Matt writes: I just returned from covering the 53rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic, where I saw some excellent films, and got the chance to meet many extraordinary people. The full table of contents contains links to my conversations with Terry Gilliam, Richard Linklater, Barry Levinson, Caleb Landry Jones, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Denis O'Hare and "Leave No Trace" star Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie. You will also find reviews of such unmissable titles as "Cold War," "Putin's Witnesses," "Girl," "Winter Flies," "Crystal Swan," "Museum," "Moments" and more.
A review from Sundance of two films from the festival's NEXT category, "Dayveon" and "Deidra & Laney Rob a Train."
Director David Gordon Green has had a remarkably eclectic career, from delicate indies like "George Washington" to stoner comedy "Your Highness," with stops along the way for the "Halftime in America" Chrysler ad and episodes of HBO's "Eastbound & Down." What keeps him going?
"If you thought Abu Ghraib was a laugh riot then you might love 'Observe and Report,' a potentially brilliant conceptual comedy that fizzles because its writer and director, Jody Hill, doesn't have the guts to go with his spleen. [...]
"What follows next should have been the shock of the movie: a cut to Ronnie [Seth Rogen] having vigorous sex with Brandi [Anna Faris] who, from her closed eyes, slack body and the vomit trailing from her mouth to her pillow, appears to have passed out. But before the words 'date rape' can form in your head, she rouses herself long enough to command Ronnie to keep going." -- Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"Because we laugh and gasp at what follows, does that mean we approve? Having seen Ronnie's actions in a movie, do we now believe that date rape should not be prosecuted -- that it is just harmless fun?
"Although I have never had such a dilemma in life, usually being the first to pass out, I hope I'd have the decency to walk away from a semi-conscious woman. I hope I also wouldn't harass a Muslim co-worker, use a Taser on a man who parks next to a loading dock, break into a mall and assault policemen, or triumphantly shoot an unarmed criminal. Although I adore 'Lolita,' I hope I am never tempted to lay a finger on a prepubescent girl....
"All this might seem crashingly obvious, but at least in this culture it can't be restated too often that comedy is not safe." -- David Edelstein, The Projectionist
Last weekend I witnessed a sort-of argument over whether "Observer and Report" was funny or not. Or maybe it was really about whether the movie was even supposed to be funny. I don't know for sure because I haven't seen it yet. So to me the discussion sounded mostly like: "It's not funny!" / "Yes it is! I laughed!" / "No it's not! I didn't!" / "Yes it is!" / "It's only funny to people I hated in high school!" / "Humor is hard to analyze because it's personal!" / "No it's not!" / "Yes it is!"...