Film Festivals

The Movies

How to Get There">How to Get There

Mainstream Flicks


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This article by Aaron Thayer was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on June 2, 1999.

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Film Festival: Kubrick

The one and only New Jersey International Film Festival, co-sponsored

by the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, the New

Brunswick Cultural Center, and others, launches Friday, June 4, with

"The Apple," by 17-year-old Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf.

Featuring new international films, recent American independent

features, short subjects, revivals of film classics, and new

documentaries, the 1999 festival promises 42 film screenings on 27

evenings, continuing through July 30.

Among the highlights of the eight-week festival is a tribute to the

late, great Stanley Kubrick, who died earlier this year at age 70. Set

for Thursday, June 17, the tribute features a rare public showing of

Kubrick’s "The Killing" (1956), on a double bill with his

ever-topical 1964 satire, "Dr. Strangelove."

Regarded as one of the brilliant directors of our time, Kubrick’s work

spanned the spectrum of film making from horror, to black comedy, to

crime drama. He was an enigma to the public and to professionals

alike, creating his work in almost total seclusion far from the

scrutinizing eye of the media. His films are a reflection of his

obsessive nature, perfected masterpieces which remain amongst the most

provocative and visionary films ever made.

Born in 1928, in New York City, Kubrick initially earned renown as a

freelance photographer. At age 17, after successfully selling his

photographs to Look Magazine, he was hired as a full-time staffer, and

traveled the world for Look for several years. He subsequently

enrolled at Columbia University, where he attended classes taught by

such notables as Mark Van Doren.

In the late 1940s, Kubrick became enamored with filmmaking, regularly

attending Museum of Modern Art showings of new wave work. During this

time he also played chess for money in Greenwich Village to supplement

his income. In 1951, Kubrick used his savings to produce his first

film, "Day of the Fight," a 16-minute documentary profiling the boxer

Walter Cartier. The piece was later purchased by RKO for its "This is

America" series which was played at New York’s Paramount Theater.

After a series of short films and two features, Kubrick made "The

Killing" in 1956, a work that encompasses his signature study of time

and space.

Kubrick’s death this year came shortly after an executive screening of

his latest and final film, "Eyes Wide Shut," scheduled for release in

July. Rumored to be of a more salacious nature, it features Nicole

Kidman and Tom Cruise as a husband and wife psychiatric team embroiled

in the kinky sexual behaviors of their patients.

Although it received critical acclaim when it was initially released,

"The Killing" is not widely known today. This early and monumental

film is based on the novel "Clean Break" by Lionel White, and was

produced economically with an inexpensive yet talented cast that

includes the then-blacklisted Sterling Hayden (of "Asphalt Jungle").

Hayden plays veteran criminal Johnny Clay, who plans just one more

heist before settling down to a respectable marriage with Fay (Coleen

Gray). Teaming up with several cohorts, Johnny masterminds a race

track robbery. The basic flaw of the plan is that all the crooks

involved are small-time losers who find themselves unable to handle

the circumstances. With the inevitability of a Greek tragedy, Johnny’s

carefully engineered plot unravels, evidence that the best laid plans

will often go awry. Prominently featured in the cast are offbeat

character actors Timothy Carey and Joe Turkel, who show up with

equally showy roles in future Kubrick productions. Prominent, also, is

Kubrick’s striking visual sense, which he later developed to glorious

effect in "2001: A Space Odyssey."

Over the course of his career Kubrick served as a director, producer,

and screenwriter, for films he made in both the US and the UK. His

original and landmark works "A Clockwork Orange (1971), "The Shining"

(1980), and "Full Metal Jacket" (1987) made him a titan in the


Also featured in the 1999 New Jersey International Film Festival is a

Stan Brakhage Retrospective (July 22), rare screenings of George

Melies’ 1910 experimental films (June 30), and winners of the

festival’s first independent film competition, including grand prize

winner Dan Wachspress of Princeton and his 1998 film, "One Take" (June


— Aaron Thayer

Top Of Page
Film Festivals

New Jersey International Film Festival presented by the

Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, June 4 to July 30.

Screenings are in Loree Hall, Room 024, Douglass College; in Scott

Hall, Room 123, College Avenue campus; and at the State Theater, New

Brunswick. Programs begin at 7 p.m.; admission $5 and $8.


