Journalist Kerri Miller likes to put people on the hot seat, but the tables will turn on Wednesday — she’ll be defending a secret movie at 7:00 at the Trylon, and you’re invited. After the show you can demand answers to all your movie-related question and she’ll have to answer.
Miller joined MPR News in June 2004 as host of Midmorning (now The Daily Circuit) and Talking Volumes. Before that she was an award-winning television reporter for KARE 11. She has been a radio and television news reporter since 1981.
There are very few subjects that don’t interest her, but listeners to The Daily Circuit know a few of her passions: travel, books, dogs and the news biz. This will be her first Defenders appearance, and half of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Animal Humane Society of Woodbury. You can order advance tickets here.
With this masterful study of a woman’s descent into agoraphobic lunacy, Roman Polanski solidified himself as a daring and relentless horror stylist. A uniquely claustrophobic film that will test the nerves of even the most seasoned horror buffs.
An absolute knockout of a movie…Prepare yourself to be demolished when you go to see it—and go you must, because it’s one of those films everybody will soon be buzzing about…..To miss it would be worse than missing Psycho, if you’ve a taste for this sort of thing.
For it is more than just a tale of mounting horrors that moves its heroine—a beautiful, sex-repressed French girl living in London—from a state of mental woe into a stage of dithering madness and then to the dark extremity of murdering a brace of fellows who happen into the lonely apartment in which she is hidden….
Within the maelstrom of violence and horror in this film, Mr. Polanski has achieved a haunting concept of the pain and pathos of the mentally deranged. He has delivered undoubtedly one of the best films of the year. —Bosley Crowther, The New York Times
Repulsion screens at the Trylon Monday and Tuesday, October 13 and 14 at 7:00 and 9:00. Advance tickets can be purchased here.
Start talking about the sprawling rural deserts of Texas and it won’t be long before someone mentions The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. For many, Texas Chainsaw introduced the idea of fearing rural southerners, and very well might be the crown jewel of the demented-rural-American horror movie genre. The ideas that sub-genre convey have seeped so heavily into our lexicon, you’d be hard pressed to find a city dweller that believes there’s anything to fear in the rolling countryside besides the people who live there.
Thankfully, Tucker and Dale vs Evil gives us a different take on rural-horror. Tucker and Dale have a rich friendship, they encourage each other, they react emotionally appropriate in horrific situations, they discuss those emotions as they emerge, they have mundane fears of rejection and being misunderstood. Almost every rural-American stereotype and trope is smashed through Tucker and Dale in creatively hilarious or gory ways. (I mean, this is a horror movie. People run themselves through with fallen tree branches, are burned alive, and are brained by nails through boards.) But the abundant humor is not at the expense of hapless country folk nor is the horror inflicted by a country hillbilly gone mad; most of the movies action revolves around people’s perceptions of one another and what can happen if you make all your judgements at face value.
As an openminded-liberal-country gal, I thoroughly appreciate this break from the chainsaw wielding, cannibalistic, tooth missing murderous representations of my southern brethren. I just wish it would catch on…
Colette Ricci hasn’t had a cigarette in six years, but every time she watches someone in a film light up, she inhales with them.
Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil screens Friday and Saturday, October 10 and 11 at 7:00 and 9:00, and Sunday, October 12 at 5:00 and 7:00 at the Trylon. You can purchase advance tickets here.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? begins with a middle-aged couple returning home after a long, formal evening of social drinking. With tongues loosened by a good, healthy buzz, it is immediately evident that George (Richard Burton) and Martha (Elizabeth Taylor) do not have the happiest of marriages. Thus, when Martha announces she has invited a nice young couple over for some post-party drinks, her motivation is immediately suspect. Indeed, the stage is set for a bumpy and revealing night.
Telling the story of a single liquor-soaked night, the plot moves with a drunken sensibility and contains volatile emotional turns, taking viewers through a series of unpredictable, yet instructive conversational loops. Using his camera to heighten the source material, Mike Nichols filmed in frantic pans to follow the frenzied pacing of his subjects, capturing the claustrophobic setting with forceful close-ups and low angles. There are few, if any, cinematic experiences that so effectively capture the dizzying effects of alcohol.
In this context, it would seem truth would flow freely. Yet, George and Martha both seem more concerned with bringing to light each other’s flaws than baring their own souls. Indeed, they guard their personal insecurities and fears while at the same time sacrificing their dignity in the face of their young, naïve guests. Truth is revealed in short, veiled spurts and the viewer is left to decipher clues to who George and Martha are, and what their motivations may be. Clearly they wish to use their guests as weapons to attack each other, but why is this so?
Nick and Honey, the film’s unfortunate young couple, who are comparative novices in the art of inebriation, aid viewers in their search for answers and serve as a flawed voice of reason. This makes the film an uncomfortable experience, as their inexperienced voices are outdueled by the boisterous and sardonic cynicism of their hard-drinking counterparts. They are, in the end, left discarded and confused.
Yet, their exhausted and faltering efforts to attain truth are revealed to have an impact in a moment of honest clarity found in the film’s conclusion, and a strange form of catharsis is reached. With it’s poignant final twist, the story’s conclusion offers up important insight while also raising more questions, hinting that this night has been no different than many others. Unsuspecting pawns such as Nick and Honey are needed to keep demons at bay, and there will be more young couples to be tested and broken in George and Martha’s parlor.
The Thing begins as dashing Air Force men in the Arctic help scientists at a research facility investigate a UFO crash. The spacecraft they have come to see is encased in ice. A scene where the men spread out to mark the saucer’s circumference is handled with restraint; more is suggested than shown, an effective technique that’s employed for the rest of the film. But there’s more. A giant man is also there, frozen, underfoot. So, as is standard operating procedure when a humanoid creature is spotted frozen beneath arctic ice, our heroes carve it out and haul it back to their isolated base.
We know The Thing in The Thing from Another World is going to break free and come after our heroes. We just do. I say this not for fact of spoiler alert, but as reason to just settle in and enjoy the ride until it does. As mentioned before, a great deal of restraint is employed as our friend thaws and begins to run amok. At first, we’re only given glimpses of The Thing. It is big. Dogs do not like it. Soon after initial encounters, its approach is often marked only by hastening clicks of a Geiger counter.
This leaves much of the horror up to our imaginations, which bodes well for any movie that wants to get us to jump a few times. I’ll admit I did once, during The Thing’s most underplayed entrances.
It does become odd though, that despite this tension and some truly fine scenes including an impressive full immolation of The Thing, most everyone’s mood throughout the film remains very…light. Jovial almost. At one point our leading man is willingly bound, hands behind back, and forced to do shots by his lady-friend. Aside from the humongous alien man locked in the greenhouse who’s killing men and dogs and hanging them upside-down in order to drain their blood in an attempt to create a clone army of himself, yes, this would seem a very good time for light bondage and heavy drinking.
This tonal WTF makes for part of the fun. The Thing from Another World is keenly shot, and I was charmed by how the actors constantly ran over one another’s lines. This direction creates a strangely modern effect for a movie of this time period, one that honestly reminded me of the performances/dialogue in Citizen Kane.
How fitting. Like Kane, The Thing from Another World is defined and amplified by its limitations. And like Kane, over half a century later, it most definitely will be best enjoyed on the big screen.
As an Explorer, Ben hopes to one day visit the old oak tree at the end of Petaluma. Because it’s his dream, he can touch it if he wants.
The Thing From Another World screens at, and as a benefit for, the Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery in Minneapolis. The show starts at dusk. Advance tickets can be purchased here.