A celebration of director David Lynch's filmography in anticipation of an upcoming retrospective at the IFC Center in New York.
Russ Meyer's "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," written by Roger Ebert, will be released on Criterion Blu-ray/DVD on September 27.
This month's Unloved looks at two films deemed disasters: Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate and Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger.
An interview with Alejandro Jodorowsky about his deeply personal The Dance of Reality, working with Peter O'Toole, the healing power of cinema and why Twitter is the literature of the 21st century.
An interview with Nicolas Winding Refn, director of "Valhalla Rising," "Drive" and "Only God Forgives," among other films. Simon Abrams talks to the filmmaker about midnight movies, meeting Alejandro Jodorowsky, and the possibility that he might day make a Wonder Woman movie.
"Only God Forgives" commits the unforgivable sin of being boring, "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight" is about old white men arguing about race, and "Blue is the Warmest Color" takes its time to follow the transition from uncertain teenager to knowing adult.
When I saw, and immediately wrote about, Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive," I knew almost nothing about it except the title and that Ryan Gosling was in it. I remembered that it had received acclaim at Cannes back in May (I did not recall that Refn had won the best director prize) and, as it turns out, I hadn't seen any of Refn's previous films -- although "Bronson" and "Valhalla Rising" had been recommended to me by friends. Since then, I've been reading up on "Drive" and have discovered so many fascinating little tidbits (many of which confirm my first impressions) that I decided to put together this little primer.
I recommend that you refrain from reading this until you've seen the movie, though.
Cited influences include: Grimm's Fairy Tales, John Hughes ("Sixteen Candles," "Pretty in Pink"), Sergio Leone, Alejandro Jodorowsky...
On the title font:
Refn: Me and Mat Newman, who edits all my movies, we stole that in the editing table from "Risky Business."
-- from an interview with Scott Tobias at The A.V. Club
I have a small childhood memory indirectly associated with Alejandro Jodorowsky's "Santa Sangre"(1989). I remember well about how it drew the attention of people when it was introduced in South Korea in 1994. One tagline was simple brutal honesty that I still recall with smile: "This is no doubt the cult!" And here is another nice one that makes my eyeballs still roll: "Today, You will be infected by the cult!"They were blatant enough to draw the attention from an 11-year-old boy, but the problems were that (1) I was too young to get the chance to watch it, and (2) my hometown was a local city far from Seoul. However, that was a blessing in disguise. They showed the audiences the butchered version with a considerable amount deleted due to local censorship. In those days, bold, controversial films like "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, & Her Lover" were never introduced to South Korean audiences unless they were heavily chopped. You probably think it is kind of weird considering some uncompromisingly violent South Korean movies made nowadays, but it did happen a lot when I was young.
Q. After reading your review of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," I note that you are the only critic I know of who feels that the increasing darkness of the series is a barrier, as opposed to a credit, to the series. I wonder, do you feel that a lot of critics' enthusiasm for "darkness" and "realism" in today's fantasy filmmaking is misplaced? Do you yearn for more innocence and joy in films where it is clearly an asset and not a liability?
Where do I start? With his tattooed lady? With how he hugged the mongoloid children to coax performances from them? Perhaps with the elephant's funeral, when the enormous casket went tumbling down the hillside, and the shanty people tore it open to get at the fresh meat inside?