With every brushstroke, Rembrandt often painted an Amsterdam filled with social malaise fueled by wealth mongering at the height of the Dutch Golden Age. Documentarian Peter Greenaway scrutinizes Rembrandt’s famous genre piece, Nightwatch, as a means of forensic investigation into the country’s criminal underbelly. The movie speaks to art’s relevance as civilized society’s premier tool of education, communication, and preservation. If you can get over the visual echoes of PBS, then Rembrandt’s J’accuse is something definitely worth seeing. Rembrandt’s J’accuse opens Friday, October 21st in select theaters.
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Alice in Wonderland will be out early next year March 5, 2010. Tim Burton here forgoes a direct remake of the animated film, instead reinterpreting it as something of a sequel to the original version of the story (yet not totally akin to the actual sequel to Alice and Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass). A 19-year-old Alice (Mia Wasikowska) fears her Victorian socialite fate and runs away with the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen). Alice returns to Wonderland in a time of radial regime change. The Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) has captured the throne, leaving Wonderland in chaos. The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry), the Caterpillar (Alan Rickman) and a slew of other magical creatures team up with Alice and the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) to defeat the Red Queen and save Wonderland. Working with a combination of live action and digital techniques, Burton’s futuristic, neo-goth aesthetic translates well with the whimsy of Alice in Wonderland.
Faust, eat your heart out. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is Terry Gilliam’s highly awaited new movie, which is set to be released in the U.K. October 16th, and Stateside December 25th. Gilliam’s imagination reaches new transcendental heights with this latest fantasy thriller. Doctor Parnassus, played by Christopher Plummer, makes an infamous deal with the Devil in exchange for immortality. As a leader of a traveling theatre troupe, Doctor Parnassus showcases to the world his Imaginarium, a magical mirror that lets people explore stunning dreamscapes. Soon, the Devil (Tom Waits) comes to get his due and sets his diabolical clutches on Doctor Parnassus’ daughter, Valentina (Lily Cole). When a mysterious stranger, Tony (the late Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law), joins the troupe, he and Parnassus must rescue Valentina together. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is cinematic shock therapy at its most spectacular level.
Cute. Comical. Slapstick funny. These are just some of the tricks Hollywood abuses and exploits to mask the sexual harassment of women and appeal to the male gaze. And since men control the beat, tenor and tune of the industry, women’s roles are as thin now as they were then. This is the beauty of checking out old flicks—they help us unmask the new tricks of the trade.
Check out this scene from Which Way is Up, a flick seen by many modern bloggers as kids on cable way back in the day, since the film debuted in 1977. It was on regular rotation on the movie channels in the early ‘80s, and probably never registered as sexual harassment—a term that genuinely came into the American lexicon via the Senate’s confirmation hearing of Uncle Tom. Anita Hill stuck her neck out, but the nation’s leaders failed to go the distance, which is unsurprising given the tacit harassment of women in pop culture. The sitting president could not even bring himself to correctly pronounce the word harassment, as most Americans do, instead rebuffing something more akin to “harris-mint”.
This Is It is the culmination of hours of footage from the late Michael Jackson’s final tour, appropriately named “This Is It”. The series of concerts was made up of fifty shows, all set to take place at the O2 Arena in London, from the end of 2009 into 2010.
Made up of rehearsal footage, interviews, dance sequences, and other special effects that only concert attendees would have witnessed, This Is It promises Michael Jackson fans all across the globe one final chance to see the Gloved One perform some of his most well-known and respected music.
This Is It premieres in theaters worldwide on October 28th, and will only be shown for two weeks.
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