July 13, 2019
Our TimeJuly 13, 2019
Drama / 2019 / 173 minutes
Carlos Reygadas’ fifth feature Our Time continues the Mexican auteur's passion for setting fascinatingly flawed characters against the romantic, rugged grasslands of Tlaxcala, a uniquely picturesque territory of Eastern Mexico. A drama that centers on a rancher and renowned poet (Reygadas) who, despite a predilection towards jealousy, encourages his editor wife (Natalia Lopez) to have an affair with an American horse-breaker (Phil Burgers) in their employ, Reygadas' film is a deliberately paced, enigmatically spiritual odyssey that manages to be intimate in its character focus while utilizing the visual splendor of its setting to create a sense of epic grandiosity. Operating in the same sort of cosmically alienated place as the best of Kubrick's work, Reygadas proves himself a master of balancing themes of intimacy and spirituality, cementing him as a visionary and culturally important cinematic voice to watch in the arthouse circuit and beyond.
John Wick with Bottleneck GalleryJuly 13, 2019
Action / 2014 / 101 minutes
In 2014, it was unlikely that anyone expected Keanu Reeves to re-emerge as the next great action hero, yet thanks to Chad Stahelski and David Leitch's franchise-starting action hit John Wick he did just that. Reeves plays the titular John Wick, a legendary former assassin who is drawn back into the life when a Russian mobster's overstepping son kills the beagle puppy left to him by his recently deceased wife, kicking off an adrenalized revenge spree par excellence. Reeves brings a wonderfully deadpan stoicism to the instantly iconic role, and his ability to perform much of his own stunts adds a weighty verisimilitude to the stunning action scenes staged by Stahelski and Leitch, both stuntmen themselves. But what gives the film an edge over other recent action faire is the imaginatively built world of assassins the protagonist inhabits, personified in a wry performance by the always welcome Ian McShane. With Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, John Leguizamo and Adrianne Palicki.
The Birds (35mm)July 13, 2019
Horror / 1963 / 119 minutes
Largely considered the first important man vs. nature film and the progenitor for animal attack genre works like Jaws, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds remains a horror staple that thrills and terrifies more than 50 years since its release. Ostensibly the story of a California bay town suddenly and inexplicably besieged by murderous flocks of birds, Hitchcock’s film – written by Evan Hunter (from Daphne du Maurier’s novel) and starring Tippi Hedren in her first feature role – spends considerable time on character work and drama, creating viewer empathy which heightens the tension of the expertly delivered scenes of suspense and terror. Hedren is wonderful and shares great chemistry with romantic lead Rod Taylor, and the bird attack sequences are still wildly effective despite the limited visual effects of the era. A classic that any student of horror should have in their personal canon. With Suzanne Pleshette, Jessica Tandy and Veronica Cartwright.
HalstonJuly 13, 2019
Documentary / 2019 / 105 minutes
While a traditional documentary would be well-worth watching, Frederic Tcheng's Halston instead offers an unusual, outside-the-box experience suitable for its enigmatic subject. Chronicling the handsome and talented designer from Iowa's emergence as a galvanizing New York fashion icon of the 70s, Tcheng's film attempts to capture Halston's character through amusing side-vignettes and the inclusion of a mysterious femme fatale detective character (influential blogger Tavi Gevinson) who frames the biographical narrative like a Dashiell Hammett detective novel. It's a fun bit of novelty that doesn't get in the way of thoroughly exploring Halston's impact and influence, including revelations about the pillbox hat famously sported by Jackie Kennedy, his many professional triumphs, tribulations and rivalries as well as his struggle with drugs and eventually death as a result of the AIDs virus. Featuring commentary from many of the celebrities he outfitted over the years, including the incomparable Liza Minnelli.