Preface: Not a normal Niche review, because GREENBERG is getting a lot of press, but Baumbach's genius here is not in creating something for the masses it is creating something far too human.
And so it begins...
Noah Baumbach does it again. By it I am referring to his simple ambiguous style he refined in SQUID AND THE WHALE and continued in MARGOT AT THE WEDDING - both films contain a feeling that is never conveyed within the narrative. He never hands us his characters - though he used to i.e. KICKING AND SCREAMING (1995). His characters create themselves on the screen and we are given a glimpse at their psychology but pinpointing them or stereotyping them is impossible - because they are ‘real.’
Roger Greenberg is 40, lost, and recovering from a mental breakdown. This said mental breakdown is never given description or reason which is what makes it human, sure a shortcut would be Roger has lead a life without any direction until it finally collapsed upon him, or the negation of a musical career has finally taken its toll, but a breakdown never has one specific cause. Roger has become an anxiety induced monster that builds defenses all around him to create what he believes is comfort, but while watching his brother’s house for six weeks in the city where all his old ties remain, those walls begin to crumble. Enter Florence Marr played by Greta Gerwig, everyone’s favorite mumble-core girl. Florence is 25, lost, and recovering from a long term relationship - she is vulnerable and wading in the shallow end of despair. The two of them have the oddest and most awkward chemistry of an on-screen couple I’ve seen, but it works, and that is what makes the film good.
One could write Roger off as an asshole, but there is much more to him. It’s great that at one moment you can sympathize with him, and then the next really hate him. His party scene is by far some of the best dialogue in the film - he trashes college freshman types while on coke = pure gold.
Baumbach asked James Murphy to do the score because the script came out of a sort of musical epiphany that happened to him and Jenifer Jason Leigh while listening to LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends.” Murphy’s music works perfectly in the film and each track makes your head bob to the beat.
Of course this film isn't for everyone, if it were it would be called NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 3 and lack any artistic talent or creativity.
In 1978 Meir Zarchi released I Spit On Your Grave another in the line of rape-revenge films. A film that would have never been made without Last House on the Left, and Deliverance, but this time they centered on the rape and the revenge without any social context interweaved into the plot. The tagline for I Spit On Your Grave was: This woman has just chopped, crippled and mutilated four men beyond recognition... but no jury in America would ever convict her! The second title for the film read: Day of the Woman. This film shows the strength within womankind to stand up for themselves when they are mistreated. The main problem with I Spit On Your Grave as being a feminist piece is that Zarchi draws out the rape scene for way too long. The four men each get a separate chance to take advantage of the woman, and each time they let her go before they catch her again. From the moment the rapists pull the victim’s boat onto shore and try to grab her the sequence lasts for twenty-five …
We would like to apologize for our absence the last two weeks. Life changes have led us astray, but during our sabbatical we uncovered a true gem. The Fireworks Man or Angela The Fireworks Woman – which the latter makes no sense as a title – is not a gem because it’s good cinema, but rather an expose on a known director’s seedy beginnings. The Fireworks Man is a 1975 Porno – a new arena to CineNiche. When you search this film, Abe Snake comes up as its director. No one has ever came forth to declare the name, instead speculation falls under two possibilities: Peter Locke, the film’s producer or the more likely candidate Wes Craven who has a cameo in the film. While interviewing Porn Kid from Odd Obsession we learned a myriad of seedy facts about our beloved horror maker. After Wes quit teaching and met Sean Cunningham they made a soft core sex mockumentary called Together (1971), which Sean calls a piece of sh*t and will never release in the US. The duo then raised some cash to …
Poster from Alamo Drafthouse Reviews and essays abound for Drew
Goddard & Joss Whedon's Cabin In The Woods. Some compare
Cabin to Scream while others are convinced that Cabin
exceeds Scream as a post-modern text. We belong to the latter
camp. If you haven't seen Cabin then you shouldn't be looking
at reviews so long after the the film's release. In 1996 Wes Craven along with a
brilliantly written script by Kevin Williamson breathed new life into
the slasher film. They took all of the archetypical constructs of
the slasher sub-genre and directly exposed them to the audiences
while staying within the confines of the genre. This was not new,
parodies had done this in the past, but Scream kept a straight
face and managed to produce fear. Spoof and parody of horror has
been around since the days of Abbot & Costello, but more direct
to our discussion is the 1982 classic Student Bodies. Made in
the midst of the early 80's slasher boom, Student Bodies,