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Summer of Movies: Art House Edition August 5, 2018

Posted by Jim Berkin in Movies.
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Put down that Pabst Blue Ribbon and pick up that Heineken, it’s time for some upper-end, high-falutin’ fancy-schmanzty movies… oh, excuse me – FILMS to discuss in an intelligent and sophisticated manner.

In other words, films where nuthin blow’d up.

I’ve also given up on attending this echelon of moviegoing in person. While attending the supposed cinema-for-smart-people oozes the cultural vibe of avoiding the great unwashed talking on their cellphones throughout the entirety of the latest CGI-loaded comic book-based piece of assembly line formula crap from three different studios pooling their money to make it all back in China, audiences in the art house cinemas have often annoyed me for different reasons.

A lot of the time, it’s the virtue-signalling or hipness-signalling that goes on – to this day, I remember a couple of annoying dudes affecting intellectual edginess going out of their fucking way to laugh, and laugh LOUD – Robert DeNiro laughing at Problem Child in Cape Fear style loud – at the OBVIOUS and overdone supposed shock humor of Man Bites Dog, a French mockumentary about a serial killer that uses up its premise in its first few minutes and totally blows for the following 90. Yeah guys, I get it – you’re supposed to show people you think it’s funny because nothing shocks you, you oh-so-cool cultural trail blazers! Well, except for the endless list of harmless bullshit that you need trigger warnings for.

Save your energy, boys! There’s a repertory cinema up the street showing old romantic comedies and crime movies from the 1930s and 40s that you can hiss sexist-in-2018 dialogue at to demonstrate to everyone around you what an enlightened and superior person you are! I guess culturally we’ve graduated from that particular style of douchebaggery to organizing screenings of stuff like Animal House or Blazing Saddles for the sole purpose of pointing out why we shouldn’t be allowed to laugh at them anymore.

Yes. I hate everyone.

But usually at the cinema I’d most often wind up in, a branch of the Laemmle art house chain in Encino, the audience were mostly locals, which meant a small army of doddering alte kakers understandingly looking for better fare than what’s on the cable, but most often forgetting their hearing aids and repeating “What’d he say? What’d he say?” over and over again, EVEN IN SUBTITLED FILMS.

I used to tell my regular movie freak cohort it felt more like going to temple.

It was more eye-roll inducing than the anger-inducing hipster behavior, but it still interfered with my cinematic experience.

The amazing Cuban restaurant just up the street usually made up for it, tho – even if the movie turned out to be disappointing.

So, it’s been watching the same sort of thing at home, now – lumped in with the modern Hollywood fare I can stand, and with the old movies that escaped my radar that I never get tired of discovering. I guess if I learned to make garlic roast chicken the way they do at Versailles, it’d complete the circle.

Let’s start with a couple of them there foreign French films. Well, the first one might be in French, but it’s all about a bunch of Russian musicians. Le Concert (2009) tells the story of a bunch of former Russian classical musicians who had been shut down and banned by Brezhnev back during a 1980 Soviet crackdown who disguise themselves as the actual orchestra booked to play Paris. (more…)

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