Same Kind of Different as Me
It can be hard to disagree with the heart and events of this true tale, except for when the movie reveals itself to be mighty…
When the book of 20th century popular entertainment is written, Frank Sinatra will get a chapter as the best singer of his time. As an actor, he will be remembered for the good films, and for a distinctive screen persona as a guy who could win a heart with a song.
Walking into Spike Lee's "He Got Game," I expected a couple of things. I expected that the movie would be a docudrama, gritty and real, and I expected that, like just about all sports movies, it would end with a big game. I was wrong on both counts.
Some directors and writers won't talk about their work. You suggest a theory and they elevate an eyebrow and nod and drum their fingers and imply that no such thing as a thought ever crossed their minds about the work in question.
NEW YORK--There is no greater American filmmaker right now than Martin Scorsese, and hasn't been for some time, perhaps since Welles and Hitchcock and Ford died, and yet to talk with him is like meeting this guy who hangs out all the time at the film society.
My first memory, when I heard that David Bradley was dead, was of him drop-kicking a footstool across the living room. Bradley, 77, who died Dec. 19 in Los Angeles, was one of the legendary eccentrics of the film world, irascible and beloved. He launched the career of Charlton Heston, amassed one of the great private film archives and toasted the survivors of silent films at his legendary New Year's Day parties.
LOS ANGELES -- I walked in to talk to Pam Grier with these words of Quentin Tarantino fresh in my mind:
LOS ANGELES Has any other movie director become this famous after making only two movies? Well, yes - Orson Welles. But Welles was already a star when he went to Hollywood. Quentin Tarantino came out of next to nowhere and became famous because he made two of the most influential movies of the past five years, and because . . . well, because he tickles people.
There is a kind of shyness, a modesty, about Francis Ford Coppola that is so surprising. Here is the director of "The Godfather," and the epic "Apocalypse Now," and the paranoid psychodrama "The Conversation," and he talks about whether he has the right to put his name above the title. Kids out of film school put their names on their first films, and here he is explaining why his movies are called "Mario Puzo's The Godfather" and "Bram Stoker's Dracula" and "John Grisham's The Rainmaker."
She is the queen of the British period pictures, the forceful heroine with the flashing eyes and the knack of looking as if she's worn those costumes all her life. Helena Bonham Carter has played Lady Jane Grey and Ophelia, and the heroines of Forster's "Room With a View" and "Howard's End," and the evil doctor's lover in "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," and Olivia in "Twelfth Night," and if she somehow missed starring in one of the Jane Austen adaptations, now here she is as Kate Croy, a woman prepared to loan out the man she loves, in Henry James' "The Wings of the Dove."
There has been no more assured and powerful film debut this year than "Eve's Bayou," the first film by Kasi Lemmons. Reviewers have compared it to work by Tennessee Williams, Carson McCullers and other Southern Gothic writers; it reminded me of a family drama by Ingmar Bergman. It's made of memories that still have the power to wound. Its shadows contain secrets that will always hurt.