Friday, April 25, 2008

First Blood at Movies 8

First Blood, the original Rambo film, will be shown at Movies 8 in the River Hills Mall on May 15th, 2008 at 7:30pm. It is a special presentation, one night only, and will cost a little more than the average movie ticket. After the film has finished there will be a viewing of the original ending to the picture and an interview with Sylvester Stallone.

Find out more here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This American Life: In Theaters

The television version of Ira Glass' "This American Life" will be broadcast live via satellite on Thursday, May 1st at Movies 8 in the River Hills Mall, Mankato at 7:00 p.m. For tickets, visit the Movies 8 box office.

The radio version of "This American Life" can be heard every Sunday at 1:00pm, two hours after Maverick at the Movies.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Minneapolis - St. Paul International Film Festival

The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival is underway. Check out the website for details.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lucas on Indiana Jones

Contact has an excerpt of an interview with George Lucas about the new Indiana Jones film, due out next month. Lucas is surprisingly candid about his fears that the film will not match expectations and will be met with the same kind of backlash that Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace recieved.

Indiana Jones producer George fears the forthcoming sequel is doomed to suffer the same critical failure as his much maligned Star Wars prequels.The producer has brought the swashbuckling franchise back to life, 19 years after Harrison Ford's movie archaeologist last appeared in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.But, as the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull draws close, Lucas admits he is terrified die-hard fans will turn their backs on the movie - in the same way Star Wars devotees did after he reignited the sci-fi franchise. He says, "We're not gonna have adoring fans sending us e-mails saying how much they loved the movie. We're gonna have a bunch of angry people saying, 'You're a bunch of a**holes, you should never have done this. You've ruined my life forever.'"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

KMSU FM Spring Pledge Drive

89.7 KMSU FM, The Maverick, is currently holding its spring pledge drive. Your donations, however much they may be, are greatly appreciated and necessary to keep the station on the air. Please support independent radio in the southern Minnesota area by making a pledge. You can call into the station at 507-389-5678 or 1-800-456-7810. You can also visit the contact page of the station's website and send an email. If you leave a voice mail message or send an email, please leave your name, address phone number, and amount you would like to pledge. If using a credit card, please do not send any card information, as this is not secure.

You can find more information on how donations help KMSU here.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

New Hollywood Series: Raging Bull

The Maverick at the Movies series on New Hollywood films continues on today's episode with a look at Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese character study of boxer Jake La Motta.

Scorsese was one of the most important filmmakers to emerge from the New Hollywood period (1968 - 1980), starting with Mean Streets and continuing with Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, New York, New York, and Taxi Driver. Raging Bull was released at the very end of the New Hollywood period and was one of Scorsese's greatest artistic achievements of his career and his best film of the period.

Raging Bull very much embodies New Hollywood tendencies:
  • The protagonist is a very difficult character.
  • The film features a lot of violence in the ring but also on the streets and in the home.
  • The film travels into uncomfortable or taboo territory and uproots myth of the 1950s Leave It to Beaver home and puts infidelity and violence there.
  • The film deals with subtext that is personal to the director, which in this case includes struggles with masculinity, life in the Bronx, Catholic imagery, and a chaotic home life.

The music of Raging Bull is interesting and is one of the key ways in which the film succeeds both as a personal work in Scorsese filmography and as a piece of cinematic art. On the show I've divided up the music into three categories:

Italian Music
This comes in two forms. First, rather than use a score produced exclusively for the film, Raging Bull features selections by composer Mascagni. This gives the Italian flavor to the environment La Motta lives in and comes from. It is a beautiful but mournful piece of music that comes in contrast to the scenes of brutal violence and underscores the tragedy of La Motta's story. Second, the film also features pieces like "Vivre" by Carlo Buti which also sets the ethnic setting of the story.

Lounge Music
Many scenes in the film take place in bars or clubs and music by Gene Krupa and His Orchestra or Russ Columbo and Nat Shilkret’s Orchestra create atmosphere. This music is often included as source music, which means that it comes from a radio or background performances.

Pop Music
Other source music in the film comes from recognizable music and Hollywood figures like Marilyn Monroe, Ella Fitzgerald, and Tony Bennett, among others. This music places the film in a particular space and time. There are few visual cues in the film that tell us when the film takes place, but music selections by these figures places the audience in the decade.