Posts Tagged ‘PFS Blog’

PFS Rapid Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand Budapest Hotel.jpg

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Reading the works of Stefan Zweig has always left me with the sensation that any lover of both literature and film might feel: Why has there never been a modern adaptation of this author’s work that shows a keen understanding of his prose the way Rossellini and Ophüls did nearly a century ago?  Thankfully, Wes Anderson has made the ultimate tribute to Zweig with his masterful and staggeringly gorgeous new film The Grand Budapest Hotel.

PFS Rapid Review: The Wind Rises

THE WIND RISES

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

If the heart is our most valuable organ then Hayao Miyazaki, with his ability to challenge us and make the viewer feel things we never thought possible, was our most valuable artist working in animation before his retirement.  The Wind Rises, his fictionalized biography of engineer Jiro Horikoshi, is as beautifully told and lushly detailed as his classic tales of a freelance bounty hunter pig or a young Emishi warrior and cannot be missed.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – Goodfellas

Good Fellads

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Caroline Meuser

Though I was exposed to Goodfellas early in life, I did not experience the type of positive introduction that most “cinephiles” probably have. To me, it was one of those films that TNT constantly featured and, while my dad sat enrapt as Joe Pesci pumps seven bullets into his friend’s chest, I classified it as a film I may watch in full eventually, but for the time, I could do without the emotional disturbance incurred by seeing men willfully destroy their lives and the lives of others through organized crime.

Martin Scorsese adapted Goodfellas from the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi. By 1990, Scorsese and Pileggi organized an utterly triumphant cast and screenplay. Ray Liotta narrates most of the film as Henry Hill, an aspiring-turned-successful Brooklyn gangster. In a menacing, poignant performance, Liotta illustrates Hill’s tumultuous existence – from his collaboration with mob figures Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) and Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) in 1955 to his dramatic fall from criminal grace in 1980. Within this time period, the glamour of violence and riches blind Hill and company. With each murder, drug deal and robbery, the line distinguishing their actions between dutiful and disturbing rapidly fades.

Local filmmakers showcased in February’s Filmadelphia at the Roxy Series

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Avery Maehrer

Joe Lee was horrified to make the call.

An idea had sprung in his head for a documentary about Sue and Ron Witman, whose family made headlines after their son was found guilty of brutally killing his younger brother. But for Lee’s vision to come to fruition, he had to pick up the phone and convince the married couple to tell him their story. After Lee overcame his nerves and reached out to the Witmans, they met in person. The rest is history.

“They kind of fell in love with us,” Lee said. “And we fell in love with them.”

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The result of what followed Lee’s phone call is “The Witmans” – one of three short films by local filmmakers showcased on Feb. 18 in the

Philadelphia Film Society’s Filmadelphia at the Roxy program. In addition to Lee’s work, Doris ChiaChing Lin’s “Maquette 1:1000” and Hilary Brashear’s “Triptych” were also screened in front of a packed theater.

So Bad It’s Good – My Best Friend is a Vampire

My BF is a Vampire

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Alexander Goodlive

With all the hate that The Twilight Saga gets (and rightfully so) for destroying the image of what a vampire is and should be, few realize that vampire movies have always existed outside of household Anne Rice fetish material. While it is tempting to blame the downfall of modern vampires on Stephanie Meyer, a movie came out in the 80s that, if held to the same standards, would be equally as blasphemous in the eyes of many a Hot Topic shopper.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – Videodrome

Videodrome Image

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By John Smith

Videodrome. How can a title as mysterious as that not get you curious as to what this movie is about. I’m not here to talk about the title, of course. I’m here to talk about the movie behind that title. David Cronenberg is a name that resonates throughout modern film with movies like Scanners, The Fly, and Eastern Promises. This 1983 film, however, is what has stood the test of time and has quite possibly become even more relevant in this modern day and age. This is Videodrome.

