BEHOLD Our MES Exclusive Poster for The Visitor

the visitor

We’re awfully excited to be screening one of the oddest and most fascinating films of the 70′s on  February 1st Giulio Paradisi’s nutty and wonderful 1979 flick THE VISITOR. We can’t even explain all the reasons we love this movie so we’ll let the trailer do the talking for us.

And as if the movie weren’t enough we finally had the opportunity to add one of our favorite musical combos, the badass fellas at Monomath, to join in the fun. Tickets are on sale NOW right here:

The Visitor w/Special Guests Monomath Presale Ticket – Saturday February 1st 8:30pm from Mise En Scenesters on Square Market

Scream Factory Q&A

screamfactory-thumb-630xauto-35075As you know if you’ve followed MES at all over the past couple years. We’re big fans of genre films and equally big fans of other fans of genre films (who else can we have impassioned Swamp Thing conversations with?). That’s why it was a real honor to get to speak a bit with Jeff Nelson and Cliff MacMillan two of the driving forces behind Scream Factory. If you are a genre fan and haven’t yet dipped a toe into the wonderful waters of Scream Factory’s release roster prepare to fall in love again (for the very first time). Read our MES exclusive interview after the jump. Continue reading

MES Salutes: Scream Factory

SCREAM-FACTORY-LOGO

The original plan for this piece was to put together a holiday gift guide of sorts for cinephiles. A few of us on the squad here at MES were to submit items we thought the film fans out there would love as much as we do. Moments into compiling all the suggestions for this list, I realized that nearly every item on the list had been released by a single distributor a company whose name has no doubt been reverently uttered by thousands of genre film fans the world over this year.

I’m speaking of Shout Factory spin-off Scream Factory and its growing and incredible roster of releases that is quickly beginning to approximate something of a horror friendly Criterion Collection. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not hating on the folks at Criterion proper, who have given us lovely blu-ray versions of many a genre release. It’s just that those releases are very rarely films such as Tobe Hooper’s under-loved space vampire epic Lifeforce or early Weinstein brothers slasher outing The Burning, and damn it, the world needs those, and it needs them in high-def with lovingly crafted special features.

The Scream Factory folks are not only making good choices, they are clearly making them from an informed position. These guys get what makes Halloween III: Season of the Witch so magical. And they’ve put their money where their mouths are and have created the loveliest edition of SOTW that has ever existed anywhere, plus equally beautiful editions of genre fan favorites like John Carpenter’s The Fog/Prince of Darkness and even forgotten favorites like Terror Train and bizarro cult hits like Paul Schrader’s wonderful and sexed up remake of Jacques Tourneur’s Cat People.

It’s impressive the way they handle the packaging of their discs, with new artwork and reversible blu-ray cover sleeves so that purists with fond memories of the releases original artwork can turn theirs around for a more classic look. The Scream Factory catalog consists of pretty much must-own titles for any serious genre fan with a blu-ray library, but in an effort to make it easier to dive in and discover this incredible brand, we’ve chosen five of our favorite Scream Factory releases to showcase just why it is we love them so damn much. Continue reading

Just In Time For the Holidays! Ten Haikus About Film in 2013!

Coleman Christmas

Empty space and light
Always falling or rising
Debris is a bitch

Is it really weird
To be so attracted to
A british dragon?

Apocalyptic
Fun times end when the demon
Busts out mega dick

Big monsters, robots:
Cool. The words shat out on screen:
Kill me now, sweet god.

God, I love Greta
Black and white dancer, lost, young
Hipsters made real-ish.

Was there basic’ly
A movie about whacking?
Yep, totally was.

Spring break, guns and weed,
Ironic, sincere, or what?
Skrillex, though, so, nope.

Computer chess out
Like a boss, but the ending
Tripping balls, brother

These things keep me sane
The movie house is like church
But, you know, awesome

Okay, really just
Nine haikus, I confess it
Ass balls fart balls ass fart fart

Check Out Our Lovely MES Exclusive Poster For HERE COMES THE DEVIL!

