Summer 1999


UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD

Friday, June 4 at 8pm
Saturday, June 5 at 8pm
German director Wim Wenders, who soared on angels' wings with his 1989 Wings of Desire, now turns his Wimsical gaze toward the impending millenium in the haunting, enchanting Until the End of the World. Wenders reminds us that century's end is the very near future. "Nineteen Ninety-Nine was the year the Indian nuclear satellite went out of control," intones the narrator of this screwball, sci-fi noir love-triangle epic. And the whole world is whacked out with fear of nuclear doom, except for Claire (Solveig Dommartin), a French gamine who is "living her own nightmare" and waking up in lots of strange places. Having become a not-unwilling accomplice to a pair of rakish French bank robbers, Claire finds herself on the road, pursuing Sam Farber, an enigmatic American biochemist (William Hurt), while being pursued by a former lover and novelist (Sam Neill), who is also the film's narrator. A high-tech bounty hunter (Rudiger Volger) is hounding them all... It's a stunning experience that leaves the viewer disoriented, maybe even confused, but certainly entertained and somehow hopeful. A striking realization arrived some time after the end of the movie: Wenders took us around (and out of) this world, from the brink of doom to salvation, without resorting to violence. (Joe Brown)
Australia, 1991. Color, in English. 158 mins., 35mm, rated R.


THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN

Friday, June 4 at Midnight
Saturday, June 5 at 11pm
Prepare yourself as Quentin Tarantino's Rolling Thunder Pictures unleashes this strange tale from the golden age of  '70s Hong Kong cinema! Backed by a sleazy promoter, an explorer leads an expedition into the Indian jungle in search of a legendary apeman. After the rest of his crew succumbs to wild animal attacks or abandons the mission altogether, the lone adventurer is captured by the Peking Man – a gigantic, prehistoric primate. Fortunately, he's rescued by the simian's stepchild, a buxom blonde (played by the incredible Evelyne Kraft) who survived a jungle plane crash years before. The explorer falls for this female Tarzan, and soon talks her into returning to civilization with Peking Man in tow. A city is no place for an oversized Yeti, however. Originally made to cash in on the dreadful 1976 remake of King Kong, this production by the Shaw Brothers (famed for martial arts flicks like Five Fingers of Death and Shaolin Avenger) is much better than the film it sought to rip off. Equal parts monster movie, matinee serial and soft-core sexploitation (you won't believe the erotic jungle romp set to the slow-dance disco tune, "I'm Falling In Love...Maybe" ), The Mighty Peking Man explodes on the screen again in all its savage fury!  (Brock McDaniel)
Hong Kong, 1977. Color, Dubbed in English. 91 mins. 35mm.


DESTROY ALL MONSTERS

Sunday, June 6 at 3 & 7pm
The year is 1999, and Earth's giant monsters are imprisoned on an island 600 miles off the coast of Japan. Intent on world domination, alien women in silver spacesuits use mind control to unleash the behemoths. With doomsday in sight, the human battle-cry goes out: Destroy All Monsters! SEE Godzilla thrash New York! WATCH Rodan, the flying terror, wing-whip Moscow! SHUDDER as king caterpillar Mothra spins Peking in her cocoon of destruction! Other members of the beastly cast include giant spider Kumonga; the triple-headed Ghidorah; and Manda, a titanic sea-dragon. Visual effects wizard Eiji Tsuburaya's stunning work for the film includes eleven colossal creatures, vintage '60s flying saucers, decimated cityscapes , and one of  the coolest rocketships in movie history. Add in Inoshiro Honda's crackerjack direction and a thundering music score by genre specialist Akira Ifikube (The Mysterians, Yog - Monster From Space) and you have the ultimate Japanese monster bash!  (David McRobie & Brock McDaniel)
Japan, 1968. Color, Dubbed In English. 89 mins, 35mm. Rated G.


