Corrections or additions?
This article by Aaron Thayer was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on June 2, 1999.
All rights reserved.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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,
"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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Confirm titles with theaters.
in this Woodstock-era film directed by Tony Goldwyn. AMC, Regal,
set in the 19th century with Rupert Everett, Calista Flockhart, Kevin
Kline, and Michelle Pfeiffer. AMC, Destinta, Mercer, Regal, Loews,
as a neurotic gangster and Billy Crystal as his reluctant analyst.
and super-soldiers in his latest action flick. AMC, Destinta,
Dutton, Glenn Close, Patricia Neal, Julianne Moore, and Liv Tyler
— capture the quintessence of a Southern small town. Kendall.
Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon. AMC, Mercer, Regal, Loews.
in a globetrotting heist flick from Jon Amiel. AMC, Destinta,
Mercer, Regal, Kendall, Loews, Montgomery.
starring Jennifer Jason Leigh. Regal.
this misadventure by Doug Liman. AMC.
by Bill Condon starring Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, and Lynn Redgrave,
who won the Golden Globe for her role. Kendall.
and Cuba Gooding Jr. Destinta, Loews.
comedy by Ted Demme. AMC, Mercer, Loews.
Jewish father and son in a Nazi camp won three Oscars for Roberto
Benigni, writer, director, and star. East Windsor.
in a generational satire by Raja Gosnell. AMC, Mercer, Regal.
a movie star who falls for Hugh Grant as a London bookshop owner.
AMC, Destinta, Garden, Mercer, Regal, Kendall, Loews, Montgomery.
and Juliet.’ East Windsor.
George Lucas’ three prequels that is breaking all hype, merchandising,
and box office records. AMC, Destinta, Marketfair, Regal, Kendall,
Maggi Smith, and Lily Tomlin are the luminaries featured in this World
War II drama by Franco Zeffirelli. AMC, Mercer, Loews.
girl who is grounded until her grim older sister can find a date.
Gretchen Mol directed by Josef Rusnak. AMC, Destinta, Marketfair,
with voices of Miranda Richardson and Martin Vidnovic. East Windsor.
Tom Selleck, and Ellen DeGeneres about an anonymous love letter that
has a whole village intrigued. AMC, Destinta, Marketfair, Regal,
thriller by Andy and Larry Wachowski that has audiences reeling. AMC,
Destinta, Marketfair, Regal, Loews.
horror spoof from Stephen Sommers. AMC, Destinta, Marketfair,
Regal, Kendall, Loews, Montgomery.
Rattigan’s play about the 1910 schoolboy’s trial. Garden, Regal.
Cann star in a Paul Quinn film about a Chicago teacher. Kendall.
to make money to go to the prom. AMC, Destinta, Mercer.
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.
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.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.