For our first screening of 2014 we already knew that we had to bring our a-game. That a-game is being brought in the form of one of our favorite horror flicks in recent memory, filmmaker Adrian Garcia Bogliano’s genuinely spooky HERE COMES THE DEVIL.

We love this flick (between it and THE DESCENT we are never going into another cave ANYWHERE ever fucking again). Such a cool film deserved an equally cool poster and that’s why we’re proud to show-off new MES contributor Travis Knight’s devilish and truly lovely MES one-sheet. Also, represented on the poster are the evening’s musical guests Priests not only do they have the perfect name to round out an evening filled with otherwise demonic delights they are one of our favorite new bands and it’s an honor to have them help us ring in a brand new year of MES.

So check out Travis’ killer poster and join MES for our HERE COMES THE DEVIL  screening with special guests Priests on January 18th 2014!

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MES January-March 2014 Preview! Plus MES SIX PACKS NOW AVAILABLE!!!

MES SIX PACK PUNCH CARD

For three years, the film junkies at Mise En Scenesters have risked life, limb and personal finances to keep the flow of great indie cinema pouring into Chattanooga, and now with a little help from our over 2,000 regional supporters and movie lovers, we’re proud to kick off another year of great indie, obscure, classic and cult classic cinema.

We hope you’ll join us in the first few months of 2014 as we continue our mission of celebrating all that make cinema great.

Our January-March 2014 line-up includes the films HERE COMES THE DEVIL, THE PUNK SINGER, THE VISITOR, FATEFUL FINDINGS and GRAND PIANO. Purchasing an MES SIX PACK also offers thrifty film fans an opportunity to save a little cash off the ticket price to each film.

The MES SIX PACK is the perfect holiday gift for the indie film fan in your life. The purchaser or recipient of the MES SIX PACK is entitled to admission to each of the five January-March 2014 MES Film Club offerings as well as a single admission to a TOP SECRET May 2014 screening only open to MES DONORS and MES SIX PACK holders.

MES SIX PACK on Square Market

Playing MES January 18

HERE COMES THE DEVIL

This film combines modern indie filmmaking and storytelling with a hint of ‘70s-styled psychological horror that may not just be psychological. Francisco Barreiro and Laura Caro play parents Felix and Sol whose preteen son and daughter inexplicably reappear after being lost overnight on a desolate, cave-riddled mountainside after a casual hike became every parent’s nightmare. The good luck and good fortune of their return soon changes, as the children’s behavior suggests ominous and unspeakable events the night the children were lost that continue even now. As a loving couple – and loving parents – try to care for and protect their children, the ancient and half-whispered legends around the caves and the mountain and those who have gone there before become too strange to believe…and too dangerous, no matter how insane, to ignore.

Trailer:

 

“One of the most interesting, frightening and thoroughly alive-both intellectually and viscerally-works of horror and dread this critic has seen in a very, very long time.”

—Gabe Toro, The Playlist on Indiewire

“A memorable shocker. Great performances and a script that never quite does what you expect it to.”

—Drew McWeeney, Hitfix

“Magnificently creepy. It utterly floored me.”

—Steve Prokopy, Ain’t It Cool News

Playing MES January 25

THE PUNK SINGER

In this SXSW 2013 Official Selection Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the riot grrrl movement. She became one of the most famously outspoken feminist icons, a cultural lightning rod. Her critics wished she would just shut-up, and her fans hoped she never would. So in 2005, when Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why. Through 20 years of archival footage and intimate interviews with Hanna, THE PUNK SINGER takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader.

Trailer:

“Emotional. Moving.”

Pitchfork Media

“Powerful.”