TRAILERFEST

Friday, June 11 at 8pm --meet special guest Pablo Ferro!
For this special evening we feature two shows rolled into one. The first hour will be a roller-coaster ride of old trailers, a hodge-podge of fun relating specifically to sci-fi, fantasy and horror from the last three decades. These are all original trailers on 35mm, culled by long-time Boulderite and Union Projectionist, John Templeton. Among the collection are trailers for The Exorcist, Alien, Supergirl, Tidal Wave, Rollerball, Space Hunter, Roller Boogie (we couldn’t resist!), and many, many more. The first part of Trailerfest will end with two Stanley Kubrick titles. We will then use this as a segue to introduce our special guest for this evening: Pablo Ferro.We will examine a retrospective of Mr. Ferro’s work. Mr. Ferro is one of the most highly sought after masters of both trailers and title-sequences in Hollywood today. If you’ve ever been impressed with the short-mini film known as the title-sequence, there’s a good chance Mr. Ferro worked on it, he has left his indelible mark on titles such as Harold and Maude to Men in Black. He has worked with Stanley Kubrick, and we will show his trailers for A Clockwork Orange and Dr. Strangelove. Aside for being present to talk about his experiences, we will also show Mr. Ferro’s 25 min. long directorial debut, The Inflatable Doll, an eerie look at drug dealing and psychosis.
Due to some adult content, we ask that you treat the Trailerfest as the equivalent of an "R"-rated film.


THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE

Saturday, June 12 at 8pm --meet special guest Ed Neal in person!
It was 25-years-ago that this landmark film was released. Since then, it has entered the pantheon of works regarded with great acclaim by both the low-brow and the high-brow (the film is on top 100 lists, has been selected by the Museum of Modern Art for its permanent collection, and is routinely taught in film classes). Tobe Hooper’s debut feature about a deranged family of cannibals made its transition from drive-in feature to cult film to midnight movie and into the modern lexicon. Like Psycho and Silence of the Lambs, it is loosely based on Wisconsin madman Ed Gein. "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is an exemplary instance of the postmodern horror genre that constructs an unstable open-ended universe in which categories collapse, violence constitutes everyday life, and the irrational prevails. The proliferation of apocalyptic, graphically violent films that dot the post-sixties landscape attest to the need to express rage and terror in the midst of postmodern social upheaval. The genre constructs the occasion for recreational terror in which controlled loss substitutes for loss of control. Horror affords us the opportunity to express our fear of living in a minefield, or perhaps more accurately, it affords us the opportunity to dance through the minefield." (Isabel Cristina Pinedo) Ed Neal will be on hand for an introduction and Q&A afterwards (he will also bring props from the film for display).
US, 1973. Color, in English. 83 mins., 35mm. Rated R.


DARK  CRYSTAL

Sunday, June 13 at 3 & 7pm
Muppet creator Jim Henson and producer Gary Kurtz  (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back) collaborated on this groundbreaking, $26 million puppet  fantasy. On a troubled planet that circles three suns, two elfen creatures called Gelflings search for a crystal shard which, the legends say, will bring peace back to their world. Along the way, they must face the dreaded Skeksis - a race of reptilian despots determined to retain their power. Other strange lifeforms which show up during the Gelflings' quest include the insect-like Garthim (who serve as the Skeksis' army), a group of withered philosophers called The Mystics, and a  toothy furball called Fizzgig. Don't look for Miss Piggy, though, because The Dark Crystal  is serious mythology  told on an epic scale. Inspired by  an illustration for a book of children's poetry by Lewis Carroll, Henson put together a masterful team of puppeteers and effects artists, including George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic Co., to create his otherworldly vision. The results are astonishing. In an era oversaturated with computerized visuals, the hand-made spectacle of The Dark Crystal feels as fresh as ever.  (Brock McDaniel)
Great Britain, 1982. Color, in English. 94 mins, 35mm. Rated PG.


