The Texas Theatre is bringing a beloved sports movie back to the big screen with its 35 mm screening of Hoosiers. Which got us thinking, what if the theater combined its love of bringing back classic films on 35 mm with its love of indulging in some of the trashiest cinema of all time? Born, then, is this list: our suggestions for a screening series featuring some of the most belovedly bad sporting films of all time. (Alternative title: How did movies survive the 1990s?)
Nikolova’s Faith Love and Whiskey, which took top honors at this year’s fest, takes us through the mountains, fields, forests, and streams of Bulgaria, letting the camera linger on a sunrise or pooling water. It makes you cherish youth, but also reel at its violence and foolhardiness. A graduate of NYU’s famed film school, she has already worked on a number of films as a cinematographer in her native country, but her debut feature suggests she has found her voice as a director.
In his first feature,Teddy Bear, Matthiesen creates a character for whom you feel great empathy, without resorting to emotional manipulation. We were struck by how quiet the movie is, how so much gets said with relatively little dialogue.
Harnarine’s short, “Doubles with Slight Pepper,” is an exquisitely acted story that applies sharp pressure to its familiar immigrant situation, rendering a conflict of emotions that gets at the heart of generation and morality. Another NYU grad student, Harnarine has already caught Spike Lee’s eye, who helped fund this short.
Smith’s debut feature, Wolf, pulls us tightly to its uncomfortable subject matter, blurring the kind of scandal easily reduced to a headline into a complex knot of personal suffering and emotional malice. Smith’s shorts have already won the University of Texas at Arlington professor wide acclaim, but his transition to long-form narrative may prove a tipping point.
Even though co-director Guy Davidi was a driving force behind Burnat’s debut, 5 Broken Cameras, the filmmaker, citizen journalist, and Bil’in resident’s life is embedded in the difficult day-to-day of Palestine. As long as Burnat keeps shooting footage, we’ll keep watching it.
“He was the master of all beasts. He was…the Beastmaster!” Featuring Marc Singer’s signature role as Dar, the man who fights evil with the help of his pet ferrets, an eagle, and a tiger that’s been spray-painted black. Rip Torn, sporting some awesome eyebrows, makes for one creepy villain. How many times did we watch this on TBS when we were growing up? Never enough.
Way more fun than the 2010 remake. Sure, it’s got a pre-LA Law Harry Hamlin as Perseus, and Sir Laurence Olivier as Zeus, but the real stars of this mythological adaptation are the delightfully cheesy stop-motion animation monsters of special effects master Ray Harryhausen. CGI just can’t capture the same sort of magic.
The movie that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a true screen star and inspired a number of copycats. Conan’s personal mission statement features a refreshingly simple sense of clarity for young men. When asked what’s best in life, he responds: “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.”
By far the best film on this list. You might quibble that only a portion of it qualifies as “swords and sorcery,” but that’s good enough for us. Director Terry Gilliam’s imaginative visuals and co-writer Michael Palin’s absurdist humor make this the best of the not-quite-100-percent-certified-Monty Python comedies.
This is a god-awful motion picture. But there’s a long tradition of god-awful sword-and-sandal movies, with this Lou Ferrigno-starring flick the finest example of the 1980s. You can stream the whole thing on Netflix, or just watch the video embedded above, which has spliced together all the “best” parts. At least jump to the 1:15 minute mark to see Hercules wrestle a guy in a bear suit, or the 3:00 minute mark to see him fight a spaceship.
The Dallas Opera takes up Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s popular opera. This particular production is carried over from the Florida Grand Opera, but with an all-new cast. Greek soprano Myrtò Papatanasiu makes her American debut as Violetta Valéry, the lovely and respected courtesan whose life takes a tragic turn when she risks everything for love.
Stubborn artistic vision and slick commercial viability happily reunite as the Beach Boys finally rejoin forces with founding visionary Brian Wilson. Wilson enjoyed an active solo career for decades long after making records such as Pet Sounds, which infamously influenced the Beatles, while the rest of the elder statesmen of surf music embarrassed themselves on the oldies circuit. Wilson’s involvement adds a certain amount of credibility that isn’t quite there when his group is just grinning through the hits. This should satisfy both obsessive pop historians as well as the average KLUV listener. Apr 26, 7 pm. Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Pl., Grand Prairie. 972-854-5050. axs.com.