—Eric Kahn, Indiewire

“Intimate. Invigorating”

—Entertainment Weekly

Playing MES February 1

THE VISITOR

The Sci-Fi/Horror Epic That 1979 Couldn’t Handle: In this unforgettable assault on reality–restored and presented uncut theatrically for the first time ever in the U.S.–legendary Hollywood director/actor John Huston (The Maltese Falcon; Treasure Of The Sierra Madre) stars as an intergalactic warrior who joins a cosmic Christ figure in battle against a demonic 8-year-old girl, and her pet hawk, while the fate of the universe hangs in the balance. Multi-dimensional warfare, pre-adolescent profanity and brutal avian attacks combine to transport the viewer to a state unlike anything they’ve experienced… somewhere between Hell, the darkest reaches of outer space, and Atlanta, GA . The Visitor fearlessly fuses elements of The Omen, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, The Birds, Rosemary’s Baby, The Fury and even Star Wars creating the most ambitious of all ’70s psychedelic mindwarps . Its baffling all-star cast includes Shelley Winters (Night Of The Hunter), Glenn Ford (Superman), Lance Henriksen (Aliens), Franco Nero (Django) and Sam Peckinpah (director of The Wild Bunch).

Trailer:

“A ridiculously entertaining hybrid of Rosemary’s Baby, Close Encounters, The Birds, Damien: Omen II, and more. It’s the schizophrenic mother of all 70’s Drive-In Oddities”

—Village Voice

 Playing MES February 15

FATEFUL FINDINGS

A paranormal thriller where a computer hacker exposes worldwide secrets.

Trailer:

“Wonderful…..David Lynch Meets Toms Wiseau…. The Audience Loved It.” Audience: “Had A Blast…We All Cheered… Loved The Genre… Could Not Stop Talking About It And Liking It!”

—Seattle International Film Festival, 2013

“Received A Standing Ovation … A Fantastic Screening!” Audience: “Thunderous Applause … Never Seen Anything Like It…. Loved It … Awesome … People Were Ecstatic!” “… The Next Cult Sensation”

—Fantasia International Film Festival, Montreal, 2013

”Without A Doubt The Next Cult Classic.”. ” ….Leads To One Of The Most Bravura Conclusions In The History Of Cinema . …I’m Not Exaggerating .” ” It Is Full Of Heart And Special Vision “. ” I Guarantee You Will Love Fateful Findings ! ”

—Devin Faraci, Badass Digest

Playing MES March 22

GRAND PIANO

Starring Elijah Wood & John Cusack. Wood plays Tom Selznick, the most talented pianist of his generation, who has stopped performing in public because of his stage fright. Years after a catastrophic performance, he reappears in public for a long awaited concert in Chicago. In a packed theater, in front of an expectant audience, Tom finds a message written on the score: “Play one wrong note and you die.” In the sights of an anonymous sniper (Cusack), Tom must get through the most difficult performance of his life and look for help without being detected.

Trailer:

 

“The best movie that Alfred Hitchcock never made.”

—IGN

“VIRTUOSIC – A DAZZLER! Infused with originality and expertly executed. The suspense is as taut and responsive as piano wire.” —Marjorie Baumbarten, The Austin Chronicle

“ENDLESSLY ENGAGING. It’s probably the best Brian De Palma movie he never made.”

—Todd Gilchrist, Playlist on Indiewire

 For more information about MES and any of our upcoming screenings email us directly at info@mesfilmclub.com

 

MES NEEDS YOUR HELP TO KEEP BRINGING GREAT FILMS TO CHATTANOOGA!

There are few things in life we hate less than fundraising but few things we love more than getting to share great films with the equally great people of our city! Every six months we do an MES programming fundraiser in an attempt to raise part of the funds we need to cover bringing another six months of killer movies here to Chattanooga, Tennessee and now we’re at it again to try and keep the flow of film rolling well into summer 2014. If you or any of your friends loves movies we hope you’ll let them know about our campaign and help us spread the word. Any support even just a dollar or two or letting a few friends know about our page and our screenings is a huge help. We hope you’ll join us in our mission to make the Southeast a safer place for indie, obscure and genre cinema of all types.

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Why I’m Tired of the Strong Woman Trope in Movies

I found myself arguing with a stranger on Facebook recently about a feminist piece I wrote on slut shaming. By the time the discussion wound down I was exhausted, mentally and emotionally. I typed out a private chat message to a friend who’d also been involved in the debate and said, “What bothers me the most is that this shouldn’t even be up for debate. Women shouldn’t have to defend themselves this way.” And that, in a round about way, is why I am also very, very tired of the strong woman trope in pop culture.

xena_warrior_princess_dress_pattern_by_thewarriorprincess-d5yhz8aDon’t get me wrong, I’m always happy to see more female characters at the movies and on TV. I love Xena and Buffy and girls kicking ass. Still, as glad as I am for all these representations of women sticking up for themselves, some with more physicality than others, some with better sense of ethics than others, what I really wish is that there were fewer things for women to stick up for themselves about. Like the whole Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series– glad Lisbeth was such a total badass bitch, but it bums me out that we needed a whole trilogy of books and movies to explore the idea of the “perfect victim” taking back her life and getting vengeance.