The Apple, Samira Makhmalbaf, the 17-year-old daughter of

Iranian filmmaker Moshen Makhmalbaf, directs her first film, a

charming but wise portrayal of a family stuck between tradition and

modernity. 1998; subtitles, June 4 and 5. Jew In The Lotus,

Laurel Chiten’s 1998 documentary, inspired by Roger Kamenetz’s

best-selling book about a group of Jews who travel to India to meet

the Dalai Lama. On a double bill with Marlene Booth’s 1998 documentary

When I Was Fourteen: A Survivor Remembers, the Holocaust

experience of Gloria Hollander Lyon, a Czechoslovakian Jew, June 6.

The Trial, Orson Welles’ 1962 French adaptation of the

Franz Kafka novel depicting the nightmare world of a 20th-century

anarchy.; subtitles, June 10. The Swindle, Two professional con

artists use sexual innuendo to bilk conventioneers at a hotel in

French director Claude Chabrol’s 1998 film. Subtitles, June 11 and 12.

Dancing at Lughnasa, Meryl Streep and Michael Gambon star in Pat

O’Connor’s 1998 adaptation of the Tony-winning play tracing the

unraveling of a tight-knit Irish Catholic family on the eve of the

annual Lughnasa festival, June 13.

Stanley Kubrick Double Bill: The Killing, 1956,

explores the nature of crime and the futility of the best laid

plans; with Dr. Strangelove, 1964, a Cold War satire about an

American president contending with the Soviets and his own leaders

when a fanatical general orders a nuclear attack on the U.S.S.R., June

17. The Children of Heaven, Iranian director Majid Majidi’s 1998

film about a boy from an impoverished family who loses his sister’s

only pair of shoes and devises a scheme to cover up the crime;

subtitles. Also Seventh Heaven, 1998, French director Benoit

Jacquot’s dissection of a modern marriage; subtitles, June 18.

Dr. Akagi, Japanese director Shohei Imamura’s 1998 comedy

about a physician’s efforts to stem a life-threatening epidemic in

1945 Hiroshima in the shadow of the atomic bomb, June 19 and 20.

The Draughtsman’s Contract, Peter Greenaway’s intense 1983

formalist study that unveils the plots and counterplots brewing within

a 17th-century English estate where the lord is missing, and a young

artisan makes a sexual bargain with the lady of the house, June 24.

Central Station, a Brazilian film by Walter Salles,

nominated for a 1999 Oscar for best foreign language film and best

actress, with Fernanda Montenegro as a lonely, cynical woman who

befriends a young boy; subtitles. Also Welcome, a 10-minute

study of a mute family by James Brett, 1998; and Seven Days Till

Sunday, Reynold Reynolds and Patrick Jolley’s short showing the

violent annihilation of a human figure, 1998, June 25. One Take,

selected Best Feature Film/Video in the New Jersey Film Festival’s

first competition, this 1998 film by Dan Wachspress is about the

irreversible moments in life, when offhand decisions can have tragic

consequences, June 26. The Harmonists, a 1999 German film by

Joseph Vilsmaier about a Jewish actor’s pursuit of art despite all

odds; subtitles. Also Following, Christopher Nolan’s 1999 film

about a young man obsessed with following random pedestrians wherever

they lead, June 27.

George Melies Retrospective features restored prints of

the French director’s groundbreaking work, from 1902 to 1912,

including "The Impossible Voyage," "A Trip to the Moon," and "The

Mermaid," June 30. Pizzicatta, a 1998 Italian film by Edoardo

Winspeare about a lone Italian-American soldier shot down from a

fighter plane in Italy; subtitles, July 9 and 10. Masks, Music, and

MICAs , New Jersey native Rainer Orth’s 1999 documentary featuring

two MICAs (mentally-ill chemical abusers). Also Divorce Iranian

Style by Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini, a 1998 film about

the lives of Iranian women, July 11.

The General, John Boorman’s 1998 Irish tragicomedy about

the life of the late Dublin supercriminal, Martin Cahill, with Brendon

Gleeson in the lead role, July 16 and 17. Vas Deferens, a

multi-media presentation by Mitch Hiller and Oedema, the two man group

integrating diverse audio elements into focused musical presentations,

July 18.

Stan Brakhage Retrospective features "Moving" (1959),

"Mothlight," and "Creation" (1979). Also Brakhage, Canadian

director Jim Shedden’s 1998 documentary on Brakhage and his influence,

July 22. The School of Flesh, Benoit Jacquot’s investigation of

the feminine heart based on a novel by Yukio Mishima about a

successful Parisian fashion designer infatuated with a bisexual

hustler who treats her like trash. 1998, July 23 and 24.

