Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
* 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.
An updated look at the history of women in film from Carrie Rickey.
New titles on Blu-ray and DVD including "The Martian," "Mr. Robot" and "Straight Outta Compton."
An overview of the films that will be theatrically released in the 2015 fall season.
Tragic fate of a femme fatale; Rachel McAdams does fame her way; My fat, perfect wedding; Incredible shrinking worldview of Woody Allen; Marvel's war on capitalism.
A guide to the latest on Blu-ray and DVD, including "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya," "St. Vincent," and four fantastic Criterion releases.
The official nominees along with some fun facts about this year's crop.
Predictions for the eight major categories in the 87th Annual Academy Awards.
Lists from our critics and contributors on the best of 2014.
A piece on the first wave of critics groups awards and some predictions for SAG and the Golden Globe nominees.
A piece about how differently "Fury" and "The Imitation Game" transport viewers to World War II and what that says about film in 2014.
A recap of the new releases on Netflix, On Demand, and Blu-ray/DVD, including "Snowpiercer," "Maleficent," "Nightbreed," "F For Fake" and "La Dolce Vita."
A preview of the 2014 Chicago International Film Festival.
A report on response to early Oscar favorites from TIFF 2014.
A Telluride response to Morten Tyldum's "The Imitation Game" and Xavier Beauvois' "The Price of Fame."
Sam Fragoso checks in after seeing two new films—"Laggies" and "Blind"—at the Sundance Film Festival.
The title of the second episode of NBC's "Dracula" may be called "A Whiff of Sulfur" but the program has a different, stale odor, feeling like the product of inevitability more than creative spark.
For serious cinema fans, romantic comedy have become dirty words in the post-Meg Ryan era. That's what makes the films of Seattle-based indie writer-director Lynn Shelton so refreshing: They're romantic and comedic without ever being formulaic.
Marie writes: It's no secret that most Corporations are evil - or at the very least, suck big time. And while I have no actual proof, I'm fairly certain there is a special level of Dante's Hell reserved just for them. (Map of Dante's Hell.)That being the case, when my younger brother Paul wrote me about a cool project sponsored by Volkswagen, I was understandably wary and ready to denounce it sight-unseen as self-serving Corporate shyte. As luck would have it however, I was blessed at birth with curiosity and which got the better of me and why I took a look. For what I found was nothing less than extraordinary....
Marie writes: According to the calendar, summer is now officially over (GASP!) and with its demise comes the first day of school. Not all embrace the occasion, however. Some wrap themselves proudly in capes of defiance and make a break for it - rightly believing that summer isn't over until the last Himalayan Blackberry has been picked and turned into freezer jam!
Marie writes: This week's Newsletter arrives a day early and lighter than usual, as come Tuesday morning, I'll be on a Ferry heading to Pender Island off the West Coast, where I've arranged to visit old friends for a few days and enjoy my first vacation in two years; albeit a brief one. No rest for the wicked. :-)
Marie writes: It was my birthday June 25th. Unlike Roger however, I'm a Crab not a Gemini. So to celebrate and with my brother's help (he has a car), I took my inner sea crustacean to Barnet Marine Park on the other side of Burnaby Mountain... and where our adventure begins....
Marie writes: Not everything is what is seems...(Click images to enlarge.)
As far as I'm concerned, that's the sub-head of the year -- for the first section of Greg Ferrara's perfectly observed (and, for me, exhilaratingly cathartic) Cinema Styles blog post, Five Years, Five Peeves, Five Reasons to Go On. It's so sharp (and not just when I happen to share his point of view) and funny that I feel like offering an annotated response. You should read the whole thing (I couldn't even get past the first item without stopping to leave an enthusiastic comment), but I will refrain... sort of. There's a lot to consider here. Lemme just hit some of the highlights:
I have a problem with a lot of modern cinema. I don't like the way most of it looks, I don't like the way it's edited (too choppy and frenetic) and I don't like the way it's acted (so painfully naturalistic that a wide range of performances are thoroughly interchangeable). And I have that feeling with a frighteningly high percentage of modern movies. But mostly, I have a problem with the way the movies look. And when I say I have a problem, I mean even with movies I like. We all know I don't like CGI very much (I even do a series on special effects before CGI took over) and this is a big problem because it's now everywhere, in practically all movies. Take "Hugo," directed by Martin Scorsese. I use this movie as an example because it was a movie I liked and thus, I can assure you it is not me reacting to a movie I hate or using it as an excuse to hate the movie. No, I liked "Hugo" but I hated most of the look of it.
For months, even before it was released, I found myself feeling a strange reluctance to see "Hugo." I still haven't seen it, but I plan to do so in the next week or so -- though I'm surprised to find that I am not looking forward to the latest Martin Scorsese Picture. Why? I hadn't quite put my finger on it until I read Greg's piece. It's because I hate the frothy, cotton-candy look of the stills I've seen. I compared the look of "Avatar" to Thomas Kinkade and Thai restaurant fiber-optic flower lamps (remember Michael Atkinson's priceless protest: "What, am I a forest animal, unthinkingly hypnotized by shiny objects?").
Marie writes: my art pal Siri Arnet sent me following - and holy cow! "Japanese artist Takanori Aiba has taken bonsai trees, food packaging, and even a tiny statue of the Michelin Man and constructed miniature metropolises around these objects, thus creating real-life Bottled Cities of Kandor. Explains Aiba of his artwork:"My source of creations are my early experience of bonsai making and maze illustration. These works make use of an aerial perspective, which like the diagram for a maze shows the whole from above (the macro view) while including minute details (the micro view). If you explore any small part of my works, you find amazing stories and some unique characters." ( click to enlarge.)