Friday, February 10, 2006

C.S.A. Screening Dates

Hopefully, one of these theatres will be near where you live:

2/15 IFC Center / New York / NY

2/24 Screenland/ Kansas City/ MO

2/24 Village Arts / Chicago / IL

2/24 Coolidge Corner / Boston / MA

2/24 Harris / Pittsburgh / PA

2/24 Academy / Pasadena / CA

2/24 Cinema Palme d'Or / Palm Springs / CA

2/24 Roxie / San Francisco / CA

3/03 Nickelodeon / Santa Cruz / CA

3/07 Theatre N at Nemours / Scranton /PA

3/07 Scranton Community Center / Wilmington /DE

3/07 Market Arcade Film & Arts / Buffalo / NY

3/07 Cinema Paradiso / Ft. Lauderdale / FL

3/07 Palm / San Luis Obispo / CA

3/10 Liberty Hall / Lawrence / KS

3/10 Orpheum / Madison / WI

3/10 UICA / Grand Rapids / MI

3/10 Little Rochester / NY

3/10 Loft / Tucson /AZ

3/10 Starz / Denver /CO

3/17 Real Artways / Hartford / CT

3/17 Belcourt / Nashville /TN

3/17 Minor / Arcata /CA

3/30 Art Cinema / Salina / KS

5/02 Cinema 320 / Worchester / MA

Sunday, February 05, 2006

TV or not-TV?

CSA will be opening in KC, MO and Pasdena, CA on Feb. 24th.

Watched OPEN HOUSE, the "real-estate musical" from director/Slamdance founder Dan Mirvish... I'm not normally a fan of musicals, but the off-kilter ones I tend to gravitate to (even to the point of working on one...) I have to say that in this particular case, I liked the concept and the performances (from Sally Kellerman, Kellie Martin, Ann Magnunsun, James Duval and Jerry Doyle) more than I liked the actual songs, which had some clever word-play but suffered from anemic arrangement - but it's definitely worth a look.

How successful is a cross-over from movies to television? Not very, unless you have some involvement with the characters and situations involved, as SERENITY proved in its theatrical release last year. Months of hype and buzz abruptly crashed and burned when it was presented to the general public. Watching it on DVD at home, it was pretty obvious why... if you were a follower of the show, FIREFLY, then SERENITY is a pretty good capper to that program, since you already knew everyone and how they related to one another. Coming into it cold, as a co-worker did to whom I lent SERENITY to - she knew about FIREFLY, but had never seen it - and one is less than amused and entertained.

After all, there has to be some ground retread for the benefit of newcomers to the party, who have no clue of what is going on, but the converse of that is alienating the fan base, who has to sit through boring introductions of characters before getting to the meat of the action. Which leads to the other thing about such projects; they seem to be less cinematically inspired, but rather pumped up 2 hour episodes, with added production value, sex and blood. The list of these abortions is long - most of the STAR TREK films, The X-FILES movie, THE NUDE BOMB (an attempt to resurrect GET SMART)... and for the most part, they're not very profitable, except in the cases of the STAR TREK films... and possibly THE NAKED GUN series.

The one's that do succeed artistically are the ones that are tied to their television predesessors and that attempt to actually do something out of the ordinary - they're not entirely successful as stand-alone films, but in context with the shows they spring from, they're masterpieces - in my view that's David Lynch's TWIN PEAKS - FIRE WALK WITH ME and Bob Rafelson's HEAD.

SERENITY doesn't quite make that short list - it's not an outright failure when in context with the show (and I suspect that if people watch FIREFLY in its entirety, then the movie, SERENITY will be a more satisfying experience), but it doesn't really bring anything new to the table either.