SUSPIRIA

Friday, June 18 at 8pm
Saturday, June 19 at 8pm
With Profondo Rosso, Argento began to push his slasher movies into gorier terrain, verging on the splatter genre. Suspiria, which established him as Italy’s most efficient engineer of shock-horror pictures, is his best effort in the genre to date and looks both back to his earlier exercises in the mystery thriller, such as Quattro Mosche di Velluto Grigio, for its highly wrought, decorative manner, and forward to his later work in the genre for its narrative design of an individual arriving in a strange locale and being plunged into a labyrinth of murders and sinister occurrences. Here, the heroine (Jessica Harper) is a new student at a ballet school in Freiburg which was the home of a witch, the "Black Widow." Not too surprisingly, a coven still exists there, headed by the two principal teachers (Alida Valli and Joan Bennett)… Argento’s exceptionally skilful use of colour, jagged cutting and good sense of décor, as well as the recourse to a shower of maggots, traps of steel mesh to exsanguinate their victims, razors, and so on, combine to create a hallucinatory atmosphere of terror. The score, composed by the director and as usual performed by The Goblins rock group adds to the claustrophobia. Valli’s performance is appropriately hieratic and the entire picture culminates in one of the most chillingly efficient sequences of the terror subgenre’s brief history.  (Phil Hardy)
Italy, 1976. Color, dubbed in English. 95 mins., 35mm Not rated ("R" equivalent).


THE BEYOND

Friday, June 18 at 10pm
Saturday, June 19 at 10pm
Due particularly to the special makeup effects by Gianetto de Rossi, this is a film of considerable gruesomeness. It belongs to a cycle of Italian movies sparked off by the success of George Romero’s Zombies, but also uses a two-part construction – the prologue is set in the 1920’s, the main action in the present day. As with several other Italian horror films of the same period, such as Macabro and Quella Villa Accanto al Cimitero, the action is set in America – in this case, Louisiana. The plot centres on a remote hotel which stands on one of the seven entrances to hell (the notion of a physical doorway to hell echoes The Sentinel), through which, according to a sinister prophecy, the dead will issue forth to walk the earth. At the climax, the woman who has inherited the hotel and her helpmate fight off a horde of the walking dead only to find themselves incarcerated in hell itself, the landscape of which has been foreshadowed in a painting on which the former manager of the hotel was working when he was seized and crucified as a satanist in the prologue. The intermediate plotting is even more random than in Quella Villa Accanto al Cimitero, but the setpieces, which include the supernatural manifestation of a mass of venomous spiders, are handled with undeniable gusto. (Phil Hardy)
Italy, 1981. Color, dubbed in English. 87 mins., 35 mm. Rated R.


SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES

Sunday, June 20 at 3 & 7pm
What price would you pay to have your deepest desires come true? That is the question posed to the citizens of Green Town, Illinois by a seductive stranger named Mr. Dark, proprietor of Dark's Pandemonium Carnival  - a traveling fair fueled by the greed of the average person, by the torment of dreams grown old. It's the centerpiece of the screen adaptation of Ray Bradbury's soul-searching  fantasy, Something Wicked This Way Comes. First published in 1962, Bradbury's best-selling book was inspired by the author's childhood memories of magicians and sideshows. The heroes of the story are two young boys who stumble onto the carnival's destructive secret, and an aging librarian (played by Oscar-winner Jason Robards) who must confront the evil Mr. Dark. Directed by Jack Clayton (The Innocents) from a screenplay by Bradbury, the film also features the talents of Pam Grier (Coffy, Jackie Brown), Diane Ladd and Jonathan Pryce (Brazil) as Mr. Dark. Steeped in the mystery and  poetry that distinguishes Bradbury's finest work, Something Wicked This Way Comes is a bewitching carnival of darkness and light.
US, 1983. Color, in English. 95 mins., 35mm, rated PG.


