This Week At The New Bev: Claude Chabrol & Claire Denis plus Moulin Rouge!, Tiny Furniture, Ghost World, Let The Right One In, Pulp Fiction & MORE!

Posted by phil blankenship, February 10, 2011 10:26pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

Our full upcoming schedule is available online:

Friday & Saturday, February 11 & 12

These pre-Oscar days that start off every new year are often considered dog days when it comes to the Hollywood release schedule. Studios tend to dump their least promising product in January and into February, allowing filmgoers to catch up with the big releases left over from Christmas that are likely to garner awards attention. The New Beverly is playing catch-up too with three 2010 releases that barely made a splash theatrically in Los Angeles but are well worth seeing on the big screen before they make their way to the various home theater formats. Friday and Saturday you can see the swansong of the late, great, some might even say underappreciated nouvelle vague master Claude Chabrol along with the latest from one of modern international cinemas most vital and celebrated filmmakers, which just happens to star an actress who herself sports more than a passing familiarity with Chabrol's pensively perverse universe. First, Gerard Depardieu is Inspector Bellamy, a French detective on vacation with his wife who ends up knee-deep in a crime case involving infidelity and issues of familial loyalty. Chabrol worms his way into the suspense through character, not plot machinations, and the movie has a lovely, rambling ease that sets it apart from more typical policiers of the French and American varieties. Second on the bill is Chabrol favorite Isabelle Huppert (Violette, Story of Women) in the latest from acclaimed director Claire Denis (Beau Travail, Trouble Every Day and last year's smashing 35 Shots of Rum). White Material

reunites the director with the biographical roots of her life in Africa to tell the story of a white French family embroiled in racial and civil conflict while trying to save their coffee plantation. Denis' startling visual sensibility and Huppert's fearlessness save the film from accusations of ignorant colonialism, forcing the viewer to confront, without judgment, the conscience of a woman who attempts to live out her connection to the continent in the way that reflects her deep emotional connection to it. While everyone else is scrambling to tick the last titles off their Oscar to-do list, take this opportunity to soak in two of the year's finest, least heralded achievements.


Inspector Bellamy

2009, France, 110 minutes
directed by Claude Chabrol; starring Gérard Depardieu, Clovis Cornillac, Jacques Gamblin
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 3:10 & 7:30, Trailer

Inspector Bellamy leaves a sense not unlike a summary of Chabrol's entire career - of guilty stains seeping away in every direction, of motives hidden and of endless stories that frustrate full understanding. To Chabrol, no life is ever a closed case.
- Kyle Smith, New York Post

It's an ostensive crime film at once symmetrical, surprising, and knowingly cinephilic. - J. Hoberman, Village Voice

- plus on the same bill -

White Material

2009, France / Cameroon, 106 minutes
directed by Claire Denis; starring Isabelle Huppert, Christopher Lambert, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Isaach De Bankolé, William Nadylam
Fri: 9:40; Sat: 5:20 & 9:40, Trailer

Ms. Denis has an extraordinary gift for finding the perfect image that expresses her ideas, the cinematic equivalent of what Flaubert called le mot juste. - Manohla Dargis, New York Times

It's a portrait, by turns chilling, thrilling, mysterious and terrifying, of a woman who refuses to be terrorized.
- Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

Friday, February 11

Pulp Fiction

1994, USA, 154 minutes
written & directed by Quentin Tarantino
starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Eric Stoltz, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Uma Thurman
11:59pm, All Tickets $7, Trailer

4 Stars. Like "Citizen Kane," Pulp Fiction is constructed in such a nonlinear way that you could see it a dozen times and not be able to remember what comes next. - Roger Ebert

Saturday, February 12

Amoeba Music & Phil Blankenship
present New Beverly Midnights

Let The Right One In

2008, Sweden, 115 minutes
directed by Tomas Alfredson; screenplay by John Ajvide Lindqvist based on his novel; starring Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl, Karin Bergquist
11:59pm (Midnight), All Tickets $7, Trailer

At once a devastating, curiously uplifting inhuman drama and a superbly crafted genre exercise, Let The Right One In can stand toe-to-toe with Spirit Of The Beehive, Pan's Labyrinth or Orphee. See it. - Kim Newman, Empire

Sunday, Monday & Tuesday, February 13, 14 & 15

Sunday through Tuesday, February 13-15, you'll have a chance to lay eyes on one of the most inspired pairings on a calendar chock full of them. And you will need wide, thirsty and appreciative eyes to take in the carnival of visual riches in store in Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! (2001). After Luhrmann's atrocious pandering to attention deficit disorder in his Romeo + Juliet, I was the last person who expected to be charmed or moved by his rowdy, musically anachronistic follow-up. But Moulin Rouge! taps into something romantically primal on its way toward forging a certainly unique and personal consideration of love. More importantly, it's a pop cornucopia where vaudeville, musical theater and even the circus combine in a garish, giddy explosion that becomes a deconstructive text on the movie musical itself. Luhrmann's irreverence toward period accuracy in his use of source music had to have been an influence on Sofia Coppola's conceptualization of the life of France's iconic queen Marie Antoinette (2006)- '80s tunesmiths like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Gang of Four and Bow Wow Wow adorning the royal courts of France wouldn't be a natural choice for any other director. But Coppola's vision of Marie as a sheltered rich girl who is not so different in sensibility from that of a privileged mall rat is at once bizarre and strangely appropriate, and it is fleshed out by an eclectic cast featuring Kirsten Dunst in the title role, alongside Jason Schwartzman, Rip Torn, Marianne Faithfull, Molly Shannon and Asia Argento-only Judy Davis fits the more traditionally Merchant Ivory casting ideal. The result is a paradox of psychological isolation countered with a certain appreciation of luxurious excess that communicates with odd beauty the emotional desolation and giddy rapture of a girl who grew up to be queen.

