Friday, October 29, 2010

running Watch-A-Thon count...

Please support the Unofficial Film School of Boston, the Brattle Theater—Sponsor my 2010 Watch-A-Thon! Thanks!

Note that altho this post is dated 10/29, the starting line of the 'thon, I'll be updating it as I go along. For the list with short-ish commentary, check out this post.
  1. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 @AMC Harvard Square, 10/29/10.
  2. DEVIL @Muvico Centro Ybor, 10/31/10.
  3. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 @Silver Moon Drive-In, 10/31/10.
  4. CASE 39 @Silver Moon Drive-In, 10/31/10.
  5. EASY A @Cinemark Festival Bay, 11/3/10.
  6. RED @AMC Monmouth, 11/6/10.
  7. GUY AND MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH @the Brattle, 11/8/10.
  8. MACHETE @Somerville, 11/10/10.
  9. PAPRIKA @the Brattle, 11/10/10.
  10. SKYLINE @AMC Burlington, 11/13/10.
  11. GRAVITY @Coolidge Corner, 11/14/10.
  12. BOXING GYM @the Brattle, 11/17/10.
  13. ENTER THE VOID @Kendall Square, 11/17/10.
  14. TODAY'S SPECIAL @Kendall Square, 11/19/10.
  15. 127 HOURS @Kendall Square, 11/21/10.
  17. LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN @the Brattle, 11/24/10.
  18. THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST @Kendall Square, 11/25/10.
  19. ALIEN @the Brattle, 11/25/10.
  20. ALL ABOUT EVE @the Brattle, 11/26/10.
  21. VANISHING POINT @the Brattle, 11/26/10.
  22. M*A*S*H @the Brattle, 11/27/10.
  23. LITTLE MURDERS @the Brattle, 11/27/10.
  24. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA @the Brattle, 11/27/10.
  25. MADE IN DAGENHAM @Kendall Square, 11/28/10.
  26. UNSTOPPABLE @AMC Boston Common, 11/29/10.
  27. DUE DATE @AMC Harvard Square, 12/1/10.
  28. INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM @the Brattle, 12/1/10.
For those of you playing along at home, that's 12 Brattle films and 16 non-Brattle flicks, for a final total of 20.0 Watch-A-Thon movie-points. Ayep.

Anyone wanna go to the movies?

Keep on keepin on~

2010 Watch-A-Thon!

Beginning this October 29, and running thru December 1, I will be participating in the Brattle Theater's Movie Watch-A-Thon fundraiser and hope that you will support me and help the Brattle Theater! For one month, I will watch as many movies as possible—at the Brattle and other venues—and seek sponsors to contribute to the Brattle Film Foundation per movie-I-see, or encourage one-time donations in support of my movie madness. I hope you'll help me in this effort to preserve the legacy of repertory film programming at Boston's Unofficial Film School, the non-profit Brattle Theater.

If you're not familiar with the Brattle (or even if you are), the theater is a unique, modest cinema located in Harvard Square. No teeth-shattering THX, no stadium seats, but behind the counter there's freshly popped popcorn, real melted butter, and *hey!* beer and wine! And up on the screen are the coolest, smartest, classiest, campiest, funniest, and scariest rectangles of light in Boston. On stage you'll meet directors, authors, actors, and musicians, including the likes of Bruce Campbell, George Romero, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Junot Diaz, Daniel Clowes, Willem Dafoe, Kid Koala, and Juliana Hatfield. And, in the seats, you'll find people loving and digging them all.

Maybe even YOU!

Please contact me if you'd like to sponsor my Watch-A-Thon, and let me know how much you wish to pledge per movie. Feel free to specify a cap (if you're familiar with my moviegoing habits, you'll understand why). Or if you like, make a one-time (not per-movie) flat donation now through this webpage by credit card. And of course, going to see a movie at the theater itself wouldn't hurt any. =)

It's where my mind was blown when I watched Chow Yun Fat step-and-slide his way down that tea-house stairway railing, two guns a-blazin', partnered with Tony Leung in John Woo's HARD-BOILED! The darkened theater where I first experienced movies like CITIZEN KANE, DONNIE DARKO, and FALLEN ANGELS... Where I can go to see "What's Opera, Doc?" on the big screen, and properly observe my high holy days with screenings of EVIL DEAD 2 for Halloween, CASABLANCA for Thanksgiving, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE for Saturnalia, and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN for Valentine's Day... and where I consistently go to see the best of film's past (BICYCLE THIEVES, LE SAMOURI), present (THE HOST, SUNSHINE), and future (EXILED, MUTUAL ATTRACTION).

Thank you for any little something you can give to keep the Brattle's screen lit up, either as a donation or a pledge for my Watch-A-Thon. Help the Brattle...

Keep on keepin on~

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


site | trailers

WAITING FOR SUPERMAN is an eye-opening, at times heartwarming, at times heartbreaking documentary that surveys the history and current landscape of public education in the United States (alas, there are a lot of sinkholes and few peaks).

The film approaches the subject from two vantage points: from that of young students and their parents seeking the best quality education available to them in their circumstances, and from that of motivated educators and policy makers seeking to reform and reinvent the practice of education. On the educator side, we learn about the success of the Harlem Children's Zone, follow the progress of the KIPP schools, and find out about some unpopular tactics employed to reform the D.C. school system. The educators responsible for these charter schools and measures are proving that educational success for *supposedly* hopeless students IS possible. On the student side, we meet a half dozen grade school kids (wonderfully earnest and charming) across the country who have the opportunity to win a spot, via lottery, in a non-standard public school option that will significantly improve their odds of going on to college. That that is even an issue is a telling sign, and the filmmakers fill in the blanks for us with the highlights, or rather, lowlights, of the educational system's failures, introducing us to the terms "dropout factory," "lemon dance," and "rubber room." Some reform is attempted within and some outside of the existing bureaucratic and administrative structures, which prove highly resistant to change. Not surprising, given that they are based on a foundation that was mostly laid in the post-war era, when expectations of high school graduates were very different from those of today's.

Blerg. I'm doing a crummy job trying to summarize without "spoiling," so I'm gonna quit and tell you what you need to know: YOU SHOULD SEE THIS FILM!

If you're not careful, you might learn something before it's done. =)

Keep on keepin on~