Monday, January 9 2006
Many films in 2005 dealt explicitly with the effects of fear, reflecting a world where outrage and terror have stewed into perpetual anxiety. This year, comedy and horror movies were in meager supply, and dread seeped into every other type of film, from indie drama to summer blockbuster.
Francis Ford Coppola got it half right. A decade or so ago, he opined that the film industry would soon be overrun by teenagers with portable cameras. These indie moviemakers, rebelling against the studio system, would use their backyards as back lots to make their own 'outsider' entertainment.
Thursday, January 5 2006
What is love? How does one become a superhero? Is violence something inherent inside you?
Overall, not a bad year for an entertainment entity long written off as a cultural wasteland. There's some definitive new growth among the arid averageness.
The main reason why digital won the format wars was the ongoing desire to accept film as an art, not a commodity, and in return making discs that preserve and enhance the medium.
Thursday, December 22 2005
Claude Chabrol is not only one of the most prolific of the New Wave filmmakers (over 50 films in nearly 50 years), but also committed to genre-based narrative.
Thursday, December 15 2005
With each epithet and curse, Pryor shed light on the humanity of those folks who live a reality defined by the dirty, nasty business of race, gender, and poverty in the United States.
Thursday, December 1 2005
It's getting noticeably colder now we're in December, and if you listen carefully, you can already hear Santa Claus checking his list. For the second time.
Thursday, November 10 2005
Benji is a child's movie, complete with stereotyped characters, cheesy jokes, and goofy kid-pleasing pratfalls that make parents cringe. But its quiet moments verge sometimes, improbably, on the sublime.
Wednesday, November 9 2005
Torino hosts a series of intimate film festivals, including Cinemambiente and Festival Cinema delle Donne. Younger filmmakers are especially well received, with public school screenings and student juries at both festivals.
Friday, September 23 2005
Nestled in exclusive artistic and geographic majesty, Telluride is a film lover's feast of the senses.
Robert Wise adapted to his subject matter, believing the genre and the story dictated the manner in which the movie was made, not the other way around.
Wednesday, August 31 2005
Lebowski Fest celebrates the irrational exuberance of a cult classic community.
Friday, August 26 2005
The BAM series, a testament to Shirley Clarke's eclectic tastes, talents, and influences, also seemed incomplete, the record of a career stifled by circumstances.
Thursday, August 11 2005
Evil kiddie killers in film symbolically unearth our secret paranoid fears of a gay planet and what that could mean for the always-under-siege American family.
Friday, July 29 2005
Ernest Lehman excelled at the difficult and notoriously thankless task of translating stage musicals to the screen.
Thursday, July 21 2005
James Dean's devastatingly good looks and '50s loner chic have often overshadowed his intuitive acting style; many look at Dean in retrospect and see a matinee idol, a pin-up, not a craftsman on the exulted level of his contemporary Marlon Brando.
Friday, July 1 2005
Winchell is best known as the voice of that bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, ball of Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! called Tigger.
Tuesday, June 21 2005
The basic generic reference points for Otaku Cinema Slam! are accessible to Western viewers, but the cultural particulars may not be clear.
Friday, June 17 2005
Batman's struggle for moral involvement in his community starkly contrasts with our own cultural narcissism.