ELIZABETH

Friday, July 2 at 7 & 9:30pm
Saturday, July 3 at 7 & 9:30pm
Elizabeth is a powerful and moving, magnificently staged biography of the first British sovereign of that name. Set in the bloody and plot-ridden 16th century, the film details the rise to power of the 25-year-old illegitimate daughter of Henry VIII (illegitimate, that is, in the eyes of the Catholic Church), who was to take a realm debilitated by years of religious wars and, over the course of a 44-year reign, remold it into the most powerful and glorious country in the Western world. Elizabeth was directed by Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, best known in this country for Bandit Queen, which, though the setting couldn't be more different, was also about a feisty young woman who asserts political control over a group of astonished men. Amazingly, Elizabeth is Kapur's first film in English, and it's probably his very lack of previous knowledge of the Elizabethan period that has enabled him to re-create it in such a fresh manner… The many visual and aural techniques employed in this film may become bothersome to more austere viewers, but for the baroque-at-heart among us, they're a perfect counterpoint to the subtle, cold political process that we witness, in awe, unfolding before us. (Peter Brunette)
UK, 1998. Color, in English. 121 mins., 35mm. Rated R.


DANCEMAKER

Thursday, July 8 at 7 & 9pm
Friday, July 9 at 7 & 9pm
This extraordinary documentary puts you in the trenches with young (and not-so-young) dancers of New York’s famed Paul Taylor Dance Company, and under the skin of the outfit’s founder, an elusive genius with more instinctive flair than people skills. Helmed by Matthew Diamond, a former choreographer, this film represents one of the most scrupulous records of the ballet world ever committed to film, with the same time given to Taylor’s slippery thinking and background as to the nuts and bolts of the craft itself….Taylor’s concepts, despite his avant-garde history, represents wholly straightforward ideas, with dancers expressing emotions that are accessible to even the least dance-savvy eyes. Whether in same-sex or standard couplings (the distinction is always casually handled) the overriding sense, the documentary makes clear, is one of abiding loneliness, heightened by Taylor’s unembarrassed love of music – whether Bach’s "Musical Offering" or a potpourri of tango tunes from Astor Piazzola – from which he draws all inspiration. Diamond has done dance fans a real service by digging up archival footage of Taylor in his prime, as an ornery disciple of Martha Graham, and mixing it with backstage material and office-politics asides. Diamond avoids delving into his subject’s personal life, for once letting art be pure biography. (Ken Eisner)
US, 1998. Color, in English. 98 mins., 35mm. Not rated.


THREE SEASONS

Saturday, July 10 at 7 & 9:15pm
Sunday, July 11 at 3 & 7pm
Director Tony Bui's delicate vision of Vietnam as a lush Eden (and the former Saigon as a tourist destination) dotted with small, terribly human stories is a joyous shock. Bui's present-day, intertwining tales range from the neo-realist (a street urchin is forced from his home until he locates his vendor's box of cigarettes and trinkets) to the sentimental (a flower girl transcribes the verse of a leprous poet) to the Renoiresque (a cyclo driver, played by Vietnamese star Don Duong, falls for an uppity prostitute). Threading its way through the movie, too, is a somewhat enigmatic tale of a middle-aged Vietnam War vet (Harvey Keitel) who is hanging around town, staring at the same cafe and hoping to glimpse the grown daughter he's never met. The narratives are each touching in their way, and Bui has assembled a very gifted cast. But the real engine of Three Seasons is its tone of constant waiting set against the drama and beauty of Vietnam's natural world, as well as the uneasy class system of today's Ho Chi Minh City. The sundry protagonists sit with private expectations for redemption that range from hopeless to urgent, unable to effect change except in tiny, rare instances… Bui has done us a huge favor setting a new movie exclusively there and showing us what many people, undoubtedly, don't realize exists in the land of a former enemy. For that alone, he has earned our respect. But since the film is accomplished well beyond that goal, he deserves our serious attention as a filmmaker. (Tom Keogh)
Vietnam, 1999. Color. In Vietnamese with subtitles. 113 mins., 35mm., PG-13.


