Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the kid-friendly superhero flick “Shazam!,” the remake of “Pet Sematary” and the documentary “Carmine Street Guitars” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the family-friendly superhero flick “Shazam!,” the remake of “Pet Sematary” and the documentary “Carmine Street Guitars.”
As promised “Carmine Street Guitars,” the new documentary from Ron Mann, is about guitars. Beautiful stringed instruments hand made with love by artesian Rick Kelly. But it isn’t just about guitars. Sure, we hear music, solo performances by pickers and grinners like “Captain” Kirk Douglas, Lenny Kaye, Eleanor Friedberger, Charlie Sexton and Bill Frisell, but it’s about tradition and the personal connections between creators and their instruments.
For decades Kelly and his shop Carmine Street Guitars has been a Greenwich Village landmark. Untouched by modern conveniences like cell phones and computers, Kelly uses tools handed down from his grandfather, salvages old wood from New York landmarks like McSorley’s Old Ale House—the “bones of the city,” he calls them—to create one-of-a-kind instruments he says have a resonance that newer materials cannot duplicate. With him is apprentice, Cindy Hulej, a woodworker who burns beautiful designs into the faces of the guitars she creates.
It’s a slice of life doc, a week in the life of the shop as musicians come in, hang out and talk about guitars. Mann creates a rhythm that echoes the slow pace of life inside the store. Kelly is soft spoken, an old-school artist in a rapidly changing city, somehow dodging the homogenization that is putting people like him out of business. His icy demeanor toward a high rolling real estate agent tells you everything you need to know regarding his feelings toward the people who value glass and steel over heart and soul.
“Carmine Street Guitars” is an ode to tradition, to artistry, to slowing down. It’s an understated hang-out movie that has as much resonance as the old wood Kelly uses to make his guitars.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the kid-friendly superhero flick “Shazam!,” the remake of “Pet Sematary” and the documentary “Carmine Street Guitars.”
The image of a sandcastle kicks off “Altman,” director Ron Mann’s look at the life and work of Robert Altman. The filmmaker behind movies like “M*A*S*H,” “Nashville” and “The Long Goodbye” once compared making movies to building sand castles, a metaphor he found so powerful he even named his production company Sandcastle 5.
Then later, just before the end credits, the sandcastle disappears. It’s a simple but effective visual summation of Altman’s ethos, build it, watch it go and start all over again.
Mann worked with Altman’s family and colleagues to piece together the personal and professional life of one of the mavericks of American film. The result is a comprehensive documentary that traces Altman’s work back to his roots in industrial filmmaking in Kansas City, to becoming one of television’s most in-demand directors to his iconoclastic work for the big screen. Woven into that narrative is the personal story of the director’s relationship with his wife and business partner of four decades Kathryn and their children.
The story is told in their words—Altman’s reminiscences are culled from 400 hours of footage from his public talks and interviews—accompanied by film clips and unseen until now home movies and stills.
Additional colour comes from the famous faces of Lily Tomlin, Keith Carradine, the late Robin Williams and Elliott Gould, who each answer one question, “What does the word Altman-esque mean to you?” The wide range of answers, which often are pared down to one word or a short phrase, provide a curt but effective glimpse at the unique multiverse Altman created in his life and work.
The result of all these elements is “Altman,” a beautiful and naturalistic portrait of a man, not just his work. It would have been impossible to go in-depth on each of Altman’s 39 films in just ninety minutes, so Mann concentrates on capturing the spirit of a man who built sandcastles over and over again.