Quick takes

Please Vote for Me (2007,  Chen Weijun) IMDb screened Tuesday January 22 2008 at the IFC Center Stranger Than Fiction series

Edwin Mak has embedded the entire film to be viewed on his site

yes Noyava Moskva / The New Moscow (1938, Alexander Medvedkin) IMDb

screened Friday January 25 2008 at the Walter Reade Theater Envisioning Russia series

From the director of one of the most outstanding films of 1934, Happiness (TSPDT #874) - and what a difference four years of Stalinist rule make.  There's some gentle ribbing of peasant culture as a young generation of Soviet urbanites blaze the way to the future by embracing infrastructural changes being imposed on the nation, with Moscow as the beacon example of modernity.  You'd think that Medvedkin would employ an avant garde cinematic technique to match the subject, but the best he can manage is a uneven blending of coarse country comedy, romantic musical numbers and sci-fi kitsch.  Nonetheless the film was still kept from a full release.  Incidentally, Medvedkin's life and turbulent career is the subject of Chris Marker's exceptional biography The Last Bolshevik.


Superbad (2007, Greg Mottola) IMDb

screened Saturday January 26 2008 on DVD

Not as funny as everyone has made it out to be - so what if its unapologetically pubescent male outlook tells it like it is (as if we haven't heard this story before? I miss the innocent days of Revenger of the Nerds). It's as crudely, self-aggrandizingly in-your-face with its sleeve-worn juvenile precociousness as Juno. KNOCKED UP is so much better, managing to be both hilarious and emotionally multifacted. mixed