Amberitis, Tim Wessel’s 1999 presentation follows a group

of amateur paleontologists in search of rare 90-million-year-old

insects preserved in amber, July 28. Trust, Charles Sickles’

1997 film examines if all men, given the perfect scenario, will cheat

on their wives. Also A Cow at the Table, Jennifer Abbott’s 1998

documentary of the business of agriculture and meat production, July


Top Of Page
The Movies

They said the movie theater was dead. They said everyone

wanted to stay home and "nest" in front of their own flickering

small screen. But like the return of the Jedi, moviegoing is back

with a vengeance.

First the public voted with its feet: we let it be known that we did

not want to spend Saturday nights on that old couch in our lackluster

living room with the peeling ceiling. Then big-time movie directors

with big bucks and more special effects than the Pentagon obliged

us with blockbuster shows that literally scream to be seen on the

big screen. Even as home video screens have grown exponentially, so

have our desires. Our viewing objective is now roughly the size of

Everest — on Imax.

Four new theaters have been built along the Route 1 corridor in less

than three years. In May, Destinta Theater (609-888-4500) opened its

12-screen, stadium-seating multiplex in Independence Plaza on South

Broad Street in Hamilton. And weeks later, AMC Hamilton 24 (609-890-8307)

weighed in with 24 screens on Sloan Avenue. The other recent arrivals

— Loews in New Brunswick and Regal Cinemas in North Brunswick

— have presumably been around long enough to have cultivated those

irresistible sticky floors.

Besides multiple screens, stadium seating is the attraction all the

new movie houses share, eliminating once and for all the enticing

vision of the back of your fellow moviegoer’s head. Although the raked

stadium-seat house may initially bother the Hitchcock "Vertigo"

crowd, any discomfort is quickly forgotten once you settle into the

high-backed cushioned seats with your personal panoramic view of the

big screen.

Despite the lavish surroundings of these sleek new movie houses, ticket

prices are still in the $6 to $8 range; with $3.75 to $5 matinee and

twilight shows. Surprisingly, movie prices have not risen significantly

since the late 1970s when the first $7.50 shows hit the larger cities

with a shocking thud (back in the days when $7.50 still bought a restaurant

meal). With New York City prices still below $10, today’s movies measure

up well compared to other entertainment, from video arcades that literally

eat money, theme parks that cost as much as an Ivy League education,

and the notorious $100 ticket on Broadway. Of course the theaters

are still tops when it comes to the concessions we love to hate —

oversize candy bars, drinks, and popcorn tubs at prices we associate

with semi-precious gems rather than chewy treats.

But that’s entertainment. So live it up. And let the force make it

all more fun.

Top Of Page
How to Get There">How to Get There

AMC Hamilton 24 Theaters, 325 Sloan Avenue, I-295 Exit

65-A, 609-890-8307. Take I-295 South to Sloan Avenue, Exit 65-A,

and look for theater parking entrance less than 1/2 mile on your right.

Tickets: Adults $6.75; $4.75 students & seniors $4.75; Twilight shows,

4 to 6 p.m., $3.75; matinees $4.75.

Destinta Theater, Independence Plaza, 2465 South Broad

Street, Hamilton, 609-888-4500. Take I-295 South to I-195 South

(Shore Points) and exit at South Broad Street. Follow South Broad

to Independence Mall on your left. Tickets: Adults after 6 p.m. $8;

seniors & children $5 at all times; adults before 6 p.m. $5.

Top Of Page
Mainstream Flicks

Confirm titles with theaters.

A Walk on the Moon. Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen star

in this Woodstock-era film directed by Tony Goldwyn. AMC, Regal,


A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Michael Hoffman’s Shakespeare

set in the 19th century with Rupert Everett, Calista Flockhart, Kevin

Kline, and Michelle Pfeiffer. AMC, Destinta, Mercer, Regal, Loews,


Analyze This. A lively mafia comedy starring Robert DeNiro

as a neurotic gangster and Billy Crystal as his reluctant analyst.

AMC, Regal.

Black Mask. Hong Kong actor Jet Li battles drug lords

and super-soldiers in his latest action flick. AMC, Destinta,

Marketfair, Loews.

Cookie’s Fortune. Robert Altman and ensemble — Charles

Dutton, Glenn Close, Patricia Neal, Julianne Moore, and Liv Tyler

— capture the quintessence of a Southern small town. Kendall.

