I hope the programming at your local Stale Popcorn-o-Plex features something to your fancy. You should totally see all these movies! And if you haven't maybe you could actually watch them as a double bill like I've put them. I'd actually be intrigued to see how well they play together.
Scream 2 (1996, dir. Craven)
Dead End-Drive In (1986, dir. Trenchard-Smith)
Because I figure the first night of my series of double features has to be a little bit meta. So, to fit, I am starting with Wes Craven's slasher sequel to his genre reviver Scream, in the form of Scream 2. It's a movie I have watched nearly 200 times (no joke) and still love with the burning fire of a thousand suns, although I routinely flip flop about which, Scream or Scream 2 I like that minute fraction more so if you asked me tomorrow I'd probably choose to program the original and not the sequel. I am following that with Brian Trenchard-Smith's ozploitation classic Dead End Drive-In. It's set at a drive-in, folks! It totally fits the groove of this whole idea, plus it's a kick arse movie to boot. I actually had these the other way around, but I realised I was silly in not making the very first selection a movie in which PEOPLE GET BRUTALLY MURDERED IN A CINEMA! I think that sets a nice theme for the next six days, don't you?
I'm the One That I Want (2000, dir. Lionel Coleman)
Hoop Dreams (1994, dir. Steve James)
Now for a change of pace. I decided to give Margaret Cho's brilliant stand-up film I'm the One that I Want some appreciation, considering it doesn't get anywhere near enough of it. It really is one of the best films of the decade so far. And I followed that up with Steve James' epic (it's 170 minutes) documentary about the rise of two African American wannabe NBA players as they battle the public and private school system, racism, family issues and the hardships of growing up in an impoverished area. They're both astounding films for what they tried to do and how well they succeed. You'll be beaming when Cho discusses how she got herself out a network television hellhole, and you'll be crying as the mother of a basketball hopeful graduates top of her class.
The Last Seduction (1994, dir. John Dahl)
U-Turn (1997, dir. Oliver Stone)
Night number three I went a bit crazy by choosing John Dahl's erotic thriller The Last Seduction and Oliver Stone's much-maligned and radically bonkers crime flick U-Turn. Watch as Linda Fiorentino gives one of the finest performances of the '90s in Seduction, slinking around like a snake on heat. U-Turn is a much different kettle of fish though. I don't know anybody else who is as open about liking Stone's bizarro-fest as I am, but I'd rather watch this brave and eccentric movie, which stars Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte, Jaoquin Phoenix, Billy Bob Thorton and Claire Danes, than I would Platoon. It's not a great movie, for sure, but I have a crush on these sort of maligned moments of directorial insanity (see night #5 also)
The Haunting (1963, dir. Robert Wise)
The Birds (1963, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
I had no idea that these two scary flicks were released in 1963. That just makes their pairing even more intriguing. One is black and white, the other is colour. One is more classical, the other is modern. One gets it's immense frights from making the audience use their imagination, the other puts its terror right in front of your eyes. And so on. Both are exceptional films though and two of the scariest I have ever seen.
One From the Heart (1982, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
Beat Street (1984, dir. Stan Latham)
Much like Oliver Stone's U-Turn up on night number three, I am a big fan of Francis Ford Coppola's One from the Heart, the quasi-musical that sent him broke and became a punchline within a day of its opening in 1982. It is, however, my favourite of Coppola's vast filmography. It's not his best film, but it's one I feel like I have a stronger connection to than any of his Oscar winning behemoths like The Godfather movies, or Apocalypse Now and The Conversation (as great as they all are). I chose the film, however, because I want to see it on the big screen. It is the first of two films to be lensed by Vittorio Storaro, and I think it's an absolutely gorgeous movie.
Beat Street on the other hand is probably the best of the 1980s music films of it's style. I see it as a much more dramatic film than teenagers got in the day, and the sort of film I wish were made more of today. Instead we get Step Up. When the characters in Beat Street deal with the death of another it feels strong and real, which is more than I can say for Channing Tatum's pecs. But the real reason to see the movie is absolutely amazing soundtrack, which features the likes of Grandmaster Melle Mel, The System, Afrika Bombaataa, Debbie D, Jazzy Jay, Tina B Treacherous 3 and Brenda K Starr. One of the best soundtracks ever, and I am entirely serious.
Dick Tracy (1990, dir. Warren Beatty)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992, dir. David Lynch)
For the final night of my programming series I went for a big finish on non-reality. Warren Beatty's interpretation of Dick Tracy is brash, colourful (lensed by Vittorio Storaro again) and bold. It takes it's aesthetic and runs with it with full force like a bull in a china shop. It's one of the most visually exciting films I've ever seen (it's the first movie I ever truly remember seeing at the cinema, too) and remains one of my all-time favourites. It's like a mad experiment with primary colours and swing music. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, however, is my truly BIG finish. David Lynch's 140 minute prequel to his Twin Peaks television series, Fire Walk With Me takes the character of Laura Palmer and shows us her last seven days, as well as throwing in all sorts of wrenches into the mix (Teresa Banks, Bob, Phillip Jeffries as played by David Bowie in one of the strangest moments of cinema you'll ever experience). The reason that I chose it as the closing film though is because of the final 30 minutes. They are some of the most harrowing and disturbing cinema I've ever witnessed and when it's over - Laura looking at an angel in the Red Room - I feel emotionally and physically drained. It's the type of movie you would walk out of the cinema, see the daylight and soak it up. After six days of endless movie action, I think that's a feeling you would want to have. You want to feel satisfied like you could go without movies for a few days, and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me does just that.
Now, I'm supposed to tag five other people with this. I don't know who's already been tagged (sometimes the blogosphere can get quite tangled up) but I'm going to choose Rants of a Diva, Brevity is... Wit, The Film Experience, Rural Juror and Tony Soprano Breaks for Animals. But, really, i bet most of them won't do it so if you're reading you can substitute yourself.