One of our favorite videos that made the rounds on the Internet last year was a little gem called “Shouting! With Sofia Vergara.” The clips present proof positive that Vergara, who plays the character Gloria on a teensy, tiny little show called Modern Family, is possibly the world’s greatest yeller. And who are we kidding? Modern Family is a giant success, beloved by fans and critics alike. And if you are a fan residing in North Texas, it is your lucky day. Or moment at grocery you spent flipping through this magazine, whichever. Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell, and Eric Stonestreet, members of the show’s Emmy-winning cast, will give a panel discussion on what makes their show such a hit. Co-creator and executive producer Steve Levitan will chime in, and the audience will be given a chance to submit questions for the Q&A portion of the program at the end of the night. Apr 24, 8 pm. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. 214-880-0202. attpac.org.
We saw you peeking in a few windows last weekend at White Rock Lake. Instead of getting arrested for trespassing, we recommend you check out this home tour, now in its sixth year. The White Rock Home Tour features all midcentury modern houses, and proceeds benefit Hexter Elementary School. Apr 21¬22. 9729 Edgepine Dr. 214-906-3110.whiterockhometour.org.
As the former executive chef at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek and The Commissary in One Arts Plaza, John Tesar has served a lot of people in Dallas dinner. But for one evening only, he’ll actually deliver the meal to your table. Tesar is just one of many local personalities ready to fetch you an extra bread basket for an excellent cause at the Celebrity Waiter Gala. Other “waiters” include Miss Texas Brittany Booker and Reality Steve, famous for his scoops and spoilers for TV shows like The Bachelor and The Real Housewives series. The evening begins with a cocktail hour and continues with a seated dinner. Apr 21, 6:30 pm. Omni Hotel Dallas, 555 South Lamar St. 214-370-9810. childabusepreventioncenter.org.
This past weekend, the multi-talented Eric Steele opened his The Midwest Trilogy at the Kalita Humphrey’s Theater. The Second Thought Theater-produced production combines short films and a stage piece which revolve around midwestern characters. Here are five filmmakers who also delve into the heartland.
Fargo, A Serious Man
No list of midwestern films is complete without Minneapolis-born Joel and Ethan Coen’s Fargo, though the filmmaking duo could easily be claimed by the south (Barton Fink, O Brother), Texas (Blood Simple, No Country, True Grit), and Los Angeles (The Big Lebowski.)
From our review: “We know the pandering sci-fi pseudo-epic, The Hunger Games, is off-track right from the long, swooning Spielbergian shots that frame its opening act.”
See: The war-ravaged city and internment camp of Empire of the Sun, viewed through the lens of the famed film director. (Available on Amazon Instant)
From our review: “To start, we jump from the blue-haired television studio of The Hunger Games’ dystopian vision of the civilized future into the rural backlands of Winter’s Bone (star Jennifer Lawrence in tow) with a scream. That’s how director Gary Ross (who also co-wrote the film with Suzanne Collins, the author of the popular young adult novel of the same name) frames this shoddy dichotomy of haves and have-nots: all horror or glut. We learn that at some point in this imaginary future there was a bloody war, and when peace was established, it required the subjugation of the working classes, who live in districts, hungry and impoverished.”
See: A Best Picture Oscar nominee for 2010, Winter’s Bone also casts actress Jennifer Lawrence as a young girl left to forage for her own survival, in the impoverished landscape of the Ozarks. (Available on Netflix, Amazon Instant)
From our review: “To keep the peace, each district (there are 12) must offer up a young man and a young woman to participate in the annual “hunger games,” a gladiatorial Tron/Mad Max-like battle to the death. We can almost hear the echoes of the Thunderdome: ‘Two may enter, one may leave!’”
See: The second sequel to Mad Max again finds Mel Gibson’s iconic “road warrior” in a hellish post-apocalyptic land forced to fight for his survival. (Available on Amazon Instant)
From our review: “Those kinds of meandering associations sprout up all over The Hunger Games, and rather than deepening the movie’s effect, they mostly just leave us wondering what the film is trying to say. Is this a parable about celebrity or some sort of commentary on television’s voyeuristic savagery? Is it a story trying to make a case for our gentler humanity in the face of Darwinian inclinations? Is it about totalitarianism and victimhood, or just a good old fashioned underdog tale? And how do we land in Romeo and Juliet by story’s end? But wait, it’s not really Shakespearean, just another riff in The Hunger Games amended in a way that drains out all the potency of source material.”
Read: Cormac McCarthy’s Pultizer Prize-winning novel.
Film: “Danger: Diabolik”, 1968, Mario Bava. E-Types are driven by stars John Phillip Law and Marissa Mell.
