Posted in: Review

The Birth of a Nation: Don’t Look Away

Director Akira Kurosawa once recalled an incident from his youth when walking through the carnage of the aftermath of a horrific earthquake in Tokyo with his brother. Looking at the dead all around him, Kurosawa instinctively looked away but his brother berated him, telling Kurosawa to look back and to never look away. March 3, […]

Posted in: Review

The Salvation

As a member of the Danish avant-garde filmmaking collective Dogma 95 (a group which included Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg) director Kristian Levring upheld a pure “vow of chastity” to make raw films based on story and character, rejecting technology, genre movies, and films that depend upon a reliance on killings, shooting, and explosions. […]

Posted in: Review

Cake

In order to receive a Best Actress Oscar (or at least an Oscar nomination) a day of reckoning must arrive for all actresses that have achieved a certain anount of celebrity but not the critical recognition they deserve. A part must be found that allows them to deglamourize themselves and frump it up. It worked […]

Posted in: Review

Song One

When Anne Hathaway won a SAG Award last year for her role as Fantine in Les Miserables, she remarked in her acceptance speech that she was “thrilled to have dental.” Hathaway then proceeded to win an Oscar for her performance and she may have won that award because under Tom Hooper’s orthodontic direction of Les […]

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Black Sea

The urge to submerge has been part of our film legacy since the beginnings. From Frank Capra’s Submarine to such popcorn chewing films as Run Silent Run Deep, Hell and High Water, and The Hunt for Red October, men trapped together in a confined space underwater has been the basis of some of the best movie action and emotional […]

Posted in: Review

Appropriate Behavior

At the start of Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behavior, a love affair has ended in a bitter split as twenty-something hipster Shirin (Akhaven) loads up an empty box and stalks out of her lover’s apartment. As she bemoans her fate to her best friend, the man-hungry Crystal (Halley Feiffer), Appropriate Behavior uses flashbacks to evoke both […]

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The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

Legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) stands atop the roof of anime colossus Studio Ghibli and surveys his domain like King Arthur before the battle at Camiann and remarks, “The future is clear. It’s going to fall apart.” Earlier his hard-working producer Toshio Suzuki, in a discussion with Miyazaki, talks […]

Posted in: Review

Master of the Universe

In a chilling and prescient moment in Network, a corporate board chairman lectures a television anchorman about the new world order: “There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, […]

Posted in: Review

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Beauty, delicacy and warmth are not words that readily come to mind these days when one thinks about animated films — those hard-edged, gag-filled, Broadway power ballad computer programs from companies like Pixar and DreamWorks. But then there is Studio Ghibli, co-founded by the great animation artists Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, whose films have […]