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FilmBar doesn't just have the lock down on the hippest indie and foreign film screenings. The theater's lounge is a fully functioning bar, featuring DJs, live music and a carefully selected menu of import and domestic beers.
Standard brews have no place in the bar, which favors full bodied dark beers and tasty pints of Boddingtons. The entertainment tends to be as eclectic as the movies, with ensembles like Haunted Cologne (polka-punk) taking the stage, and DJs offering up world-music cuts.
The bar's Middle Eastern decor is perfect for kicking back, either in the high backed couches or on the floor, beanbag style.
In Renoir, a languorous look at the last days of the storied painter, we get a view of the artist at odds with a blue-haired lady's notion of her favorite impressionist. It's a pivotal moment of Renoir family history, with father and son both... More »
In Renoir, a languorous look at the last days of the storied painter, we get a view of the artist at odds with a blue-haired lady's notion of her favorite impressionist. It's a pivotal moment of Renoir family history, with father and son both taking creative and sexual inspiration from a shared love object: Pierre-Auguste's last model-muse. Future filmmaker Jean Renoir (a vulnerable Vincent Rottier) is the middle son, recovering from a WWI wound at the family farm at Cagnes-sur-Mer in 1915. Renoir père (affectingly played by Michel Bouquet) is 74, painfully hobbled by arthritis, and grieving the recent death of his wife. Christa Theret plays Andrée, the vibrant, pretty-in-petulance model who revives his creative, if not other, juices; a startling scene reveals he wishes otherwise. Yet the film's real star is the color orange-gold with a touch of russet, making an early appearance as the hair-and-clothing-matched Andrée bicycles in the sunlight to her modeling gig. Renoir's setpiece shows the artist working on a canvas, with Mark Ping Bing Lee's camera gliding to models in soft focus, a kind of live action impressionism and a new take on the familiar Bathers. Wisely, director Gilles Bourdos keeps the pace slow, what with all the tensions beneath the surface: Oedipal conflict, career choices, even class struggle. The ambitious Andrée, aka the future Catherine Hessling of Renoir's silent films, tells Jean she won't marry a "plate painter," but a film director might do. « Less
Wielding decapitation-causing spinning blades that are hurled off the edges of swords and resemble a cross between Transformers weaponry (all whirling metal) and the deadly boomerang-thingee from Krull, The Guillotines prove formidable covert... More »
Wielding decapitation-causing spinning blades that are hurled off the edges of swords and resemble a cross between Transformers weaponry (all whirling metal) and the deadly boomerang-thingee from Krull, The Guillotines prove formidable covert assassins in service to China's Qing dynasty until, alas, they're betrayed by the emperor while hunting for rebel leader Wolf (Xiaoming Huang). This treachery, which leaves Leng (Ethan Juan) and his Guillotine mates labeled traitors, stems from the emperor's desire to replace his sword-fighting killers with newfangled canons and firearms, a tradition-vs.-progress dynamic that's handled with maximum melodrama by director Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs). Full of look-at-me crane shots and slow-motion imagery of silent screams and noble deaths enveloped in swirling embers and falling ice, The Guillotines pivots on the tumultuous relationships between brothers, fathers, and sons. Lau's clichéd mishmash of hectic action and over-the-top hysterics lionizes old-school methods of combat even as it relies on-- from a shot of heroes calmly walking away from fiery explosions to a finale of raining CG fireballs-- the tricks of the modern blockbuster trade. A corny saga of social and generational conflict, it's ultimately yet another Chinese period epic that functions as a thinly veiled treatise on the nobility of socialist equality. « Less
For some reason, 80s kids have never wanted to grow up. Then again, why would they? They got to experience the adventures of the Goonies, take in ...
After weeks of fall festivities, what better way to burn some of those extra calories and celebrate a month or two of cooler weather than by showin...
Maybe it's 'cause we're Millennials and all, but we sure as shit didn't sympathize with Metallica's Lars Ulrich when he decided to take on/down Nap...
