FRAMELINE The eponymous character in Ash Christian's Mangus! has a simple ambition: to be Jesus. That is, to play Jesus in the local production of Jesus Christ Spectacular. Mangus does get the part, but his dreams are crushed when a freak limo accident lands him in a wheelchair and his neighbors decide he's no longer cut out to play their Lord and Savior.Read more »
FILM The central figures in Mike Mills' Beginners — a grown son and his elderly, newly out father — share a relationship rarely featured on screen. But however unique the story seems, it's based on real events in the writer-director's life.
"I thought my dad coming out was the most awesome thing that ever happened in my life," Mills (2005's Thumbsucker) reflects. "What happened between us after he came out — it was the biggest story I had to tell. I like it when filmmakers make really personal stories."Read more »
The course of an acting career can vividly illustrate the randomness of fate. Rutger Hauer spent some years in Dutch experimental theater of the 1960s — after pulling off that best way to terminate one's military service, faking mental illness — then became a local heartthrob as a medieval knight in a hit TV series at that decade's end.Read more »
Pierre Thoretton's documentary L'amour fou opens with two clips of men bidding farewell. The first, from 2002, is of the French-Algerian couturier Yves Saint Laurent announcing his retirement in a moving and emotional speech worthy of his favorite writer Marcel Proust. The second is of Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent's longtime business partner and former lover, eulogizing his departed friend at the designer's memorial service six years later.Read more »
Cheap genre films targeted for the drive-in or grindhouse aside, very few truly independent features were made in the U.S. before the 1960s, and those that were made seldom found an audience. As a result, most were soon forgotten — in rare instances rediscovered decades later, like the recently restored docudramas On the Bowery (1957) and The Exiles (1961), about Skid Row denizens in New York City and Los Angeles. Foreign films had a tiny theatrical circuit (albeit usually playing in cut and dubbed form), experimental ones none at all.Read more »
Since grunge broke, who hasn't been fascinated by those unwashed, straggly-haired, flannel-clad legions who somehow were recast as Kurt Cobain's minions? In reality they lurked on the sidelines of school functions and adolescent gatherings long before Nevermind, butt hanging from lips, back set to slouch, and coolly assessing everything against some maddeningly precise internal bullshit meter. If you thought all the entertainment was up onstage, you've got another thing comin'.Read more »