MOVIES WITH MOHAWKS Punk and the movies met when the former was very young. When punk eventually grew up, the movies still insisted on viewing it as a child. Their union, nowadays perverted by mutual materialistic bloat, has been rather like an arranged marriage: long-lasting, with moments of real understanding, but fundamentally fraudulent.Read more »
FILM Danny Boyle is a director whose projects seem chosen largely to have nothing in common with anything he's done before. Mid-career at 54, he's been good at a lot of things. But what, exactly, is his ideal fit?Read more »
FILM This year's Mill Valley Film Festival, the 33rd — we'll refrain from crucifying it — brings the usual assortment of visiting celebrities starting their Oscar thumpage early at an event with a rep for anticipating next February's Academy winners. Some have local roots (Annette Bening, Sam Rockwell, James Franco), some don't (Alejandro González Iñárritu, Edward Norton, Julian Schnabel).Read more »
DOCUMENTARY Before American Idol and all subsequent parasitical imitators, there was nothing on American TV quite like the annual Eurovision Song Contest. In fact, there still isn't — that event's multinational scope and emphasis on original (or at least regional) material is eons from AI's hits regurgitated by wailing wannabes.Read more »
FILM At first glance Undertow doesn't really seem a bona fide "great"
movie time will tell. But it manages so many qualities seldom found together, or pulled off at all, that respect is due. It's sensuous and erotic without becoming puerile fantasy; renders remote, beach-y locations alluring without pandering postcard exoticism or turning the people who live there peasant-quaint. More impressive still, it seamlessly folds magic realism that very literary quality into an already well-in-progress narrative
Read more »
FILM Most countries crank out commercial features just as pandering as (if less expensively produced than) the majority of mainstream Hollywood product. Even sacrosanct art house supplier France manufactures plentiful dumb-and-dumber hits that attract little interest (unless it's remake interest) beyond nations where Frog is spoken.
Read more »
FILM Every nation's cinema has its share of memorable contributions to the narrative category of amour fou. But since the French came up with that term in the first place, we might as well grant them a certain supremacy. They definitely tend to arrive at the madness of a self-destructive love with less high melodrama (let alone misogyny) than is the U.S. norm.
Read more »
FILM To what extent is our government prepared to lie to us? Not just on a policy level, but a personal level, perverting actual instances of heroic self-sacrifice into propagandistic pablum? The answer during our prior White House administration was clearly: as far as possible, until caught.Read more »