Election. Alexander Payne directs this comic satire starring

Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon. AMC, Mercer, Regal, Loews.

Entrapment. Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones star

in a globetrotting heist flick from Jon Amiel. AMC, Destinta,

Mercer, Regal, Kendall, Loews, Montgomery.

Existenz. A grisly sci-fi flick from David Cronenberg,

starring Jennifer Jason Leigh. Regal.

Go. Desmond Askew, Jay Mohr, and Sarah Polley star in

this misadventure by Doug Liman. AMC.

Gods and Monsters. A compelling Hollywood period portrait

by Bill Condon starring Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, and Lynn Redgrave,

who won the Golden Globe for her role. Kendall.

Instinct. A psychological thriller starring Anthony Hopkins

and Cuba Gooding Jr. Destinta, Loews.

Life. Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence star in a prison

comedy by Ted Demme. AMC, Mercer, Loews.

Life is Beautiful. This captivating film about an Italian

Jewish father and son in a Nazi camp won three Oscars for Roberto

Benigni, writer, director, and star. East Windsor.

Never Been Kissed. Drew Barrymore and David Arquette star

in a generational satire by Raja Gosnell. AMC, Mercer, Regal.

Notting Hill. A romantic comedy with Julia Roberts as

a movie star who falls for Hugh Grant as a London bookshop owner.

AMC, Destinta, Garden, Mercer, Regal, Kendall, Loews, Montgomery.

Shakespeare in Love. A whimsical re-imagining of `Romeo

and Juliet.’ East Windsor.

Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace. The first of

George Lucas’ three prequels that is breaking all hype, merchandising,

and box office records. AMC, Destinta, Marketfair, Regal, Kendall,

Loews, Montgomery.

Tea With Mussolini. Cher, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright,

Maggi Smith, and Lily Tomlin are the luminaries featured in this World

War II drama by Franco Zeffirelli. AMC, Mercer, Loews.

10 Things I Hate About You. A teen comedy about a popular

girl who is grounded until her grim older sister can find a date.


13th Floor. A sci-fi thriller starring Craig Bierko and

Gretchen Mol directed by Josef Rusnak. AMC, Destinta, Marketfair,

Regal, Loews.

The King and I. An animated version of the Broadway musical

with voices of Miranda Richardson and Martin Vidnovic. East Windsor.

The Love Letter. A mystery romance starring Kate Capshaw,

Tom Selleck, and Ellen DeGeneres about an anonymous love letter that

has a whole village intrigued. AMC, Destinta, Marketfair, Regal,


The Matrix. Keano Reeves stars in this special-effects

thriller by Andy and Larry Wachowski that has audiences reeling. AMC,

Destinta, Marketfair, Regal, Loews.

The Mummy. Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz star in this

horror spoof from Stephen Sommers. AMC, Destinta, Marketfair,

Regal, Kendall, Loews, Montgomery.

The Winslow Boy. David Mamet directs a movie of Terence

Rattigan’s play about the 1910 schoolboy’s trial. Garden, Regal.

This is My Father. Aidan Quinn, Moya Farelly, and James

Cann star in a Paul Quinn film about a Chicago teacher. Kendall.

Trekkies. A documentary look at sci-fi fans. AMC,


Trippin’. A high school comedy about a student’s efforts

to make money to go to the prom. AMC, Destinta, Mercer.

Top Of Page

AMC Hamilton 24 Theaters, 325 Sloan Avenue, I-295 Exit

65-A, Hamilton, 609-890-8307. Stadium-seating, 24-screen multiplex.

Destinta, Independence Plaza, 2465 South Broad Street,

609-888-4500. Stadium-seating, 12 screens.

East Windsor Cinemas, Routes 130 and 571, East Windsor.


Garden Theater, 160 Nassau Street, Princeton, 609-683-7595.

Kendall Park Cinemas, Route 27, Kendall Park, 732-422-2444.

Loews Theaters, Route 1 South, New Brunswick, 732-846-9200.

Stadium-seating multiplex.

MarketFair-UA, Route 1 South, West Windsor, 609-520-8700.

Mercer Mall General Cinemas, Route 1, Lawrence, 609-452-2868.

Montgomery Center Theater, Routes 206 and 518, 609-924-7444.

Regal Cinemas Town Center, 319 Route 130 North, East

Windsor, 609-371-8470. Stadium-seating, 15 screens.

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