CELLFISH

Wednesday, July 14 at 7:30pm
Mary Garcia (Tana Lucero) vows to remain single for one whole year. Her relationships have always been the same - the same type of men, the same irresolvable issues, and the same incredible amounts of work. She simply wants to live happily as a single person working in a performance art club and raising Frankie (Daniel Andersen), her twelve-year-old brother. More than anything, she wants to prove to herself that she can be happy without a man. Three months later... Mary can’t stop thinking about sex. Frankie’s pubescent sexual curiosity is at its peak, and men are oozing out of the cracks. Everything is feverishly related to sex... but Mary is celibate. As she suppresses her sexual energy, she magnetizes a slew of eccentrics involved in curious preoccupations. Cellfish is the first feature-length narrative of filmmaker Cori Chavez. She incorporates her signature techniques with the pulse of improvisation to seduce narrative and avant-garde film lovers alike. Cellfish was shot with a local cast by an all female crew.
US, 1999, Color, in English, 81 minutes, 16mm.


TANGO

Thursday, July 15 at 7 & 9pm
Friday, July 16 at 7 & 9pm
The tango is based on suspicion, sex and insincerity. It is not a dance for virgins. It is for the wounded and the wary. The opening shots of Carlos Saura's (Blood Wedding, Carmen and Flamenco) Tango, after a slow pan across Buenos Aires, are of a man who has given his life to the dance and has a bad leg and a walking stick as his reward. This is the weary, graceful Mario (Miguel Angel Sola), who is preparing a new show based on the tango. At the same time, perhaps Mario also represents Carlos Saura. The movie, one of this year's Oscar nominees, has many layers: It is a film about the making of a film, and also a film about the making of a stage production. We are never quite sure what is intended as real and what is part of the stage production. That's especially true of some of the dance visuals, which use mirrors, special effects, trick lighting and silhouettes so that we can't tell if we're looking at the real dancers or their reflections. A special set was constructed to shoot the film in this way, and the photography, by the great three-time Oscar winner Vittorio Storaro, is like a celebration of his gift. If the film is visually beautiful, it is also ravishing as a musical--which is really what it is, with its passionate music and angry dance sequences. (Roger Ebert)
Spain, 1999. Color, in Spanish with English subtitles. 112 mins., 35mm., PG-13.


SMOKE SIGNALS

Thursday, August 5 at 7 & 9pm
Friday, August 6 at 7 & 9pm
In 1994, filmmaker Chris Eyre made a "cold call" to novelist Sherman Alexie, asking for permission to reshape some of the short stories from Alexie's collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven into what Eyre hoped would become his first feature project. Four years later Eyre and Alexie produced Smoke Signals, a laconically paced, vibrantly humane little filmic fable about learning to love your neighbor while deciding whether or not to forgive your father... a theme whose cultural resonance, as Eyre hastens to point out, is hardly restricted to North America's indigenous peoples. "The strength of this story lies in the fact that it's about universals, not specifics," he says. "It's also not a political movie, although it does have political baggage, because I didn't want to make any kind of statement about 'the plight of the American Indian,' or any of that crap. I just wanted to get away from some white person's interpretation of us, and show us the way we really are: people, like any other people in any other movie – funny, sad, strange, interesting. Except in this case, everybody's got names like Lester Fallsapart and Thomas Builds-The-Fire." (Gemma Files)
US, 1998. Color, in English. 88 mins., 35mm., PG-13.


