This Week's Movie Action

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Rebels of the Neon God
  • Rebels of the Neon God

I was lucky enough to score a preview disc of Brighton Rock (1947), the Boulting brothers' noirish adaptation of Graham Greene's novel, when Gene Siskel Film Center revived it not long ago. Unfortunately, it isn't available on commercial DVD, so if you want to see it, you may have to get hold of the VHS copy from Facets Multimedia. I'd certainly recommend it over the new version opening today, which is the subject of this week's long review.

Also this week, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky recommends Rebels of the Neon God (1992), the debut film by Taiwanese dreamer Tsai Ming-liang (Goodbye, Dragon Inn), and we have a sidebar for the last week of the Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video, both at Film Center. Among the movies screening in Black Harvest this week are Preacher, the latest from local documentary maker Daniel Kraus (Sheriff, Musician, Professor), and The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry, whose Saturday show includes a discussion with gallery owner John Corbett and longtime Reader scribe Peter Margasak.

Every week I get an E-mail or two informing me that the Reader sucks now because it's not listing this or not reviewing that. Well, OK, but get back to me if you find any other publication in town that published 16 new reviews this week. Check out the new issue for the scoop on: Brighton Rock; Disco and Atomic War, an Estonian documentary arguing that Dallas helped bring down the Soviet Union; Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, a remake of a 70s TV movie by horror master Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth); Earthwork, a fictionalized story about the real-life environmental artist Stan Herd; Farmageddon, an advocacy documentary about the feds' crusade against unpasteurized milk; Kiss and Tell, a documentary about African-American romance as portrayed on the big screen; Monga, a contemporary gangster flick playing as part of Film Center's series on Taiwan; The Mysterious Lady, a Greta Garbo romance that closes out the Silent Summer Film Festival; Ode, a remake of Ode to Billy Joe by independent Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy, Meek's Cutoff); One Day, a romance with Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess; Our Idiot Brother, starring Paul Rudd as the title moron; Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness, a documentary about the eponymous Yiddish humorist; and Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D, Robert Rodriguez's attempt to jump-start his popular kiddie action franchise.

Best bets for repertory: Don Siegel's Charley Varrick, Wednesday at the Portage, and Albert Lamorisse's The Red Balloon (1956) and White Mane (1953), screening on a double bill Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box.

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