Opening in Chicago, 11/30


Sorry for the late post this weekend, but there’s not really much to report this weekend anyway.

The most promising new release is Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly (trailer). I still haven’t caught up to Dominik’s Chopper, but The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was really terrific. I’d have bought that Blu-ray long ago if I hadn’t read that the image on it hopelessly overprocessed by Warner Bros. At any rate, it’s been five years since that film, and before that Dominik went 7 years between movies, so I hope this one is good. You have to make them count when you’re that unprolific.

The next most interesting release is the new remake of Wuthering Heights (trailer) by director Andrea Arnold (Red Road, Fish Tank). I actually saw this back in March, and was reasonably impressed, although it certainly has its flaws. Like one would expect from Arnold, there’s a lot of handheld photography, there’s no musical score, and the overall tone is gritty and harshly melodramatic.

Other than that … hmm. Saw ripoff The Collection (trailer) is making a token theatrical appearance before being forgotten by everyone for all time. Indian thriller Talaash is opening downtown; apparently there’s a reasonably large niche market for imports from India, because these have become a fairly regular occurence. Documentary Wagner & Me examines the Jewish guilt of liking composer Richard Wagner (really?). And Matthew Lillard’s indie comedy Fat Kid Rules the World (trailer) is about a teenager who takes up drumming for a punk band.

That’s pretty sparse, but next week looks even worse. At least I’ll get to catch up a little on the stuff that’s already out.


3 responses »

  1. Killing Me Softly received an F from viewers in Cinemascore, which is rare. Wonder what bugged them so much?

    As for Wagner, his works sort of became the soundtrack for the Nazis, and was Hitler’s favorite. In the opening scene of Annie Hall, Woody Allen tells Tony Roberts about a record store employee, who is tall and blonde, telling him they have a sale on Wagner. “Wagner, Max!” which he interprets as anti-Semitism. So, yes, really.

  2. Well, yes, I understand the Wagner-Nazis connection. But Wagner died in 1883. I know his personal views may well have allied him to the Nazis had he lived to see them, but still.

    And wasn’t the Annie Hall line a joke? It’s been years since I’ve seen it, so I could be wrong, but Woody was making fun of reflexive anti-Semitism charges, wasn’t he?

  3. Yes, it was a joke, (the conversation was about how Alvy sees anti-Semitic conspiracies everywhere) but it reflects the feeling among a certain number of Jews that Wagner and Nazis are intertwined. And sure Wagner died in 1883, but he also an anti-Semite and believed in racial superiority theories that the Nazis later adopted. From Wikipedia: “Much heat is generated by Wagner’s comments on Jews, which continue to influence the way that his works are regarded, and by the essays he wrote on the nature of race from 1850 onwards, and their putative influence on the antisemitism of Adolf Hitler.”

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