Throwback Thursday: The Hours and Times

“Uncategorizable, unforgettable… Munch’s brave and moving film achieves his goal beautifully.”
– Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“Exquisitely written and performed. Munch’s understated vignette announced the arrival of a young, but fully mature talent.”
– David Ansen, Newsweek

“A sharp, concise, evocative film about friendship.”
– Vincent Canby, The New York Times

“A spare, but highly polished examination… Not only is the acting strong, yet understated, but the script has the knack of creating both character and relationships through dialog. This enhances the film’s sense of eavesdropping on an intricate psychological reality, something that is especially difficult to achieve when the fictionalization of celebrities is involved.”
– Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

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Throwback Thursday: In Celebration

Utilizing the same brilliant cast as In Celebration‘s original highly acclaimed Royal Court Theater run, director Lindsay Anderson (O Lucky ManIf) re-imagined his stage triumph into a riveting cinematic experience back in 1975. Anderson grounds David Storey‘s ferocious and poignant drama in a setting that as realistic as the playwright’s caustic portrait of generational hypocrisy is universal.

In their tiny house in a Yorkshire mining town, God-fearing and hardworking Mr. and Mrs. Shaw (Bill Owen and Constance Chapman) welcome their sons home to celebrate the couple’s fortieth wedding anniversary. But with each son’s arrival, more and more of the Shaw’s model blue collar family facade begins to chip away. Middle son Colin’s (James Bolam) engagement has placed him on the path to a loveless marriage. Barely shouldering the burdens of his shattered artisitic aspirations and his own family, Steven, the baby, brilliantly played by Brian Cox, is on the threshold of a nervous breakdown. But the toaster tossed into this already scalding theatrical bath is Alan Bates as eldest son Andrew. As father, mother, and brothers futiley try to hide the truth from themselves and each other, Bates’ Andrew tears into the Shaw family’s carefully maintained fictions with animal fury and all-too-human bitterness.

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Throwback Thursday: Can’t Stop the Music

“The Movie Musical Event of the 1980s” (in theory only) is coming to Blu-ray!

Pour yourself a milkshake and experience the magic, music, and mirth of the all-time favorite camp-tastic classic Can’t Stop The Music! Batshit insane by any measure, this notorious flop exploits all of producer Allan Carr worst creative instincts… and it’s truly an unforgettable cinematic experience (for better of worse).

Although it was released in 1980, the film’s disco-pulsating heart lies squarely in the tacky 1970s – telling the highly fictionalized origin story of The Village People.

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Throwback Thursday: Jeffrey

Meet Jeffrey (Steven Weber), a struggling actor in the New York scene who has just made the biggest decision of his life: he’s swearing off sex… forever!

No sooner has he made this startling vow than he meets the dreamy and sensitive Steve (Michael T. Weiss). With the help of his friends Sterling (Patrick Stewart) and Darius (Bryan Batt), Jeffrey decides to give love a second shot. But some unexpected news puts Jeffrey in a bind, him to decide if he should take a risk on what could be the love of his life.

Released in the summer of 1995, this hilarious and touching film from acclaimed director Christopher Ashley and writer Paul Rudnick (based on his own stage play The Life and Times of Richard Jeffrey) managed to redefine the romantic comedy for the LGBTQ+ community living in the age of AIDS in the ’90s.

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Throwback Thursday: Death in Venice

Based on the classic novella by Thomas Mann, this late-career masterpiece from the great Luchino Visconti is a meditation on the nature of art, the allure of beauty, and the inescapability of death.

 

A fastidious composer reeling from a disastrous concert, Gustav von Aschenbach (Dirk Bogarde, in an exquisitely nuanced performance) travels to Venice to recover. There, he is struck by a vision of pure beauty in the form of a young boy named Tadzio (Björn Andrésen), his infatuation developing into an obsession even as rumors of a plague spread through the city.

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Throwback Thursday: The Paperboy

We’re only throwing back to 2012 this week. Sure, that’s not long ago, but the new DVD re-release of The Paperboy, out this week (and available here for just $9.46), made us want to take another look at this much-maligned slice of weirdness.

 

A sexually and racially-charged film noir from Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, The Butler), The Paperboy is set in backwaters of steamy 1960s South Florida, as investigative reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) and his partner Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) chase a sensational, career-making story. With the help of Ward’s younger brother Jack (Zac Efron) and sultry death-row groupie Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), the pair tries to prove violent swamp-dweller Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack) was framed for the murder of a corrupt local sheriff.

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Throwback Thursday: Safe

Restrained but emotionally involving, this harrowing tale of a woman who becomes physically allergic to the environment doubles as an AIDS allegory. Safe, an indie classic from Todd Haynes, was greatly misunderstood back in 1995, when it was first released. Over the years, it has become a critically-acclaimed cult classic and has garnered a reputation as a subversive stand-out of the New Queer Cinema movement.

 

Safe © Criterion Collection

Safe © Criterion Collection

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Buddies © Vinegar Syndrome

Throwback Thursday: Buddies

David (David Schachter), a naive graduate student, has volunteered to work as a ‘buddy’ for people dying of AIDS. Assigned to the intensely political Robert (Geoff Edholm), a lifelong activist whose friends and family have abandoned him following his diagnosis, the two men, each with notably different world views, soon discover common bonds, as David’s inner activist awakens and Robert’s need for emotional release is fulfilled.

Buddies © Vinegar Syndrome

Buddies © Vinegar Syndrome

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Midnight Cowboy © The Criterion Collection

Throwback Thursday: Midnight Cowboy

One of the British New Wave’s most versatile directors, John Schlesinger came to New York in the late 1960s to make Midnight Cowboy, a picaresque story of friendship that captured a city in crisis and sparked a new era of Hollywood movies.

 

Jon Voight delivers a career-making performance as Joe Buck, a wide-eyed hustler from Texas hoping to score big with wealthy city women. He finds a companion in Enrico “Ratso” Rizzo, an ailing swindler with a bum leg and a quixotic fantasy of escaping to Florida, played by Dustin Hoffman in a radical departure from his breakthrough in The Graduate.

 

Midnight Cowboy © The Criterion Collection

Midnight Cowboy © The Criterion Collection

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