WHODUNNIT

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Kris

Can't decide what to watch?FollowTheThread.
Each week Elma and I give you 5 opinionated but culturally relevant choices, based on our experience of curating smart sticky stuff for Ovation, Trio, Bravo, A&E, Sundance, Fuse, and others.
Watch it!

Latest posts by Kris (see all)

Here at The Thread, we are endlessly fascinated by extreme goings-on behind other people’s closed doors. OK, so maybe killing your spouse isn’t the best solution for marital ennui.  But these movies sure do a good job of distracting us for a couple hours.

 imageGONE GIRL (2014)

There are two sides to every story but with only one side present and the other “missing” we can only come to one conclusion.   This is one thriller that we cannot wait to see under the masterful direction of David Fincher regardless of whodunit. 

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/fox/gonegirl/

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THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY (2014)

Incredible scenery and Hitchcockian plot twists as screenwriter Hossein Amini (DRIVE) adapts/directs a Patricia Highsmith novel that keeps you guessing until the final scene.  The grifter couple here both walk into it with open eyes – the fun is trying to figure out who will stop at what.   An entertaining return to the classics that is hitting theaters this weekend.

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/magnolia/thetwofacesofjanuary/

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LES DIABOLIQUES (1955)

A wife, a mistress and a brutal husband are at the center of this thriller from director Georges Clouzot.  Usually we’re drawn to French films for their anti-Hollywood plotting – but here there are more than enough twists and turns to keep you going.  Kinky, juicy, loaded with undercurrents –  the film created a sensation when was released and is said to have inspired Hitchcock’s Psycho, as well as Columbo.  

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/movie/les-diaboliques/id593273032

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DIABOLIQUE (1996)

The American remake of Clouzot’s masterpiece falls short of the original but does give you a high dose of camp.  The presence of Kathy Bates and a nude scene from Isabelle Adjani may help keep you entertained – but you’ll have the most fun if you watch the original first and then mercilessly pick this one apart.    

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/diabolique-1996/id291485343

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FATAL ATTTRACTION (1987)

We love this film for the simple yet serious lesson it serves up to would-be philanderers – “Just keep it in your pants, OK?”  In these movies what happens behind closed doors just never stays there.  Thrilling and violent and over-the-top.  Nobody ever forgets that scene with the bunny.   

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/fatal-attraction/id218728315

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THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1981)

The ultra-noir incarnation of this theme.  David Mamet’s remake of the 1946 original stars Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange as ill-fated lovers whose steamy destiny is doomed from the first kiss.  The intersection of the pulpy source material with the director’s hyper-serious sensibilities produced one of our favorite Mamet films.   

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/postman-always-rings-twice/id272705512

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ACE IN THE HOLE (1951)

One of Wilder’s more neglected films and one of the first films to examine the way reporters need sensationalism to feed the beast – the beast being us.  At the time, critics and audiences didn’t really get it.  Half a century later, it seems a little prescient.  Wilder’s brilliant plotting is one of the reasons we love him – the twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/ace-in-the-hole/id276105981

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THE SHINING (1980)

As with POSTMAN, the collision of genre and genius works extremely for this romp in the fields of family dysfunction.  Oh, and did we mention Nicholson?  We have to admit a weak spot for this one – we’re still drawn back almost irresistibly to Kubrick’s campy psychological thriller.  Like Close in ATTRACTION, Nicholson here is a brilliant performer at a delightful, scenery-chewing high mark.  The words “Here’s Johnny…!” will forever send a chill of mixed dread and delight down our spines. 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-shining/id522395870

TWINS

Watch it!

Kris

Can't decide what to watch?FollowTheThread.
Each week Elma and I give you 5 opinionated but culturally relevant choices, based on our experience of curating smart sticky stuff for Ovation, Trio, Bravo, A&E, Sundance, Fuse, and others.
Watch it!

