April 17, 2013 |
AUSTIN, Texas - The prevailing image of Sam Beam, who makes music as Iron & Wine, is of an abundantly bearded man alone on stage with a guitar, whispering songs to take your breath away. That's how Beam made his entrance back in 2002 with his hushed debut, The Creek Drank the Cradle . And it's not too far off the tableau before us on a gorgeous March afternoon at the South by Southwest music festival, as shadows play upon the songwriter, and he stands under the outstretched arms of an enormous oak on the idyllic grounds of the Hotel Saint Cecilia.
December 28, 2012
BUCKET LIST ITEM achieved: Shake the hand of the man who wrote the best TV episode ever. The man turns out to be David Chase, so you think this is another genuflection from some "Sopranos" groupie. Not so. Chase, in his younger days, also wrote for "The Rockford Files," another great show, though less exalted. Turns out Chase, as I sort of suspected, authored my favorite episode. PI Jim Rockford gets stuck with a hippie client on the run from a fraudulent New Age cult. She frustrates the detective by answering questions with far-out non-sequiturs: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
November 6, 2012 |
CAPTURING the speed of Joe Frazier's fists was a piece of cake for filmmaker Michael K. Bucher. His award-winning documentaries and films included the first Joe Frazier-Muhammad Ali fight, in March 1971, at Madison Square Garden. His ability to capture the speed and drama of sporting events, including auto racing in Daytona, Fla. ("Winning on My Mind") was hailed by contemporaries and by publications like Sports Illustrated and Car and Driver . His documentaries and films, including several full-length movies, won six Golden Globe Awards.
May 11, 2012 |
PHILADELPHIA NATIVE Rel Dowdell had a fairy-tale baptism in the world of independent film. While at film school at Boston University, Dowdell pitched his idea for a student short film to Esther Rolle, expanded that to a feature called "Train Ride," released it on DVD and saw it heralded as one of the top 10 titles of the year for 2000. That's the good news. The bad news: Dowdell had exhausted his lifetime supply of good news. He was about to discover firsthand just how hard it is to make and distribute a truly independent movie.
May 9, 2012 |
Before Philadelphia's invited movers and shakers even arrived at the red-carpet premiere of Changing the Game, Rel Dowdell's urban tale of corruption and redemption, moviegoers were instructed to leave their smartphones in their cars or turn them over to security before entering the Van Pelt Auditorium at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. After all, it took Dowdell seven long years to birth his baby, and to miraculously land a nationwide distribution...
April 6, 2012 |
"DIE HARD" goes condo in "The Raid: Redemption," a frenzied Indonesian action movie whose action credentials are through the roof. Here's the brutally simple premise: A team of heavily armored cops enters the ground floor of an apartment high-rise owned and occupied by a crime kingpin protected by several floors of armed thugs. It's an action movie in three acts - automatic weapons, blades, then fists. The higher the cops go, the more elemental the combat. In truth, though, most of the officers don't go very high.
March 1, 2012 |
BEFORE Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim were famous for being funny, they were Temple film geeks, watching David Lynch movies and David Byrne videos. "At that point in our lives, the idea of comedy was not something that seemed possible; in fact, it wasn't even a cool thing to think about. We were in bands, or doing film installations. It wasn't like we were ever part of a sketch group," said Heidecker, whose decidedly weird first comedy, "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" opens tomorrow.
February 20, 2012 |
Members of the Stetson Shutterbugs stepped outside their middle school in Kensington and began sizing up the late afternoon sunlight slanting down on bustling Allegheny Avenue. "Take a look at the way the light is now," teacher Anthony Rocco told the students in his photography club. "You get some really strong shadows. " Clutching donated cameras, the young teens set off down B Street to take pictures of the neighborhood to share with their "photo buddies" in a tiny town in Colombia.
October 19, 2011 |
Hello there In 2002, Rebecca, who hails from Abington, and Mike, who grew up near New Orleans, shared a Northwestern University freshman poetry class. "Once we started talking, it felt like we could just talk forever," said Rebecca, who majored in theater and English. Rebecca tried for more conversational opportunities with frequent visits to a friend who lived across the hall from Mike and carefully timed trips to the dining hall. After a year discussing books, movies, and current events, Mike, a film major, asked Rebecca to attend a student play.
July 22, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES - It's noon on a warm July day, and filmmaker Will Gluck is worried that he's become a cliche. The 39-year-old writer-director behind the new romantic comedy "Friends With Benefits," starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, is wondering whether he should have hung a framed poster for the 1948 Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn movie "State of the Union" in his sparsely furnished new office at Sony Pictures. The poster, a gift from Kunis, is a bit of a gag, Gluck said - the actress knows how much the boyish-looking New York native detests Hollywood-types who display old movie posters in their offices.