This week on IFC News:
As "Fido," which opens in theaters this week, is but one of the nouveau zombie flicks that have been making the festival circuit lately, we were inspired to take a turn through various zombie metaphors over the years, here:
Ten years and three movies after the success of "Night of the Living Dead," George Romero refined and expanded his vision of an undead apocalypse. Working with five times his original budget (a still shockingly paltry $500,000), Romero managed to top himself and make one of the best sequels of all time. This "Dead" installment critiques American consumer culture: four refugees from the zombie onslaught stumble on an abandoned shopping mall and lock themselves inside to ride out the storm. At first, the mood is euphoric, as they live out all their wildest shopping spree fantasies. But the fun doesn’t last. Even before their muzak-tinged utopia gets overrun by unruly bikers and hordes of flesh-eaters, they’re as depressed as a lottery winner who realizes his money can’t buy him happiness. There’s no defeating the darkness, but Romero’s uncharacteristically upbeat ending suggests you can escape it, especially if you leave the mall and vow never to return.
R. Emmet Sweeney previews selections from the 2007 Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, taking a closer look at "Strange Culture," "Hot House," "A Lesson of Belarusian" and a few others.
On the podcast, we discuss how we’d run things if we were in charge of a major film studio and a small independent one.
Unlike the bigger budgeted films using this filmmaking template, Fisher’s throwback makes a kind of analytical sense as well â€” if greenscreening for the moment is all about appropriating the contextual imagery of the past, then you should begin with Caligari, the movie with which modern movies began, shouldn’t you? If you’re smart about taking the first baby steps into what may become a new frontier, then, like Joyce returning to "The Odyssey," you return to the source-well of your medium’s ideas, right?
Matt Singer reviews "Light in the Dusk" ("has all the requisite elements of a thriller, except the actual thrills. KaurismÃ¤ki plays the story for pathetic tragedy rather than excitement.") here and "Fido" ("really, there are only so many films you can "homage" before you need to bring a little to the table yourself") here.
And Christopher Bonet, as always, has what’s new in theaters.