In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_5tzuowodx4f3ngozwzozwmdy9ze

War Story

Director Mark Jackson’s drama is a chilly study in grief starring Catherine Keener as a war-zone photographer shattered by her experiences in Libya.

Thumb_hercules

Hercules

Dwayne Johnson tries, but he’s surrounded by poor CGI and a terrible adaptation of yet another comic book. Ian McShane steals what little movie there…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

Cast and Crew

* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.

It's the End of the Cinema, as we know it (then and now)

Primary_findecinema-thumb-510x338-20434

In the summer of 1981, Robert Redford gathered novice and veteran filmmakers together for the first of what has become known as the Sundance Institute's Directors and Screenwriters Labs. Eleven projects were chosen for the workshop (there are 13 for the 2010 program) -- which, over the last 29 years, has included such films as Paul Thomas Anderson's "Hard Eight," Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs," Tamra Jenkins' "Slums of Beverly Hills," Darren Aranofsky's "Requiem for a Dream," Hany Abu-Assad's "Paradise Now," John Cameron Mitchell's "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and Kimberly Pierce's "Boys Don't Cry."

That's the old news.

Continue reading →

TIFF: What Is This Thing Called Sex?

Come blow your horn: Justin Bond sings "We All Get It in the End" at the end of "Shortbus."

The camera soars over a wonderfully colorful handmade model of New York City, popping into one window after another. At the tip of Lower Manhattan is a blood-red scar with two square lesions: Ground Zero. "Shortbus," John Cameron Mitchell's feature follow-up to "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," takes place in a fantasy New York -- a place of sexual healing and forgiveness -- located not in any precise geographical zone or erogenous zone, but between two temporal landmarks: September 11, 2001, and the blackout of 2003. In between, through brownouts and breakdowns, Mitchell posits a place of healing and humor and light and lots and lots of sex.

I suppose it wouldn't be wrong to say "Shortbus," the most celebratory and least prurient of movies, is about sex as a metaphor, but I think that's looking at it through the wrong end of the telescope. (Speaking of which, voyeurism -- and therefore, cinema -- is an essential component; as our host, or Brothel Madame, Justin Bond says, welcoming a newcomer to his multi-chambered orgiastic party for the sexually gifted and challenged: "Everybody must participate. But don't be afraid to watch. Voyeurs are participants, too!") This really is a movie about sex -- and essentially a comic movie about sex (because nothing we do is more ridiculous or fraught with anxieties) -- but it's not sex as a stand-in for something else; it's sex as everything else that sex is.

There's full nudity and hardcore sex galore, but the movie's attitude toward all things sexual is less dirty than those twin beds in Rob and Laura Petrie's bedroom, precisely because nothing is prohibited, everything is permitted -- if you feel like it at the moment. Bond puts it this way: "It's like the sixties, but with less hope" -- a line that's already (and justifiably) become famous.

If you recall "The Origin of Love" from "Hedwig," the myth about how people were originally split in two and spend their lives looking for their missing halves, then you get the idea. Whatever it is these people are looking for -- love, liberation, intimacy, orgasms -- it's about yearning to find some form of completion, or resolution, through sexual congress.

Continue reading →

TIFF: Sex, sex, sex

Primary_eb20060909editor60909001ar

TORONTO -- The camera soars over a wonderfully colorful handmade model of New York City, popping into one window after another. At the tip of Lower Manhattan is a blood-red scar with two square lesions: Ground Zero. "Shortbus," John Cameron Mitchell's feature follow-up to "Hedwig And The Angry Inch," takes place in a fantasy New York -- a place of sexual healing and forgiveness -- located not in any precise geographical zone or erogenous zone, but between two temporal landmarks: September 11, 2001, and the blackout of 2003. In between, through brownouts and breakdowns, Mitchell posits a place of healing and humor and light and lots and lots of sex.

Continue reading →

Believe it or not

PARK CITY, Utah "The Believer," a controversial film about a Jewish anti-Semite, won the Grand Jury Prize as best dramatic film at the 20th Sundance Film Festival here Saturday night. "Southern Comfort," about an extended family of transsexuals in rural Georgia, won the Grand Jury Prize for documentaries.

Continue reading →

Interview with Yaphet Kotto

"You know what this black woman told me today?" Yaphet Kotto said. "She said my movie was the first time in the movies she ever saw a black man take a black woman out on a date. Dinner, romantic music, the whole thing."

Continue reading →