So Bad It’s Good – Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead

Poultrygeist

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Ian Abell

Have you ever wondered what would happen if a fast food restaurant was built on a sacred Indian burial ground? Probably not, but don’t worry — the good people of Troma Entertainment have already thought of it for you, and they even put it in musical form! The providers of countless oh-so-badly-good classics, most famously The Toxic Avenger series, Troma delivers a film that fits in with all of its malformed brothers and sisters while providing a leap forward in terms of quality.

Beyond its ‘zombified Native American chickens’ logline, the film revolves around Arbie (Jason Yachanin) and Wendy (Kate Graham), two high school sweethearts who are forced apart when Wendy goes off to college. When Arbie goes back, months later, to the ‘Tromahawk’ tribe burial ground where he and Wendy shared their last night, he finds that 1) a giant corporate chicken joint has built over the burial ground and 2) a group of protesters is boycotting the restaurant, led by a dirty college hippie and her new lesbian lover, Wendy (oh my!). Angry over the perceived betrayal by Wendy, Arbie gets a job as a counter girl (yes girl) at the restaurant and suffers the brutality and gag-inducing uncleanliness of coworkers and customers alike.

Yet it’s not long before the ghosts of the disturbed burial ground and the billions of chickens slaughtered by the company seek revenge on the hapless hero and his crew and begin killing customers and staff. Concerned that any mention of the deaths will hurt publicity for the grand opening, the Colonel Sanders-esque owner of the restaurant keeps the deaths under wraps until soon protesters and customers alike are turned into zombie chickens. But not before Arbie meets his future self and a man has sex with an uncooked chicken, because why not?

This is not a film of subtlety. This is a film that floats messages, themes, and parallels about as well as anvils. One minute there is a mocking of false corporate patriotism and protester hypocrisy, the next minute blood geysers and naked breasts. Doing away with inhibition and restraint, the film delights in poking fun at anything and everything political, social, racial, gendered, and polite. It appears that writer/director Lloyd Kaufman (who also makes an appearance as a mysterious chicken mascot) had a rule that as long as someone found it funny it got in the movie.

This drive to include everything funny is also the film’s greatest weakness. When the chicken zombies take over the restaurant, the humor outlasts its welcome as the chickens find ways to dismember and fry up humans like your favorite fast food items. Rather than find creative methods to kill off characters ad nauseam, the film could have used an extra musical number or two to help compensate for the song-heavy first half.

One has to appreciate though, that with so many great gags and lines crammed into a movie, that some of these might naturally miss the mark. Don’t let a few bad jokes dissuade you, this is a very solid film from people who have shaped cult movies for 30 years. Whether you’re a hardcore Troma fan or just want a silly and direct movie, Poultrygeist satisfies that bad movie craving.

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Ian Abell is a junior Film & Media Arts and English major at Temple University. Whether it’s an old Scorsese or that cool movie your best friend filmed at a gas station, Ian wants to see it, discuss it, write about it, and put up a blog post about it.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore Picture - Film Buff

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Kim Scott

For the past few months, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore had been highly recommended to me by a fellow film buff. “Ah, you’re interested in feminist movies?” the film buff would ask me. And like any sleep deprived college student who says very unfunny things because they’re tired, I settled into a low, manic chuckle before I answered, “Uh, have you read my blog?” (Just kidding, I didn’t say that. I replied with the tasteful, yet simple “Yup.”)

PFS Rapid Review – Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Ian Abell

Mixing military brotherhood with a true-life survival story, Lone Survivor delivers a jarring cinematic experience. Much like Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan painted Normandy’s brutal beaches, the film makes you feel every sickening scrape, bullet, and slam Mark Wahlberg and others suffer. Beyond its combat focus, Lone Survivor revels in pushing bodily limitations.

PFS Rapid Review – The Invisible Woman

The Invisible Woman

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

After successfully adapting Shakespeare in his 2011 film Coriolanus, Ralph Fiennes has triumphed once again with his masterful sophomore film The Invisible Woman.  Fiennes’ respect for the complexity of Charles Dickens’ life and work is evident in his direction, his performance, and, especially, his casting of Felicity Jones as Nelly Ternan.  Her portrayal of a woman in an utterly heartbreaking predicament shows us what it means to yearn for love in a time of restraint.