The E-Type is this year celebrating it’s 50th birthday. The hands-down all time most iconic, stylish, innovative, phallus-on-wheels of a brilliant car. The body was designed by aerodynamicist, Malcolm Sayer using only logarithms and is an essay in ellipses, beautific form and the point at which mathematics meets unadulterated visceral physical sensuousness. Everyone needs one.
Film: A short documentary about Le Mans, title unknown. (Click on the title link for the Youtube video; “1956 Le Mans- Mike Hawthorn Jaguar OnBoard Lap”).
Very few C-Types and D-Types in existence – only 52 C-Types ever built and not many more D-Types. Values, $600,000 – $3M and beyond. Either model is the quintessential “f**k off” car. Shows complete command of the English language and Rennaisance Man/Woman-levels of connoisseurship. Transcends tedious notions of cool. It’s art, it’s history.
Film: “Withnail and I”, 1987, Bruce Robintson. Mark II driven by Paul McGann, co-starring Richard E Grant.
Timeless, nicely patina-ed, only one headlight. Along with the 1968 Jaguar XJ Mk I and the 2010 XJ, the best looking sedans ever built, bar none.
Film: “School for Scoundrels”, 1960, Robert Hammer. Aston Martin driven by Terry-Thomas.
Very nice sports cars. Almost as good as Jaguar’s equivalents, but lacking the innovation and futuristic quality of Jaguar in the 1950s and 1960s. Despite Aston’s higher price tag, the Jag is always the connoisseur’s choice. Also, the Jag is marginally more of a babe-magnet. Astons, lovely cars though – hard to fault, except maybe in being slightly heavy. Astons suffer the ‘James Bond wannabe factor’. Hard to compete with Sean Connery or Daniel Craig. But then, if you own a DBS you probably have more money than either, so you’re probably good to go. Pre-1960′s Astons, such as this, leave their driver exempt from the particular cultural albatross of constantly having to do bad Sean Connery impersonations every time they hit the start button and incessantly needing to call drive-thru bank tellers and girls who work at beer barns on Columbia, “Miss Moneypenny”.
Film: “If”,1968, Lindsay Anderson. The BSA is stolen from a motorcycle dealership in the film and is ridden by Malcolm McDowell.
One of many iconic British parallel twin 650s. The tank badge and the vibration from a Brit parallel twin alone are a guaranteed aphrodisiac. A similar bike was owned by Hunter S Thompson and myself. I kept mine next to my bed for marital purposes.
Spiral Jetty, by Robert Smithson, is located at Rozel Point in the Great Salt Lake, Utah. Constituted of black basalt rocks and earth, Spiral Jetty forms a coil that stretches out into the red water of the lake.
On more than one occasion, we’ve sat across from Nico Ponce and asked him to do his worst. And by worst, we mean concoct the booziest, most delicious libation he can think of. More chemist than bartender, his complicated drink-making supplies include beakers, spray bottles, expensive bottles of Scotch from his personal supply, and butterscotch candies. What’s a total no-brainer is that Ponce has joined forces with Brian McCullough (Smoke, The Standard Pour) for a four-day craft cocktail extravaganza. Expect everything from classes on ice carving to an outdoor festival featuring live music and a United States Bartenders Guild Competition that will pit 36 bartenders from all over Texas against each other. Various locations; home base is the Stoneleigh Hotel in Uptown. Jun 14–17. Stoneleigh Hotel, 2927 Maple Ave. craftcocktailstx.com.
This daylong festival promoting literacy off ers kids the chance to interact with their favorite authors and illustrators. In addition, families can participate in hands-on activities and take special guided tours of the museum. Jun 9, 11 am–5 pm. Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. 214-922-1200. dallasmuseumofart.org.
If you’ve got a sequined glove hidden in a drawer somewhere, it’s time to bust it out. Since 1984, the artists of Cirque du Soleil have used feats of strength, agility, and dexterity to create the visually stunning display of acrobatics that they are known for. This new show, written and directed by Emmy Award nominee Jamie King, ventures inside the mind and music of the King of Pop to celebrate the driving force behind his creativity, and promises an array of moves no fl ash mob would dare attempt. Jun 26 & 27, 7 pm. American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. 800-745-3000. ticketmaster.com.
Shakespeare’s popular cross-dressing comedy mixes dark subjects with a light hand. After the beautiful Viola is shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria, she believes her twin brother, Sebastian, is lost forever. She disguises herself as a man, Cesario, and goes to work for the somewhat egotistical Duke Orsino, who loves the lady Olivia but loves himself more. Orsino sends Cesario to Olivia to declare his aff ections, but Olivia falls for Cesario even as Cesario realizes her feelings for Orsino. Mistaken identities and comedic subplots abound. Jun 13–Jul 21. Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre, 1500 Tenison Pkwy. 214-559-2778. shakespearedallas.org.