COOKIE'S FORTUNE

Saturday, August 5 at 7 & 9pm
Sunday, August 6 at 7 & 9pm
Cookie’s Fortune is rich in characters, quirky and informed by an enveloping sense of community. Altman’s prowling camerawork is more elegant than ever, ever creeping through scenes to discover and rediscover character, and with a cast of fine performers there’s plenty to discover. Or at least there should be. When you get past the subtle flourishes, the warmth generated by the ensemble, and the individual character marvels, Cookie’s Fortune is so slight a work it’s amazing it was ever made at all.  The plot revolves around the death of a beloved old woman, Jewel Mae Orcutt (Patricia Neal in a delightful, and all-too-brief appearance), known to her friends as Cookie, in a small southern town where everyone knows everyone and both grudges and reputations are taken deadly seriously. But I get ahead of myself. The always great Charles S. Dutton is Willis Richland, Cookie’s handyman. [He and Cookie] stay up late one night swapping stories, playfully scoring wrongs against one another in a tally that reaches into the hundreds (they’ve obviously been at this a long time), and simply sharing lives that have seen many years pass together. They’re just two people in a town of characters (it’s an Altman film – would we have it any other way?), but become the central characters in the drama about to unfold. (Anne Rap)
US, 1999. Color, in English. 117 mins., 35mm., PG-13.


WAKING NED DEVINE

Thursday, August 12 at 7 & 9pm
Friday, August 13 at 7 & 9pm
Managing to be both darkly humorous and wonderfully playful, writer/director Kirk Jones' Waking Ned Devine is a glorious antidote to this past summer's action-based cinema offerings. In the tiny village of Tulaigh Morh, Ireland--population 52--some lucky person possesses a winning lottery ticket. When lifelong friends Jackie O'Shea (Ian Bannen) and Michael O'Sullivan (David Kelly) hear this incredible news, they make it their business to ferret out the winner and convince him or her to share the earnings with them. However, after throwing a party and buying numerous pints of Guinness at the local pub to liquor up the possible winners, Jackie and Michael find themselves hung-over, broke, and no further along than when they started. But, thanks to some quick thinking on the part of Jackie's wife, Annie (Fionnula Flanagan), they realize that Ned Devine was mysteriously absent from the festivities. Upset that Ned stiffed his invitation, Jackie pays a late-evening call to his abode and discovers that Ned in fact is a stiff. And in his rigormortised hand, he clutches the winning ticket. When Jackie and Michael decide to fraudulently claim Ned's jackpot, the Irish Lottery Commission, all of the townspeople and even a visiting priest get in on the action, with frenzied results. Waking Ned Devine is a smart and unapologetically wacky film.  Jones' writing and direction are both on target  and he has created some memorably enchanting characters who are brought to vivid life by the talented cast. (Kristan Ginther)
Ireland, 1999. Color, in English. 91 mins., 35mm., PG.


TWENTY DATES

Saturday, August 14 at 7 & 9pm
Sunday, August 15 at 3 & 7pm
Myles Berkowitz was a bitter, lactose-intolerant, recently divorced filmmaker with a floundering career before 20 Dates changed everything. Well, OK, he still can't eat cheese, but his micro-budgeted film about looking for love in L.A. has kickstarted his career and proven that happiness after divorce is possible. It began with a simple idea: Berkowitz wanted to shoot a documentary about contemporary dating, but with a gimmick – he'd be the test subject, going on 20 dates with different women. How simple it sounds and yet how difficult it became. Berkowitz had to contend with a vicious producer, an incompetent crew and a string of women who didn't necessarily want to be movie stars. The result is a messy mix of romantic comedy and mockumentary, a film about both Berkowitz's dates and the making of the film itself. In an interview back in January, Berkowitz contended that dating and filmmaking have a lot in common. A date, he says, "is a little movie in and of itself. A beginning, a middle and an end. It's comedy, drama and tragedy." His cinematic dates range from a nymphomaniac model to a woman on the lam from her psychotic boyfriend. They offer a voyeuristic thrill and the chance to snicker at other people's ungraceful attempts at courtship. Regardless of whom his date is, Berkowitz manages to look awkward. "You see this movie and clearly see I'm the only person who comes across badly," he says. (James Cowan)
US, 1998. Color, in English. 87 mins, 35mm., rated R.