Synecdoche, New York
If we don't "go to the movies" in any form, our minds wither and sicken.
* 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.
A look back at David Byrne's "True Stories," which just received a special Blu-ray release from the Criterion Collection.
Our eighth and final video dispatch from the 2018 Cannes Film Festival includes tributes to cinematographer Ed Lachman and the late sports writer William Nack.
The latest on Blu-ray, including Den of Thieves, Paddington 2, All the Money in the World, and The Virgin Suicides.
Todd Haynes' latest is a near-silent film with passages of great beauty but a concept that never quite gels.
Tomris Laffly reports on the night that kicked off the 2017 award season.
An interview with the three-time Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell about her work in Todd Haynes' new film, "Wonderstruck."
Premieres at this weekend's Telluride Film Festival include the latest from Alexander Payne, Errol Morris, Greta Gerwig, Angelina Jolie, Guillermo del Toro and more.
Chaz Ebert reports on Todd Haynes' "Wonderstruck" and the Netflix controversy in her second video dispatch from Cannes 2017.
A report on the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
A review from Sundance of Todd Solondz's "Wiener-Dog."
The shaming of Robert De Niro; Disappointment invades "The 5th Wave"; Christopher Jason Bell on "The Winds That Scatter"; Why the #OscarsSoWhite fuss matters; Boxing's greatest muse.
A list of the 2016 Academy Award nominees.
An interview with director Todd Haynes about "Carol."
An article about films that have moved me in 2015, including "Room," "99 Homes" and "He Named Me Malala."
A NYFF report on "Carol," "The Assassin" and "Right Now, Wrong Then."
A NYFF report on three films: "The Witness," "Don't Blink" and "Maggie's Plan".
Round two in a feature where Matt writes for exactly 30 minutes about a movie and then publishes whatever he's got. This round: Steven Soderbergh's "The Limey."
A review of the Cannes premieres of the latest from Todd Haynes and Ida Panahandeh.
"For me, the border between feature films and documentaries has always been blurred. 'Fitzcarraldo' is my best documentary and 'Little Dieter Needs to Fly' is my best fiction film. I don't make such a clear distinction between them -- they're all movies."
-- Werner Herzog, interview with Index Magazine, 2004 - - - - - - - - - -
"Aguirre, the Wrath of God" was the first Werner Herzog film I ever saw, back when it was released in the United States in 1977. It was one of the first films I ever reviewed, too (for my college newspaper, the University of Washington Daily). All I knew about Herzog at the time was what I'd read in an extraordinary profile by Jonathan Cott in the November 18, 1976, issue of Rolling Stone, which portrayed Herzog as a mad visionary in search of new images, not unlike the obsessed outsiders at the heart of his movies.
I couldn't stop staring at the haunting photograph that surrounded the article, from (as I recall) such films as "Signs of Life," "Even Dwarfs Started Small," "Aguirre," "Kaspar Hauser" and "Heart of Glass." They certainly didn't look quite like any movies I'd seen before. And essential to the spectacle was the knowledge that Herzog had gone to remote and exotic places in order to capture these images and bring them back into the cinema. They were unquestionably photographical realities (imagine Herzog speaking that phrase), not optical tricks created in post-production. The boat in the tree in "Aguirre" -- the one the feverish characters could no longer recognize as real -- was an actual boat in an actual tree, not a miniature or a matte painting. Even the photographic effects -- the time-lapse clouds flowing through the mountains like a river around boulders in "Kaspar Hauser" "Heart of Glass"; or the high-speed "ski-flying" (high-altitude, long-distance ski-jumping) footage that allowed Walter Steiner to float through the air in "The Great Ecstasy of the Sculptor Steiner" -- were actual recordings of real-world phenomena.
Nothing that has happened since the Academy Awards nominations were announced has swayed me from my immediate conviction that "Chicago" will be the big winner on Oscar night. I know that "The Pianist" was named best film by the British Academy. I know "The Hours" was honored for its screenplay at the Writers Guild Awards. But, hey, I also know the Directors Guild honored Rob Marshall for "Chicago" over Martin Scorsese--and when a rookie can outpoll a living national treasure in a vote of directors, there's a bandwagon on the way."Chicago" is not the best of the nominated films. That would be "Gangs of New York." But you have to understand that the academy doesn't vote for the best film. It votes for the best headline. This year, it sees big type that shouts "The Musical Comes Back!" Having failed to honor "Moulin Rouge!" last year, the academy will vote this year the way it thinks it should have voted the year before. (Example: The 2001 Oscar for best actor went to Russell Crowe, who more reasonably should have won a year earlier for "The Insider.") Here are the major categories and my predictions:
After Cannes, the Toronto Film Festival is the most important in the world. Last year's festival was ripped in two on Sept. 11. I walked out of a screening, heard the news, and the world had changed. Now comes the 27th annual festival, opening today. Are movies important in the new world we occupy? Yes, I think they are, because they are the most powerful artistic device for creating empathy--for helping us understand the lives of others.
TELLURIDE, Colo.--The schedule of each year's Telluride Film Festival is as closely guarded as the Oscar winners. Until they arrive, gasping for air, in this pretty little mountain town at the 10,000-foot level, festival ticket holders have no idea what they'll be seeing. Rumors start early. At the Denver airport, waiting for the shuttle to Montrose, I was informed that Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" will be sneaked here this year. That is almost certainly not true (never say never). Then again, if somebody had told me that Telluride was going to resurrect the three-screen, three-camera Cinerama process, I would have doubted it. And they are.
Q. I've been watching the new restored DVD edition of "Casablanca," and thought I heard Peter Lorre tell Humphrey Bogart that the famous letters of transit were signed by "General DeGaulle." Surely the signature of the leader of the Free French would be useless in Nazi-controlled Morocco. What gives? (Greg Nelson, Chicago)
PARK CITY, Utah -- There they were at brunch on Saturday morning, Michael Moore and Harlan Jacobson, sitting at tables right next to one another, back to back, not speaking. Somebody helpfully suggested that they hold a debate, right there on the spot. Nothing doing.