The Apartment Theater 003: “Stardust Memories”

Credit: United Artists
Charlotte Rampling in "Stardust Memories."

Sure, you’ve seen Fellini’s “8 1/2.” You might have even liked it. Or maybe said you liked it to impress your friends or some snobby film professor. But was that flick truly accessible?

Well, maybe. But probably not, right?

What you should have done, probably, was just to watch “Stardust Memories,” Woody’s soft-stabbing send-up. Every bit as masterful as “8 1/2,” with half the mercurial headache, the un-needed falutin. I know, I made that word up. But making up a word is only half as pretentious as you, if you’re a big “8 1/2″ fan.

“Stardust Memories” sputters, and isn’t all it could be. It’s the story of a filmmaker recalling his past loves, and some scenes are beautiful in their simplicity. Of course it doesn’t hurt that the young Charlotte Rampling is stunning.

Re-newed Worship: Weed Forestin’

Lou Barlow’s 1990 album Weed Forestin’ stirs the blood and rallies the heart. An original, homegrown debut with uncanny strength, originally self-released in 1987, it is point A for Barlow’s work beyond the band Dinosaur Jr., of which he was a founding member. Rereleased earlier this year in multiple formats via Bandcamp, the album is tighter and more immediately his own than the collaborative work in Sebadoh and Folk Implosion that followed.

Along with the rerelease, there’s also a new album’s worth of bonus material called Child of the Apocalypse, which provides a bridge of sorts between Barlow’s first experimental forays on You’re Living All Over Me (“Poledo”) and Weed Forestin’.

Where Barlow’s other bands featured the best of his songbook in a collaborative setting, his solo recordings post-Weed Forestin’ are deposits for the balance of his output, tagged with names like Wasted Pieces and Most of the Worst and Some of the Best. As the eldest sibling of those tapes, and sprawling journeys like Losers, Weed Forestin’ is more clear-eyed and immediately reverent than its brothers.

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Design Wizards Zap Shocker Cover

You used Photoshop once in college? You’re qualified to critique professionals!

A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J. K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

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The Calm After the Storm in “When the Wind Blows”

Credit: Nippon Herald Films/At Entertainment
A Japanese poster for the terrifying British film “When the Wind Blows.”

There’s a running gag in “When the Wind Blows,” in which the elderly Hilda Bloggs, hiding out in a “shelter” with her husband Jim, repeatedly refuses to go to the bathroom in a sandbox, even though going upstairs to the bathroom would almost certainly be lethal due to radioactive fallout.

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The Apartment Theater 002: “Birdemic: Shock and Terror”

A woman attacked by the horrible graphics in “Birdemic: Shock and Terror.”

Last summer I was at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge watching Hitchcock’s “The Birds” (1963) as part of a Bernard Hermann retrospective, and I distinctly remember the audience laughter when that first screeching seagull swoops into the frame and tussles a frock of Tippi Hedren’s blond hair as her skiff putters across Bodega Bay.

And they were right to laugh, because the bird didn’t look terrifying compared to the modern horror of “Saw” or whatever you horror movie folks watch. The bird looked like a stuffed bird and the blood on Hedren’s gloved finger looked like nail polish.

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Django Received

Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx in “Django Unchained,” walking.

The teaser trailer for “Django Unchained” has been released, offering a first glimpse of Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film about a freed slave-turned-bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx) trying to save his wife from a vicious plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio).

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How I learned To Stop Worrying And Enjoy ‘The Avengers’

You can’t buy a first edition to a movie, can you?

What would happen if all made-up stories operated something like Marvel’s comic-book-cum-movie world, where all the characters start out with individual genesis stories that led into an all-encompassing blockbuster extravaganza, like, say, “The Avengers.”

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A Greener Mind: Colleen Green’s “Milo Goes to Compton”

Everyone likes T-shirts with dogs on them.

A re-release of the first full-length from one-woman-band Colleen Green, Milo Goes to Compton comes back to life right on the heels of her 2011 outings, Green One and Cujo. In a broad field of female-fronted retro-rock, Green’s ace comes from a higher grade of slack alongside the standards and traditions of weed-fueled, homemade record-making.

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The Apartment Theater 001: “Grand Theft Auto”

Credit: New World Pictures via Instagram
A rare still showing the only car crash in “Grand Theft Auto.”

“Grand Theft Auto” is Ron Howard’s “Badlands.” Howard’s 1977 film (his first feature) follows Sam and Paula, two young lovers from opposite sides of the tracks, and a trail of devastation that litters the West Coast’s highway with wrecked cars and ruined lives. The freewheeling couple is transformed into media darlings, depicted as rebels who put their reckless love above traffic laws and outmoded cultural norms.

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Will Ferrell y El Enorme Gato Blanco

Credit: Pantelion Films
¡Que estúpido!

Algún lugar en el centro de este nuevo pelicula, “Casa de Mi Padre,” con Will Ferrell, hay una escena que no es divertido o gracioso. Esta es la escena que otros cinéfilos serán insultando, que estará diciendo es tonto cuando todos estamos dejando al teatro.

Esta es la configuración: El carácter de Ferrell, un ranchero estúpido, dieron un tiro en el pecho. Sus asesinos lo han dejado por muerto. Y, cuando parece que va a morir, un enorme gato blanco viene y lo protege de los perros salvajes.

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Peaceful, contemplative medium rectangle.