It sticks out to me that at the same time we have the strong woman trope, men are increasingly portrayed as vulnerable and sensitive and even a little effeminate. Men are already considered strong and capable, so we can explore new stock characters like the Manic Pixie Dream Boy. We see movie makers and show runners portraying different male body types– skinny hipster emo boys have been showing up a lot more in the past ten years. It’s totally impossible not to swoon for Adrian Brody in every movie ever. For men, sensitivity and vulnerability and other stereotypical feminine characteristics are the new thing. Meanwhile Eliza Dushku is still off in leather pants somewhere bitch slapping evil because girls have to be strong.

I would like for female characters to not have to be so strong. I would like for them to be able to exhibit other characteristics, and not always have to be fighting something. As a real life woman, I feel like I’m always having to fight something, whether it’s a big picture ephemeral thing like unequal pay or rape culture or something visceral and immediate like getting cat called when I jog downtown. Arguing with that stranger the other day, I couldn’t help  but remember Hillary Swank’s speech in the flick Iron Jawed Angels, in which she plays suffragette and hunger striker Alice Paul? She said,

“You ask me to explain myself. I’m just wondering, what needs to be explained? It should be very clear. Look into your own heart—I swear to you, mine is no different. You want a place in a trades and professions where you can earn your bread; so do I. You want the means of self-expression, some way to satisfy your own personal ambitions; so do I. You want a voice in the government under which you live; so do I. What is there to explain?”

Hillary Swank-- one bad ass bitch in everything she does

Hillary Swank– one bad ass bitch in everything she does. Can’t she just take a damn bubble bath?

As proud as I am that women can be strong and can fight against inequality and oppression and people ceaselessly telling us our thighs are too fat, I’d rather ask what needs to be explained?Talk about strong women– Hillary Swank gets beat up in every movie she’s in and her characters always endure to achieve some triumph of the human spirit that make us feel more alive. I question why we find images of women struggling so empowering. I enjoy movies and shows with this trope, too, but sometimes I find they don’t make me feel that much different than watching all the brutality in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Any More.

I can only stomach so much of women getting beat up, whether it’s literal or metaphorical, and strong women exist in movies in part to get beaten up and then get back up again. I wish we didn’t have the strong woman trope because I wish we didn’t need such strong women. I wish that when a woman puts on combat boots on TV and starts hurling grenades it’s because of something like defeating communism or saving Biblical artifacts from the Nazis or to run a meth empire, not because she’s got a million negative stereotypes to combat and enough cultural baggage to outweigh the Pacific Garbage Patch.

I wish it wasn’t so necessary for us to prove this point that Demi Moore can be GI Jane as much as Richard Gere can be An Officer and a Gentleman. That’s what makes Alien so great– Ripley is just trying to manage with a giant reptilian extra terrestrial on her space craft, and the character could just as easily have been a man. She’s a strong woman, yes, but the film isn’t about that, it’s about a strong person in a legitimately fucked up situation.

theheatYou know what else was awesome? Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat. They were just trying to solve crimes and used a lot of guns while doing so, and they were real, funny people not fighting over a man. They had sensitivities and hangups that drove the plot as much as their firepower. That was great– we need more of that.

If this were an equal world, we’d be praising sensitive, vulnerable female characters the way we praise male ones. It’ll be a great day when all the strong ladies can just come home, peel off their pleather, pop open a cold one, and relax. I want Buffy to get to kick back, draw a bath, put on Sarah McLoughlin’s “Fumbling Toward Ecstasy,” and enjoy having all the feelings. The strong woman may seem like a positive trope, but it’s just another symptom of how much things still need to change.