I am harsh on my filmmaker friends. I told Bruce that he shouldn't act in his own movies anymore, just like Woody Allen and Spike Lee shouldn't act in theirs. I even scolded Todd Haynes that Far From Heaven was overrated, but I adored Velvet Goldmine and his latest, I'm Not There. (Though I can't stand Cate Blanchett; after seeing her as Queen Elizabeth yet again all I could say was, "Glenda Jackson, Glenda Jackson.")
I watched Superbad twice with the 14-year-old twins of my Cheap Blacky costar Susanne Sachsee, and I even got off on the 'roid rage of Gerard Butler in the epic 300. No one does brittle white lady like my Tales of the City costar Laura Linney in The Savages. Tony Leung is so elegant and sensuous in Lust, Caution that everyone will want a Chinese boyfriend as the hot new fashion accessory this year. And if Sweeney Todd doesn't bring back the musical genre, nothing will.
Vaginal Davis (www.vaginaldavis.com), who now lives in exile in Berlin, will be in the Bay Area on March 29, 2008, for the opening of her installation Present Penicative at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; it will also feature her performances "Bilitis A Lesbian Separatist Feminist State" and "Colonize Me."
DENNIS HARVEY'S ALPHABETICAL DOCUMENTARY TOP 10
1. Absolute Wilson (Katharina Otto-Bernstein, US/Germany)
2. All in This Tea (Les Blank, US)
3. King Corn (Aaron Wolf, US)
4. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (Seth Gordon, US)
5. Manufactured Landscapes (Jennifer Baichwal, Canada)
6. My Kid Could Paint That (Ami Bar-Lev, US)
7. No End in Sight (Charles Ferguson, US)
8. Protagonist (Jessica Yu, US)
9. Romántico (Mark Becker, US)
10. Zoo (Robinson Devor, US)
DENNIS HARVEY'S ALARMING PORN TITLES, 2007 EDITION
All thanks to the Internet Movie Database, without which we would remain in blessed ignorance.
Brad McGuire's 20 Hole Weekend
5 Guy Cream Pie 29
Abominable Black Man 8
Ahh Shit! White Mama 4
Apple Bottom Snow Bunnies
Be Here Now
Blondes have More Squirt!
Bore My Asshole 3
Bring'um Young 23
Catch Her in the Eye
Even More Bang for Your Buck
Go Fuck Yourself
I Scored a Soccer Mom 3
Old Geezers, Young Teasers
Seduced by a Cougar 4
Swallow My Children
Thanks for the Mammaries
You've Got a Mother Thing Coming
Dennis Harvey is a Guardian contributor.
JESSE HAWTHORNE FICKS'S PICKS
1. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, Romania). This debut feature possesses a nonjudgmental flow reminiscent of a Dardenne brothers film as it follows two young women who negotiate for an illegal abortion during the final days of Nicolae Ceausescu's Communist regime.
2. Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg, UK/Canada/US). Uncovering the layers of human identity has been a career-long, disturbing theme of Cronenberg's. But with his most recent films he's figured out how to deconstruct our psychotic and schizophrenic patriarchal society in a minimal, confrontational manner.
3. Cassandra's Dream (Woody Allen, US/UK). This minimasterpiece follows the downward spiral of two nice, middle-class brothers (Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell), both of whom loosen their moral codes just to better their lifestyles. Striking camera work (by Vilmos Zsigmond) encloses the characters in an unrelenting nightmare.
4. "Made in America," The Sopranos (David Chase, US).