What do you get when you combine five teenagers from five different walks of life in one room for eight hours 28 years ago? Only the most notable and quintessential high school movie of its time. What do you get when you play that movie at an... More »
How would you feel if the object of your affection canceled plans with you? How would you feel if, earlier that day, you expended a lot of energy preparing for those plans -- plus you were late for wo... More »
Event Review: Superhero Fisticuffs
Just announced, the classic TV shows screening on the 30th! TOKUSATSU THEATER presents another scholarly-yet-amusing glimpse at rare sci-fi, martial arts and superheroes you won't see anywhere else!!!! Laugh and learn, while experiencing........
1964 - PHANTOM AGENTS
(AKA: Ninja Butai Gekko, 忍者部隊 月光, Ninja Team Moonlight & Los Agentes Fantasma). Perhaps the great-grandfather of POWER RANGERS! English dubbed.
1971 - KAMEN RIDER
(AKA: Masked Rider, or 仮面ライダー)
Classic, phenomenally influential series! Our hero rescues virgins from a monstrous, blood-sucking condor/android/mutant! English dubbed!!
1966 - ULTRAMAN
(AKA: Urutoraman, & ウルトラマン)
Quirky sci-fi or inspirational masterpiece?! You decide! The silver giant must defend Japan against those evil space-lobsters, the Baltans! English dubbed.
1974 - FIGHT, DRAGON!
(AKA: Tatakae! Dragon, Fighting Dragon, & 闘え！ドラゴン)
The premise is like many other Japanese superhero programs, but this violent series focuses strictly on martial arts (no sci-fi FX). Yasuaki Kurata takes on Chinese kung fu masters like Bruce Liang and Bolo Yeung! Filmed in Hong Kong. English dubbed!
1982 - SPACE SHERIFF GAVAN
(AKA: Uchu Keiji Gyaban, Universe Sergeant Kaban, & 宇宙刑事ギャバン)
Kenji Ohba (remember the bald Japanese guy in KILL BILL?) uses laser beams, spaceships and acrobatic karate stunts to deal with alien invaders. Our hero's father is played by Sonny Chiba! English subtitles.
It would be enough for FilmBar to provide downtown Phoenix patrons with the kind of art-house fare you don't get at mall cinemas, but FilmBar doesn't stop there. The "bar" in FilmBar is just as impressive, offering not only a chill place to hang out and a nice selection of craft beers, but music unlike any other club in town (courtesy of selectors like Djentrification, whose Saturday night Palace World Music party is the most unique sound going). The seating is communal, low, and plush, and... More »
Sometimes sipping a stiff drink and taking in a movie is the best way to unwind. Lucky for cinephiles and cocktail enthusiasts (and those who fall into both categories) FilmBar lives up to its compound moniker.With near-daily screenings of indie and foreign films, a stocked bar, and club-style nights with DJs, comedians, and other performers, it offers up a moviegoing experience unlike any other in the Valley. Combine all that with its recent expansions -- including pairing up with AIGA... More »
Local selector DJentrification doesn't do things the easy way; while plenty of DJs are content to cue up the laptop, press play, and then start hitting on girls in the audience, DJent is a strictly vinyl kind of guy, meaning his sprawling sets are filled with the kind of music you can't snag easily from the iTunes store. His weekly party at FilmBar, "The Palace," follows the same set of no-rules rules. Mixing Thai, Turk, Khmer, Latin, Indian, and more, Djentrification has the most unique... More »
Somebody, quick, pinch us! We can't believe our dream (well, one of our dreams) has come true. Phoenix has its own indie movie theater. With a bar. And it's downtown, right off Roosevelt Row, making it one more piece of the puzzle in what may eventually come to be a real city instead of a few scattered outposts of cool. On a recent First Friday, the place was packed with folks drinking, chatting, and people-watching. You don't have to buy a movie ticket to come in the door, but trust us,... More »
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