From My Criterion Vault: The Man Who Fell to Earth – A Review

Jan. 10, 2016 was surely a sad day for music fans across the world. The loss of the incomparable David Bowie will be felt for a long time to come. So I wanted to take this opportunity to dedicate my review this month to the Thin White Duke himself by reviewing his debut film The Man Who Fell to Earth, one of my personal all-time favorites.

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From My Criterion Vault: The Man Who Fell to Earth – A Review

Are You a Squash, or Are You Just Happy to See Me? The Revenge of Teenage Vixens From Outer Space

Last month, From the Projection Room revealed a new feature, in which Russ delves into his Criterion collection and brings us some reviews of truly fantastic films from around the world. While I love Mulholland Drive, Hunger, and Rashomon as much as the next cinephile, there are those amongst us, like myself, who grew up more on 976-Evil, Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, and Fraternity Vacation. So with that in mind, allow me to present another new feature, the yin to Criterion’s yang if you will, for everyone who spent a good chunk of Friday and Saturday night watching USA Up All Night.

What I love most about b (or c… or z) movies is not only that they’re just flat-out ridiculous fun, but they can serve as a great example of just grabbing a camera, some friends, and shooting a damn movie. No huge budget, not-so-special effects, no acting classes… just write a story (or not, who cares) and make it happen! Is it going to be good? I mean, no, but who’s counting? Case in point, the first movie that I’m going to tackle – The Revenge of the Teenage Vixens from Outer Space. By all appearances, this movie looks to have had a budget of about $15, maybe $20 if they splurged for lunch from Wendy’s one day. The vast majority of the cast have no other acting credits to their names, and I’m sure most of them would prefer to not have this one tied to them.

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Are You a Squash, or Are You Just Happy to See Me? The Revenge of Teenage Vixens From Outer Space

Elliott Gould (in a dashiki) visits the Athens of the South: a Review of Robert Altman’s NASHVILLE

Director Robert Altman’s first feature was the 1957 shoestring indie The Delinquents, a drive-in moneymaker filmed in his hometown of Kansas City, and his last was the 2006 movie adaptation of a radio program, A Prairie Home Companion. In the early ‘80s he hit a rather severe creative rough stretch, though gradually his artistic touch was regained as he enjoyed a late-career renaissance spanning over a decade.

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Elliott Gould (in a dashiki) visits the Athens of the South: a Review of Robert Altman’s NASHVILLE

From My Criterion Vault – The Sword of Doom – A Review

Hello Shenandoah Valley film buffs! Welcome to a new feature here on From the Projection Room brought to you by Andy and myself (I’m Russ… you know, that one guy that’s always there super early for some weird reason…). Each month I am going to go digging deep into the recesses of my Criterion Collection to hopefully help you discover (and possibly even rediscover myself) some important works of world cinema.

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From My Criterion Vault – The Sword of Doom – A Review

A Review of Allan King’s A MARRIED COUPLE; or, a Documentary About an Unrelateable, Crumbling Marriage

If you know going in that A Married Couple (1969) is a part of the Criterion Collection’s Eclipse Series and is a documentary that follows the relationship struggles of a real married couple in sixties Toronto, you expect an almost-too-raw, emotional portrayal of real people.  What you get instead is a jackass in red bikini briefs hamming it up for the camera, nude family vacations,  and a sudden disregard for sixties nostalgia. The movie, directed by Allen King, follows 40-something ad copy writer  Billy Edwards and his brassy, decade younger wife Antoinette, and their struggling marriage.

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A Review of Allan King’s A MARRIED COUPLE; or, a Documentary About an Unrelateable, Crumbling Marriage

Go West Again, Young Man: A Review of John Ford’s Stagecoach

As a kid I can remember my dad, Saturday afternoons, constantly (in my adolescent mind) watching old westerns. Or old John Wayne movies. Or old John Wayne westerns because the man seemed to ALWAYS be in ALL of them. Sigh. Boy did I hate them. I never understood the appeal, it was always the same thing: Good guy, Bad guy, horses, boring talkie-talkie, shoot out, ending. Plus they usually threw a girl in to boot. Yuck! Looking back at it now it was obviously a generational thing. As kids we never ran around playing Cowboys and Indians. I grew up on Star Wars, The Last Starfighter, and Explorers. I was a Spaceman! I wanted a rocket ship and a laser-blaster, not a horse and a six shooter.

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Go West Again, Young Man: A Review of John Ford’s Stagecoach

My Dinner with André – Cult or Anything But – A Review

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For all the subsequent hoo-ha over its supposed stuffiness, the 1981 two-hander My Dinner with André is an experimental film. It’s also frequently burdened with the descriptor “theatrical,” a categorization ringing true in the stage backgrounds of its actors Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory, and further emphasized by the pair essentially working out their parts prior to the involvement of director Louis Malle.

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My Dinner with André – Cult or Anything But – A Review