Moulin Rouge!

2001, USA / Australia, 127 minutes
directed by Baz Luhrmann; written by Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce; starring Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh, Kylie Minogue
Sun: 5:30 only; Mon/Tue: 7:30, Trailer

You can go with it or resist it, be exhilarated or worn out. But forgetting the experience is not one of your options.
- Kenneth Turan, LA Times

A landmark musical movie - controversial, mercurial, even cheeky. It's the kind of film that wildly divides audiences and critics - people tend to either love or hate it. I loved it.
- Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

- plus on the same bill -

Marie Antoinette

2006, USA / France / Japan, 123 minutes
written & directed by Sofia Coppola; starring Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Judy Davis, Rip Torn, Rose Byrne, Asia Argento
Sun: 8:00 only; Mon/Tue: 10:00, Trailer

Marie Antoinette gives a wide berth to the conventions of period dramas, especially their time-capsule remove, and instead tries to mainline the singular personal experience of the arch-villainess of French history (and freedom history, for that matter). The result is a startlingly original and beautiful pop reverie that comes very close to being transcendent. - Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times

Wednesday & Thursday, February 16 & 17

Finally, yet another 2010 release that didn't get a fair-shake theatrical run writer-director Lena Dunham's shoestring debut feature Tiny Furniture nonetheless captivated critics to a certain degree even if audiences had no idea that it was even playing, let alone where. The central idea sounds almost forbiddingly familiar: a recent college grad, played by the auteur herself, returns to her claustrophobic home world without a clue as to where to direct her life. Ostensibly a piquant addition to the D.I.Y. Mumblecore aesthetic, Dunham's picture is more assured than what usually comes from this neck of the woods, offering a certain comic charm and naiveté to replace what some might call the calculated restlessness of the typical Mumblecore character type. Ultimately, Tiny Furniture is more satisfying than what you might expect because Dunham herself is as sharp a writer as she is a somewhat recessive camera subject, and you get the sense that she's critiquing her character's self-indulgence a touch more than she celebrates it. Tiny Furniture may be most valuable, however, for the glimpse it affords into the promise of even more lovely and detailed comedies to come from this talented navel-gazer. On the same bill, more youthful attitude, suppressed uncertainty and way-cool blues (among a multitude of off-the-chart musically hip selections) by way of Terry Zwigoff's brilliant observed, sensitive recreation of the too-cool-for-school (or anything else) outsiders at the beating heart of Daniel Clowes' Ghost World (2001). Here is the rare graphic novel adaptation not centered on superheroes or displaced noir tropes or even a particular visual signature. Clowes' panels are clean and completely unfussy, and Zwigoff has translated that sense keenly without tipping into the mundane. And his actors-Thora Birch and Scarlet Johanssen-communicate the fear barely contained beneath their snarky indifference and the sense of their insecurity at the prospect of having no idea how to adapt to a world that won't slow down. Best of all is Steve Buscemi, who becomes a cultural and emotional touchstone for Birch, a real person conjured from what would have only previously been the object of her ridicule. Ghost World plays with hilarious specificity in its design and satirically youthful bent, but there's sadness about its reconciliation with maturity that is surprisingly, though never sentimentally heartfelt.

Tiny Furniture

2010, USA, 98 minutes
written & directed by Lena Dunham; starring Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Grace Dunham
Wed/Thurs: 7:30, Trailer

It's a find - funny and rueful and verbally dexterous, leavening a quippy screenplay with just enough honesty to make it stick.
- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

It's the work of a filmmaker with a stunning future.
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

- plus on the same bill -

Ghost World

2001, USA / UK / Germany, 111 minutes
directed by Terry Zwigoff, written by Daniel Clowes & Terry Zwigoff; starring Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi, Brad Renfro, Illeana Douglas, Bob Balaban
Wed/Thurs: 9:30, Trailer

4 Stars - I wanted to hug this movie. It takes such a risky journey and never steps wrong. - Roger Ebert


Advance tickets may be purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets by clicking HERE. Advance tickets are not sold at the box office.

Currently, only general admission tickets may be purchased via this link. Discounted student, senior, etc. tickets may not be purchased in advance at this time. As always, any available tickets will also be sold at the theater box office the day of the event. Purchasing advance tickets is generally unnecessary for most shows, as the only programs that ever come close to selling out are special event shows with special guests, etc. Plenty of tickets are available at the door for nearly all of our programs.

Coming Soon:

18 & 19: Robert Altman's MASH - New 35mm Print!
19: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
20 & 21: Cabin in the Sky / Hallelujah!
23 & 24: Andrei Tarkovsky's The Mirror & Ivan's Childhood
25 & 26: The African Queen & The Desperate Hours
26: Demolition Man

Film notes by Dennis Cozzalio
Schedule subject to change

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