Pick of the week: “Nymphomaniac” — My full review is here. Come for the graphic sex, stay for the fly fishing tips in Lars Von Trier’s four-hour tale of a woman (Stacy Martin in Part I, Charlotte Gainsbourgh in Part II) whose lifelong quest for sexual gratification takes her into some rough corners. It’s funny, shocking, depressing, pretentious, scuzzy — either one of the worst porn movies ever made, or one of Von Trier’s best films.
“Nymphomaniac” plays Saturday night (“Part I” at 7 p.m, “Part II” at 9:30 p.m.) at the Union South Marquee Theatre, 1308 W. Dayton St. as part of the UW-Cinematheque summer series. Not rated, 4 hours 2 minutes, three stars out of four. FREE!
You know how cartoon characters like Elmer Fudd will have a little Elmer Fudd angel on one shoulder and a little Elmer Fudd devil on the other? Lars Von Trier has that. Only he has a devil on one shoulder and another devil on the other.
“The Rover” (all week, Point, Star Cinema, Sundance) — 2010’s “Animal Kingdom,” a brutal Australian gangster movie that makes “Goodfellas” seem sentimental, knocked the wind out of me when I first saw it. Writer-director David Michod returns with this post-collapse Western, as outlaws dominate a lawless and impoverished Australian outback. Guy Pearce plays a desperate man who has his car stolen by bandits, and enlists one of the bandits’ young brother (a decidedly unglamorous Robert Pattinson) to help him seek vengeance.
Just when the ads for “Blended” threatened to sap the will of local movie lovers for the summer, the UW-Cinematheque rode to the rescue this week by posting its summer movie schedule. Much of last summer’s calendar had a theme, a sort of cinematic salute to the late Roger Ebert that ranged pretty far and wide, from “The Third Man” to “Infra-Man.”
This summer’s schedule doesn’t have the pretense of a theme, other than the notion that these seem like fun movies to see on a big screen, be they old classics, cult favorites or a couple of high-profile new films getting their Madison premieres. Interestingly, this summer the Cinematheque will not be using its own screening room at Vilas Hall, instead showing films on Thursday nights in the Chazen and Fridays and Saturdays in the Union South Marquee. Continue reading