Last Friday, filmmaker and Richardson High School graduate David Gordon Green opened his latest film, Your Highness, a madcap comedy about a couple of princes making their way through a farsical quest chock-full of bawdy, humorous hijinks. Green is no stranger to the buddy movie genre, having worked with the modern master of adolescent spoof, Judd Apatow, on Pineapple Express (2008). We caught up with the ever-busy filmmaker to find out his five favorite buddy movies. Here are his choices.
A great comedy that never gets in the way of a cool story and great action. I feel like nowadays people are trying to write jokes all the time and place them in an action movie. Here it feels organic and funny without desperate attempts. It’s a great movie even without the laughs.
New Co-Concertmaster Olson will perform with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra March 24-26 (playing Mahler’s Symphony No. 6) and March 31-April 3 (playing an all-Tchaikovsky program) at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.
Cowboys-49ers was the greatest NFL rivalry of the ‘90s, with the 49ers winning the Super Bowl in ’94 and the Cowboys winning it all in ‘92, ‘93, and ’95. The two teams clashed in the playoffs in three of those four years. My personal favorite moment of this rivalry has to be the NFC championship game from the ’94 season, when the 49ers jumped out to a 21-0 lead on the two-time defending champion Cowboys, and went on to win 38-28 before plastering the San Diego Chargers 49-26 in the Super Bowl. The most famous moment from this historic rivalry is undoubtedly “The Catch” from Joe Montana to Dwight Clark which jumpstarted the 49er dynasty of the ‘80s and early ‘90s.
The Athletics and the Texas Rangers battled for control of the AL West in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, with the Rangers winning the division 3 out of 4 years in ’96-’99, followed by the A’s winning 3 out of 4 times in ’00-’03. Despite the Angels’ recent dominance in the division, the Rangers broke through with a division title this past year prior to their World Series appearance, and with the A’s recent additions to their lineup, the two teams are poised to be fierce division rivals in the years to come.
The Warriors, who had not made the playoffs in 13 years, entered the 2007 NBA playoffs as an 8-seed in the Western Conference, and were matched up against the 1-seed Dallas Mavericks who had won a staggering 67 games during the regular season (only 5 games short of the record set by the Chicago Bulls). In arguably the biggest NBA playoff upset of all time, the Warriors, led by Baron Davis, stunned the Mavericks by winning the series in only 6 games.
In 2004, the Cal Bears were ranked 4th in the country going into the final week of the season, while the Texas Longhorns were ranked 5th or 6th in various polls. Despite Cal’s 10-1 record (the only loss a 23-17 nail-biter to the eventual National Champion USC Trojans, AT the Coliseum), the Bears were inexplicably leapfrogged by the Longhorns in the final rankings, after Mack Brown openly pleaded for pollsters to promote his Longhorns past Cal. Because of this flip-flop in the rankings, Texas was granted a berth in the Rose Bowl, while Cal was given a trip to the Holiday Bowl.
The Sharks and the Dallas Stars formed one of the biggest Western Conference rivalries of the ‘90s, as the Stars eliminated the Sharks from the playoffs twice during the 1997-2000 period, and won the Stanley Cup in 1999. The rivalry is now heating up again, with the two teams playing three overtime games so far this season.
I start this list with an apology. I am old. I’m not one of those bitter “everything sucks today” types but everything I listed is older than most folks who’ll be reading this. My justification for thinking that this music is still relevant is that, for a collector, there is an undeniable part of the fetish that still requires one to spend hours dig through stacks of vinyl in obscure junk stores and estate sales for that one perfect piece of imperfection. The internet can’t sate that, too many rabbit holes. Or maybe the truth is as we get older we find in order to correct what we think is wrong in our lives, our nostalgia most be tied to what we missed when we were young.
Totally obscure stuff from the 1960′s… Thanks to the seminal garage punk complication series “Back From the Grave” on Crypt Records, this Detroit Band is steeped in legend with very little real information about them. This
is a big part of their appeal, the out of tune guitars, snotty singing and pounding “jungle” drums creates an image of teen angst that hasn’t been presented in all its ugly rawness since.
Funky stuff from the early 70′s. More than the horns or the sassy vocals or the chicken scratch guitars, the sound I listen to on a funk records is the in your face snap of that snare drum. I am certain that there is a whole group of collectors out there digging through stacks of old 45′s
in an obscure junk shop, in a part of town know one knows looking for there next holy grail of dirty funk. I image that at least one of the Beastie Boys is among those ranks.
