Film Comment Selects Fires on All Cylinders

Film Comment Selects Fires on All Cylinders (photo)

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Somehow the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center seems like the last place you’d expect to see the Rutger Hauer thriller “Hobo With a Shotgun” blasting through, but it’s a fitting way to introduce this year’s Film Comment Selects series, which begins tonight in New York with both guns a blazin’ and runs through March 4th.

As Nick Pinkerton noted in the Village Voice this week, there’s “a downright dedication to evil” with this year’s selections, which include the enjoyably excruciating Korean revenge thriller “I Saw the Devil” and the soon-to-play-SXSW return of “Saw” director James Wan’s “Insidious.” And yet there’s so much goodwill on display since many of the films gracing the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s screens are without American distribution and may prove to be hard to see in the future.

One of these gems that as of yet won’t be appearing Stateside anytime soon is Thomas Vinterberg’s “Submarino,” which sees a return to form for the “Celebration” director in a story about two brothers who deal with tragedy as young boys and struggle to overcome their proclivity to be their own worst enemy in later life. Likewise, there will be rare U.S. screenings of “Love Exposure” director Sion Sono’s darkly comic serial killer thriller “Cold Fish,” the German murder mystery “The Silence,” the French drama “Domaine,” which has been repeatedly touted as a favorite of John Waters, and the series’ closing night film, John Landis’ latest comedy “Burke and Hare,” featuring Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis as grave robbers who have to find a way to keep up with demand for product from the local medical school.

The real hellraising commences with special presentations of Alex Cox’s “Straight to Hell Returns” (with the “Repo Man” director appearing in person), Gianfranco Rosi’s documentary “El Sicario, Room 164,” about a Ciudad Juarez hitman, and “Klaus Kinski: Jesus Christ the Savior,” which sees Werner Herzog’s favorite leading man play the son of God and work through his issues on stage in a reading of a 30-page monologue he wrote himself. Speaking of Herzog, the director’s 3D documentary “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” that examines the paintings in France’s Chauvet caves will be playing on February 20th.

As if to cleanse the soul, the series is also playing host to more somber films, but nonetheless thrilling for cinephiles. After an uncertain fate because of government intervention, Lu Chuan’s triumphant epic about the Nanking massacre, “City of Life and Death” will come to U.S. shores, as will rare screenings of French actress/auteur Islid le Besco’s gentle relationship dramas “Demi-Tarif,” “Charly” and “Bas-fonds” on February 19th. Fresh off the triumphant re-release of “Shoah” in the States, there’s also a tribute to the Claude Lanzmann with the docs “A Visitor from the Living,” about the guilt of a Red Cross doctor who reported positively on the status of Jews in concentration camps, “Sobibor, Oct. 14,” which centers on an interview with a Holocaust survivor who helped stage the only successful uprising in one of the camps, and “The Karski Report,” the documentarian’s latest film that centers on Jan Karski, a Polish whistleblower who tried desperately to expose the Holocaust before it grew and often went unheard.

The series will also offer once-in-a-blue-moon screenings of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “I Only Want You to Love Me,” the German director’s 1976 parable about a young man who fills a personal emptiness with shopping, and the late “Bullitt” director Peter Yates’ first film, the action-packed ’60s potboiler “Robbery.” If there’s a set-up here, it’s for a wild couple of weeks ahead at the Walter Reade.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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