Thursday, January 15, 2009

What, When, Where this Weekend - Mock Up on Mu, Cherry Blossoms, My Bloody Valentine 3D, Notorious

What, When, Where is a weekly guide to select screenings, discussions and events in the NYC-area of interest to screenwriters. Have an event you'd like to see listed here? Give us a heads-up at

- The excellent Danish thriller Just Another Love Story is still playing at Cinema Village. Check out our review here.

Opening this week...

MOCK UP ON MU, written and directed by Craig Baldwin

Premise: A radical hybrid of spy, sci-fi, Western, and even horror genres, Craig Baldwin's Mock Up On Mu cobbles together a feature-length "collage-narrative" based on (mostly) true stories of California's post-War sub-cultures of rocket pioneers, alternative religions, and Beat lifestyles. Pulp-serial snippets, industrial-film imagery, and B- (and Z-) fiction clips are intercut with newly shot live-action material, powering a playful, allegorical trajectory through the now-mythic occult matrix of Jack Parsons (Crowleyite founder of the Jet Propulsion Lab), L.Ron Hubbard (sci-fi author turned cult-leader), and Marjorie Cameron (bohemian artist and "mother of the New Age movement"). Their intertwined tales spin out into a speculative farce on the militarization of space, and the corporate take-over of spiritual fulfillment and leisure-time.

Playing at: Anthology Film Archives

Sound weird? Like, REALLY weird? I thought so, too. Check out the website here, which makes the movie look ever stranger.

Hey, I'm in, though. And I certainly don't get to Anthology nearly as much as I'd like.

CHERRY BLOSSOMS, written and directed by Doris Dorrie

Premise: When Trudi learns that her husband Rudi is dangerously ill, she suggests visiting their children in Berlin without telling him the truth. As Franzi and Karl don't care much about their parents, Trudi and Rudi go to the Baltic Sea, where Trudi suddenly dies. Rudi is thrown out of gear, even more when he learns that his wife wanted to live a totally different life in Japan.

Playing at: Landmark Sunshine

Caught the trailer for this before Synecdoche. Sounds pretty cool. I'm in here, too.

MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D, written by Todd Farmer and Zane Smith, dir. by Patrick Lussier

Premise: Tom returns to his hometown on the tenth anniversary of the Valentine's night massacre that claimed the lives of 22 people. And when another horrific event occurs soon after Tom's appearance, he finds himself suspected of the deadly acts.

Playing at: All over.

Another remake of an 80s slasher flick - but this time in THREE DIMENSIONS! The action is COMING AT YOU! It's like YOU ARE IN THE MOVIE!


NOTORIOUS, written by Reggie Rock Bythewood and Cheo Hodari Coker, dir. by George Tillman Jr.

Premise: A chronicle of Christopher Wallace's rise from the streets of Brooklyn to become Notorious B.I.G., one of biggest and best rappers of the 1990s, under the tutelage of mentor/producer Sean Combs.

Playing at: All over.

A Biggie biopic could be great. I'm afraid this one might not be.

What are you doing/seeing this weekend?

Screen Alert - Just Another Love Story (written/directed by Ole Bornedal)

Jonas is out on a drive with his wife and family when his car breaks down in the middle of the road, sending the swerving car behind him into an oncoming traffic and its driver, Julia, into a coma. This is where the love story ('bizarre' doesn't even begin to describe it) begins in Just Another Love Story by Danish writer/director Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch).

Just Another Love Story is anything but.

Feeling partly responsible for her accident, Jonas goes to visit her in the hospital. Forced to fib in order to see the girl, Julia's family mistakes him for the boyfriend she met abroad. Unable to find an easy out of this white lie, Jonas plays along and pretends to be the absent lover. The role-playing stops, however, when the now-blind Julia wakes up with amnesia and the two fall in love.

This is where the film absolutely excels - as an offbeat and disturbing love story. The relationship between Jonas and the handicapped Julia is oddly endearing, and you can't help but want to see the two of them come together - while at the same time you're disgusted by the way he's betraying his loving family. The characters are deep and feel very real.

The movie starts to stumble when it strays away from the titular love story; the film takes lots of twists and turns when Julia's checkered past bubbles to the surface, throwing everything from murder, diamond smuggling, and abusive boyfriends to a masked mystery man and the South Asian mafia into the mix. A lot of this (read: most of this) works well, and when it does the movie is a very cool, edgy thriller. By the end of the film, though, it starts to feel a little too twisty - the final scene in particular (hinted at in the somewhat misleading U.S. poster) feels unnecessary and tacked-on, but it's easily forgotten because everything preceding it was so solid.

While the mystery aspect didn't click with me as much as the incredibly engrossing though off-kilter romance, Just Another Love Story is a great movie that comes highly recommended.

**** out of *****.

Just Another Love Story is currently playing in Manhattan at Cinema Village.