Phil Collins, bless his “Against all Odds” heart, was at one time just the drummer and backing vocalist in Genesis. Do you have 20 minutes to kill? Well, break out your headphones and follow Peter Gabriel and company through an apocalyptic journey 9/8 time.
Hipster ukulele playing before any of the hipsters were born. When Ram credited to Paul & Linda McCartney came out the critics (and former band mate, John) were less than receptive. This song is everything the big hit Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey isn’t short, sweet like a nice cup of
A vintage tome of masculine style by fashion icon Diane Von Furstenberg’s husband Egon, published shortly after they were divorced. The design dialogue in this book rings as true today as it did when it was first published.
I have long been fascinated by the homes and collections of the late, great Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge. This book gives you an inside look of the greatness of their taste and chic.
Tom Ford returns to the world of women’s ready to wear with his first collection since leaving the creative director positions of Gucci and Yve Saint Laurent. He is a game changer in the industry. Get ready, he’s back!
I suppose everyone expects Fargo, right? And they should. And Nanook of the North, a documentary every first-year film school student is forced to watch for a good reason (ethics, right?), is a great way to be thankful we don’t live too far north.
So getting those two out of the way as a given, I’ll go on with my little list that reflects narratives set in gray, cold climates that remind me I hate the cold—while I sit bundled up in my house on a third iced-in day in North Texas–and I love the combo of snow days and DVDs.
This horror-comedy holds up well. Jack and David shiver earnestly toward the beginning of the movie (because they are–no need to fake the icy breath a la David Fincher in the Social Network), setting out across the moors of Northern England, after receiving an equally chilly reception from the locals at a pub. And David looks genuinely cold after waking up naked in the London Zoo. Plus, the soundtrack is great. I never hear Van Morrison’s “Moondance” without thinking of poor David’s excruciating, bone-cracking transformation to werewolf.
I irrationally love this strange, quiet, violent Scandinavian movie, starring Mads Mikkelson as the one-eyed mute warrior in some quasi-Viking hell. Awash in murky symbolism, the whole film feels cold, but the first third set in the desolate, windswept landscape, where a half-naked One Eye is forced to fight others in the freezing mud, is fun and queasy and spectacularly frigid.
The biopic of the earliest Beatles, set mostly in chilly, overcast Hamburg, focuses on Stu Sutcliff’s (Stephen Dorff) ill-fated place in the band. I like Ian Hart’s razor-sharp portrayal of John Lennon (a reprisal of his take in Softly’s earlier short, The Hours and Times), and though this movie is far from perfect, it’s a dignified and entertaining angle on the rough lead up to stardom. These boys worked hard and played hard, and suffering through Hamburg’s weather was the least of it. The all-star band that put together the film’s soundtrack featured Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth among other notables, and their furiously explosive take on the song “Rock and Roll Music” is excellent on its own. I do think the Beatles must have sounded like this in 1961, hopped up on amphetamines and playing their third set of the night in some dank, crappy bar.
Author Hutton Wilkinson is a dear friend. His book is full of great anecdotes and stories about Tony Duquette and his Hollywood cronies. (Hutton was Tony’s business partner for over 30 years.) It’s a wonderful tribute to Duquette, who is one of the all time legends in interior and scenic design.
Edward FitzGerald’s translation was reissued on the 150th anniversary of The Rubaiyat’s original publication. It was written by the astronomer and poet, Omar Khayyam, born in the later half of the 11th century. It tells the story of love and surrender and is a great book, full of wisdom and beauty. It is inspiring to me.
Ronnie Claire Edwards tells this hilarious and vivid story of her true life adventures as an actual assistant. Claire was formerly an actress on the TV show, “The Waltons”. Her talent for telling tall-tales is reminiscent of Mark Twain.
Winter’s Bone is a simple movie, about a 17-year-old girl living in rural poverty who is searching for her convict father. But its rich color; the insistent pacing of its direction; the faces of its supporting cast, those unforgetable souls of the Ozark backwoods – all work to envelop you in the movie’s world and weigh you down with its moral drama.
With Black Swan, Aronofsky’s unique style of storytelling finds its perfect medium, and the nail-biting thriller is rocketed along by fantastic performances. This is immersive drama, packing a puzzling parable about life, art, and sexuality into a roller coaster movie experience.
Ben Mendleson’s performance in this Australian crime thriller is one of the year’s best, and David Michod’s direction of his downtrodden ensemble makes this movie feel like the debut of Scorsese’s heir.