Latest posts by Kris (see all)

Maybe you’ve noticed that one of the engines driving THE THREAD is culture vulture envy.  We don’t work nights anymore, so we aren’t in the position to show up for the first show on the first day.  And much to our chagrin we only rarely (some of us never) get invited to previews.  So we sit on the sidelines, make our list, and – like Chauncey Gardiner – watch. 

 

image THE SKELETON TWINS (2014)

But some weeks we really want to be out there… And this is one.  It’s the between week for Lionsgate indie rave THE SKELETON TWINS – limited release last week, and it goes wide on the 26th.  Critical opinion is nearly unanimous (yes, we do read critics voraciously).  We love threading the dark side, especially when treated humorously.  And we also love comedians doing drama.  Sounds like a breakthrough performance for both Hader and Wiig.

If we didn’t have to work on next week’s post, we might actually go out and see it – so if you live in NY or LA, please go see it for us.  And if not, here are a few things to watch at home.

http://www.ifc.com/fix/2014/06/bill-hader-kristen-wiig-the-skeleton-twins-trailer

 

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THE HOUSE OF YES (1998)

Twins, check. Indie, check.  Tortured family, check. Mental problems, check.  Black humor, check.  Incest, Thanksgiving, and Tori Spelling as the clueless fiancé, check.  Apotheosis of Parker Posey as Queen of the indies – check.  Could be time to see it again.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-house-of-yes/id604242070

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LEAVES OF GRASS (2010)

Different kind of twins (brothers, identical; different kind of dramedy (starts broad, then veers off into Coen-esque violence).  A lot of people thought this hybrid was too uneasy.  The rest thought it was kind of brilliant.  We fall with the second lot, but then we like movies that keep us off balance. Kind of amazing performance by Norton – reminds you how good he can be.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/leaves-of-grass/id385888128

 

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LIFE IS SWEET (1991)

Mike Leigh’s high-visibility award winners have been relentlessly bleak (NAKED, VERA DRAKE, SECRETS & LIES).  As you know by now, at The Thread we always like to throw in something a little chewier – Leigh’s comedies are quirky, British, and darkish.  They take a little work but are well worth it.

The twin sisters in LIFE IS SWEET are supporting players.  Like LEAVES OF GRASS, they’ve gone in opposite directions.   Unlike GRASS, and amazingly (see the image above) they are played by two actresses.  Natalie (Claire Skinner) is a sane and solid plumber’s helper.  Nicola (Jane Horrocks) is a bulimic shut-in with kinky erotic proclivities. 

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/movie/life-is-sweet/id580907142

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TWELFTH NIGHT, OR WHAT YOU WILL (1996)

One of Shakespeare’s two twin plays.  The reasons to watch this Trevor Nunn film are his very seductive treatment of the pervasive sexual ambiguity and the incredible cast.  And he’s simplified the language just enough to work for a movie not kill it for Shakespeare fans. 

Nunn knows his stuff, and he is such a theatre heavyweight that his cast is a UK who’s who:  Imogen Stubbs, Helena Bonham Carter, Stephen Mackintosh, Ben Kingsley, Nigel Hawthorne, Toby Stevens, Richard E. Grant, Imelda Staunton & Mel Smith.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/twelfth-night-1996/id310588829

 

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STUCK ON YOU (2003)

Back from England – and just for the fun of it.  We somehow missed this when it came out, and we never caught up.  Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear play conjoined twins who leave their diner on Martha’s Vineyard and head to Hollywood.  Farrelly brothers, so it’s un-PC and warm-hearted.  Also chock full of celeb cameos – Cher, Jay Leno, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep.  Their agent, Morty, is played by the inimitable Seymour Cassel.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/stuck-on-you/id283561717

 

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TWINS   (1998)

Believe it or not, we’ve never seen it – even though we’re longtime fans of both The Governator and De Vito.  And Reitman too.  Maybe not genius, but by all accounts funny and reliably entertaining. Maybe this is the weekend?!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/twins/id279993408