It's not that I'm antiBob Dylan. I've just never been a fan in particular. I'm too young or too fond of metal or too shallow or some combination of the three. But I found I'm Not There Todd Haynes's sorta biopic of the icon entirely fascinating. By now you've heard the pitch: six actors (Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw) play facets of Dylan without actually playing Dylan, though Bale and Blanchett come dangerously close. Read more »
Michael Peña and Andrew Garfield give the illusion of a long association. Funny enough, they never appear together in Robert Redford’s new war drama Lions for Lambs, and yet they get along well enough to finish each other’s sentences. Perhaps we can credit this familiarity with their shared experience working with actor and director Redford, whom they imply, helped them smooth out their respective anxieties. And who wouldn’t be anxious? They’re working with the freakin’ Sundance Kid. Read more »
Bay Area Odissi dancer Asako Takami died on November 3, 2007 in San Francisco after a four-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 47 seven years old. Founder and artistic director of the East Bay-based Pallavi Dance Group, Takami was an exquisite dancer and much-revered teacher of who had lived in the Bay Area for fifteen years. Read more »
A casual observer might simply call Kerry Laitala a filmmaker and leave it at that. But anyone who's seen her spooky, intricate, delightfully creative works, including 2003's Out of the Ether, 2005's Torchlight Tango, and 2006's Muse of Cinema, would certainly disagree. Read more »
It's hard to be in a bad mood when you're watching the films of Samara Halperin. Take, for example, the minute-long Plastic Fantastic #1 (2006). Jaunty bleeps keep the beat as a pair of ketchup-and-mustard-bedecked hot dogs are shredded into meaty octopuses. Read more »
Marking National American Indian Heritage Month, the American Indian Film Festival kicks off with a pair of ballet-dancer biographies. Of course, you know one of 'em is gonna be about eternally elegant George Balanchine muse Maria Tallchief and indeed, Sandra Osawa's Maria Tallchief will have its world premiere at the fest. Praised as the first American prima ballerina and a standout in an art form that had, until her rise to prominence in the 1940s, been largely European, Tallchief brought audiences to their feet and critics to tears. Read more »
CULT FILM GODBlood Feast, Color Me Blood Red, The Gruesome Twosome, and The Gore Gore Girls between 1960 and 1972, Herschell Gordon Lewis ruled the drive-in with a steady stream of exploitation movies, made on the cheap for crowds unafraid to experience the kind of special effects that earned Lewis the nickname "the Godfather of Gore." Nowadays, the 81-year-old is a highly respected authority on direct marketing (check out his column, Curmudgeon at Large, at directmag.com), but he's proud (if bemused) that his films continue to thrill audiences today. Read more »
Driving out to Altamont Motorsports Park on the night after a full moon, just a few days before Halloween, even my metal-maimed eardrums could faintly hear the sound of Mick Jagger's famous plea for peace, uttered from the Altamont concert stage in 1970's Gimme Shelter: "Who's fighting, and what for?"