July 14, 1993 |
Growing up on East 98th Street, screenwriter Kate Lanier enjoyed hanging out with Latinos in front of her neighborhood bodega and joking around with the homeboys her brother ran with, but she always felt a bit out of the mix. "As a white girl, I was always an outsider, but it was something I wanted to be a part of," Lanier recalled. "My characters have always been black or Hispanic 'cause that's who I relate to more. " Now 29 and living on the West Coast, Lanier is building a successful screenwriting career by working on movies about people of color.
March 6, 1993 |
Ruby Oliver has spent most of her adult life running day-care centers. A few years back, she sold off her business and went to film school. The result is "Love Your Mama," about which the best thing that can be said is, it looks like a film made by someone who used to run day-care centers. "Love Your Mama" trumpets itself as the first feature film directed by an African-American woman to get a national release (ignoring Julie Dash's fine "Daughters of the Dust," released last year, and the imminent release of Leslie Harris' funky and provocative "Just Another Girl on the IRT," which has played the festival circuit since late last year)
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.
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 26, 1993 |
To direct a first film is always a daunting task. To write, produce, star in and direct, more daunting still. And to shoot it in India, where you don't speak the language? "Nothing in film school prepared me for any of this," says 22-year-old auteur M. (for Manoj) Night Shyamalan, speaking to the camera in the prologue of Praying With Anger, which makes its world theatrical premiere Friday at the Ritz Five. Shyamalan, who grew up in Penn Valley, the son of two Indian-born physicians, was supposed to follow in the family tradition.
September 6, 1992 |
Gregg Araki's The Living End isn't going to play well with the "family- values" crowd. If, somehow, the film had found its way onto the giant video screens at last month's Republican convention in Houston, it would have prompted a stampede of epic proportions. ("Gay Pic Sends Pols Packing. ") Which would have suited Araki just fine. After all, The Living End - a frenzied, lovers-on-the-lam movie that opened in Philadelphia at the Ritz at the Bourse on Friday and has been breaking attendance records in art houses on both coasts - is dedicated to the "hundreds and thousands who've died and the hundreds and thousands more who will die because of a big white house full of Republican . . . " - well, full of Republican not-nice-guys.
March 27, 1994 |
In Carlo Carlei's blistering debut, Flight of the Innocent, the Italian police finally catch up with the men who kidnapped and murdered a millionaire's son. It is the middle of the night in the empty central piazza of a small town. As the cops screech into the square, veteran moviegoers await the inevitable shootout, with its flying bodies and chattering Uzis borrowed heavily from earlier, and invariably better, gangster movies. Instead, Carlei shoots the gunfire from viewpoint of a 10-year-old boy who has been wounded by the thugs.
March 6, 2011 |
George Nolfi , the man behind the just-released Matt Damon - Emily Blunt thriller The Adjustment Bureau , graduated from a different kind of film school than most folks in the business. There's no name or campus, and the admissions policy is highly selective. It does help to have written a few screenplays - say, an espionage action franchise, maybe ( The Bourne Ultimatum ), or one of those cool A-list heist pics ( Ocean's Twelve ). "I had a couple of really big advantages," concedes Nolfi, who has degrees in public policy (Princeton)
September 12, 1997 |
One of the emptier buzzwords of the '90s is the use of closure to describe a stage of healing in the face of shattering loss. It takes only moments in the company of the parents in Spike Lee's extraordinary and wrenching 4 Little Girls to realize that their shared grief is beyond such solace. They've lived with it for more than three decades, but the pain etched into their faces suggests the tragedy might have happened a few hours ago. Lee's wisest decision is to make the scope of their bereavement the centerpiece of his documentary.