Ten years after it debuted on MTV, Craig Lindsey analyzes the Brooklyn-capturing, still-powerful video for "99 Problems" by Jay-Z, directed by Mark Romanek.
Marie Haws: Remember the Old Vic Tunnels? I did some more sniffing around and you'll never guess where it led me. That's right - into the sewer system! But not just any old sewer, oh no... it's the home of a famous forgotten river flowing beneath Fleet Street; the former home of English journalism.So grab a flashlight and some rubber boots as we go underground to explore "mile after mile of ornate brickwork" and a labyrinthine of tunnels which reveal the beauty of London's hidden River Fleet. (click images to enlarge.)
You better watch out You better not cry You better have clout We're telling you why Two Thumbs Down are comin' to town We're making a list, Checking it twice; Gonna find out whose movie was scheiss. Sandy Claws is comin' to town. We see you when you're (bleeping), We know when you're a fake We know if you've been bad or good So be good for cinema's sake!
There are few prospects more alarming than a director seized by an Idea. I don't mean an idea for a film, a story, a theme, a tone, any of those ideas. I'm thinking of a director whose Idea takes control of his film and pounds it into the ground and leaves the audience alienated and resentful. Such a director is Brillante Mendoza of the Philippines, and the victim of his Idea is his Official Selection at Cannes 2009, "Kinatay." Here is a film that forces me to apologize to Vincent Gallo for calling "The Brown Bunny" the worst film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival.
After extensive recutting, the Gallo film was redeemed. I don't think editing is going to do the trick for "Kinatay." If Mendoza wants to please any viewer except for the most tortured theorist (one of those careerists who thinks movies are about arcane academic debates and not people) he's going to have to remake his entire second half.
Q: How would you compare Scorsese's "Shine a Light" to "No Direction Home," the brilliant documentary Scorsese made about Bob Dylan a couple years ago? I am a huge Dylan fan, never been a big Stones fan. Can I appreciate "Shine a Light" without being a Stones fan?
Q. When you reviewed "Before Sunrise" in 1995, you got a response from a man named Daryl, who, inspired by the film, went out and had a similar experience, and met a woman named Jessica. Now, nine years later, we have a sequel named "Before Sunset." Have you heard what happened to them? Rob Kelly, Marlton, N.J.
Q. On "The Tonight Show" last week, I was a little surprised when you named "Kill Bill, Volume 2" as the best film of the year so far. I thought it was exemplary in lots of ways, but I'm not sure that it really taught me anything about real life or real people.
Q. Considering the mixed reaction Elia Kazan got for his Lifetime Achievement Award--due to his artistic brilliance but lousy moral judgment--do you think Leni Riefenstahl will be acknowledged during the "in memory of" presentation at the next Academy Awards? If so, do you predict applause or protest? (Alexander Higle, Stamford CT)
Q. I spoke to a Japanese person who saw "Lost in Translation," and she agreed with me that the film took a heavy-handed, anti-Japanese stance. Of course, the story was about two strangers in a strange land who didn't have the ability to plug into the culture, but the movie showed Japan with few, if any, redeeming qualities. From the hotel greeting committee to the talk show host to the prostitute, the film offered us caricatures of Japanese stereotypes, and it was a little hard to watch them -- they distracted from the honesty of the film with their shallow rendering and low humor. Do you think that this was purposeful, or even necessary? (Roy Lambrada, New York NY)
Q. Something smells, uh, fishy. In your latest Answer Man column, you printed a letter saying there were "some groups" protesting "Finding Nemo" because of Ellen DeGeneres' involvement in the film. I've looked and looked, but the only references I can find to anybody protesting "Finding Nemo" both come from the Chicago Sun-Times, one of those
CANNES, France--The Affair of the Brown Bunny, one of the most astonishing episodes in the history of the Cannes Film Festival, took another turn Friday when director Vincent Gallo apologized for his film and said, "It is a disaster and a waste of time."
CANNES, France -- Coming up for air like an exhausted swimmer, the Cannes Film Festival produced two splendid films on Wednesday morning, after a week of the most dismal entries in memory. Denys Arcand's "The Barbarian Invasions," from Quebec, and Errol Morris' documentary "The Fog of War," about Robert McNamara, are in their different ways both masterpieces about old men who find a kind of wisdom.