Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Movie Geeks for February: Stroszek

Werner Herzog's Stroszek. Roger Ebert called it "one of the oddest films ever made" and we're bringing it to the big screen February 24.

Capital City Bar and Grill
Tuesday, February 24.
Doors open at 7:00. Film starts at 7:30.

Apology to the Movie Geeks and a Call to Action

If you have attended a Movie Geeks in the past few months, you've likely noticed the darkness of the screen. And those of you who were in the house last night got to spend the evening with that ugly encroaching blue line on the right side of the screen.

We've had this problem once before at Capital City, a little over a year ago. The problem then stemmed from the bulb on the projector. As the bulb goes bad it emits less light, resulting in a darker screen. The blue line on the side of the screen . . . I don't have an explanation for that.

Needless to say this makes the movie-going experience rather unpleasant. Viewers have a difficult (often impossible) time seeing characters and actions during nighttime or otherwise darkened scenes. Key plot points can be missed. Key gestures can be missed. Elements of the film that the director wanted you to be able to see are going unseen before our watchful eyes.

Please know that Micah and I(John) have no control whatsoever over the equipment at Capital City Bar and Grill. We select a movie once a month and try our best to drag people to the theater for our screenings. Capital City provides the screen, DVD player, sound system, and projection unit. They also provide the service of food and drink.

I know that there is no cover charge for viewing the films, but I still feel if people are willing to make time out of their busy schedule to take in a film, they should be treated to a watchable film. Micah had a brief discussion with one of the owners last night who explained that the bulb was replaced recently but was messed up during a recent concert when a band tech was messing with the lighting.

Whatever the reason, we've noticed that the picture quality has been growing increasingly worse over the past few months, and we're concerned that we will start losing participants.

If you were in attendance last night or in previous months and you felt that the screen quality was poor or that the film was unwatchable, then please contact the bar and voice your concerns. The Movie Geeks Club consistently draws 20-30 paying customers. We buy drinks and food. We tip the waitstaff. We bring in revenue that they wouldn't ordinarily draw on a Tuesday night. Although we don't pay a cover to watch the movie, it is only fair that we be given a reasonable film-watching experience.

You can contact Capital City Bar and Grill by calling (217)529-8580. Let them know you are a paying customer who enjoys coming to the movie club and that you were disappointed in the quality of the film. Maybe they'll get the problem fixed.


John and Micah

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Movies for February

Here are our movies for February. Vote now in the poll on the right-hand side of your screen.

Pi -- In my opinion, the finest film Darren Aronofsky ever did. I'm a big fan of number theory, even though I'm terrible at math itself, and it's possible esoteric implications. I loved the section in the book Contact that discusses pi (thank you, Carl Sagan), and I love the Chudnovsky brothers. So, what's not to love about Aronofsky's conspiracy theory-fueled story of one man's attempt to figure out the world in numbers?

6ixtynin9 -- This is a great Thai film (original translation of the title: Funny Story 6 9). Released in 1999, it tells the story of Tum, who loses her job in the financial district during a depression in the Asian economy. She finds herself broke and jobless. Then she finds a box of money in front her apartment and things really start to change for her. Especially when the people who left the money decide they want it back. A darkly hilarious number play that rises into an interesting mystery film.

Stroszek -- A film by Werner Herzog. Written in four days, specifically for German actor Bruno S., this Herzog masterpiece tells the story of Bruno, an alcoholic Berliner, recently released from prison, who joins an elderly friend and a prostitute in their dream to leave Germany and seek a better life in America . . . in Wisconsin to be exact. This film is extraordinary in its ability to keep viewers from predicting what will happen next. Herzog used non-actors for most of the lesser roles in the film. If all of this doesn't sell you, the film was shot in Ed Gein's hometown.

The Fountain -- For someone who is absolutely crazy about esoteric, hermetic, and other random bits of world and spiritual knowledge, this Aronofsky flick was like mind candy. Aside from being beautifully shot, The Fountain contains three narratives (one in the past, one in the present, and one in the future) that orbit around the themes of thanatophobia, the fountain of youth, death, rebirth, and the central soul of mankind and possible deification of such. A true pet project of Aronofsky's, and definitely worth seeing for film fans and seekers of spiritual food.

Lost Highway -- What list of this magnitude would be complete without David Lynch? For this month, we offer up Lost Highway, a film noir treat coupled with surreal themes that we, the obfuscated illusory humans face on a daily (or at least weekly) basis. With an Angelo Badalamenti score, direction by David Lynch, and a role by Robert Loggia, how can you say no? Really, how can you? If you don't vote for this film, I want at least a 500 word essay explaining why.