurent

Yes, more Yves Saint Laurent. After L’Amour Fou, and the Pierre Berg√© “authorized” Yves Saint Laurent” by Jalil Lespert, we now have the most scrumptious and decadent narrative bio film of all three: Saint Laurent, directed by bad boy Bonello and featured at the 2014 New York Film Festival.
As expected, the clothes are beautiful to look at with the attitude and style of a French Vogue perfume ad. Free of Berge’s hand, we meet Saint Laurent at the height of his success and discover the man all rich women wanted to wear created everything for his very first and only real model—his mother. Genius that he was, he also was a petulant mama's boy. Under the watchful eye of Berge, he fell into drug stupor and dangerous promiscuity.
Perfect French high art, it plays with “novella” salaciousness, name dropping like a Fran Lebowitz story. While it is based on actual events, it heightens them in the way a Girodias (Olympia Press) novel would have. Sex, fashion, money, drugs—the international traffic of beautiful, loyal models—hustlers and tacky business people are all in full frontal. Needless to say, I loved it.
The real surprise is just how well Louis Garrel plays Jacques De Bascher—Saint Laurent’s lover as well as the great love of Karl Lagerfeld—bringing alive the sexual tension and desire that kept both Lagerfeld and Saint Laurent vying for his affection by trying to outdo the other in gifting him.

9: I believe in Unicorns

Rare in the world of teenage coming of age and the discovery of sexual desire have we seen a film that explores from a young woman's point of view this Spring's Awakening "of the body Yes in european fim but rarely in the US undie fim world .  Leah Meyerhoff has written and directed her first feature and it has such a sweet authenticity, She explores jhow an adolescnt woman discovers sexual desire. This is the world of Leah Dunham and boys have their place , but so do friends and school.

Both Natalia Dyer and Peter Vack bring to life the desire that is rippling in their bodies. Rare is such insight from a young woman's point of view so beautufully captured in a film by a young feamale director. 
actually found it as insight full as the the much acclaimed ( "Diary of a Teenage Girl" .Mark Myerhoff , based on this her first feature , as well as her festivel favorite short "Twitch "  and her muic videos for Tripple Cream and Joan as Police Woman (google them) as a fim maker to watch,

10 : SPY 

Yes Melissa McCarthy is fat, crude and hilarious. It is also clear that there is a very intelligent woman behind this in-your-face-fat-girl. Her willingness to not be held back from her comedic instincts by her physical self reminds me of the  late Imogene Coca  ( Google Your Show of Shows (w/Sid Caesar) for a lesson in comedy history)  Written and directed by Paul Feig who knows exactly how to push to the max Ms. McCarthy's talent without falling into a sinkhole  of stereotype. He has his character use her physical bulk to make a statement and allows the audience to see the erotic desire and self respect rare when presenting a non-physically conforming lead female character,.

What I like about McCarthy's humor is is not self-loathing despite the almost slapstick element .She uses her physicality in the same way Sasha Cohen Baron does .. directly with an unstated in your face  " yes,what do you want to make of this " query.)  In SPY she romps through what I could imagine is every smart and /or "big girl's" fantasy of "I can do that just as good as you slim woman or handsome man" in a still sexist world. . The spoof on James Bond type spy adventure films had the theater I was in laughing almost all the time.  I just bet every "big girl" will sit and watch and fantasize along with McCarthy.. and that could include a whole lot of women overweight in America. I stopped about 10 minutes in worrying about the health consequences of making a star  an overweight women and just allowed myself to enjoy and get caught up in the laughs exploding around me.  McCarthy isa very very funny woman , and SPY is well done if not sticky.

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