December 10, 2004 |
Novelist Norman Mailer has always been audacious in his endeavors, as shown by his 1970 cinema-verite thriller Maidstone. Maidstone was Mailer's third film, part of a project to destroy Hollywood by making movies using multiple cameras simultaneously filming improvised scenes based on bare outlines. His plan was to later edit the hours of film into coherence, much as he would write a novel. The film was shot in the Hamptons on Long Island over four days in the violence-haunted summer of 1968, with a cast of socialites, amateurs and actors, including Rip Torn and Harris Yulin.
October 6, 2004 |
A nonprofit corporation has purchased the tattered but still grand 1925 Bryn Mawr Theater, in hopes of replicating the success of restored art houses in towns such as Doylestown and Ambler. Renamed the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, the reborn movie palace will be half-theater, half-school, institute president Juliet Goodfriend said at a news conference yesterday. It will show first-run independent and foreign films similar to those at Center City's Ritz Theatres. It will also provide education programs in filmmaking and cinema analysis for students at local colleges, Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Villanova, as well as classes for children in grade school.
August 9, 2003 |
Charges that Cinekyd film school founder Robert J. Clark Jr. spanked and corrupted children grew yesterday as police filed more than a dozen accusations. An expanded affidavit recorded with the Hatboro court of District Justice Paul N. Leo outlined complaints against Clark from 17 people. Former students, their parents, and even social workers who said they had treated people traumatized by Clark's alleged behavior were included. One of them - a man who said he was a Cinekyd student in the mid-1970s - said Clark had sexually molested him 20 times.
May 2, 2003 |
Unlike other directors of movies based on comic books, Bryan Singer has never been a big fan of the genre. As a kid, he preferred Captain Kirk to Captain America. Yet the boyish director from Princeton Township, N.J., helped turn superheroes into a serious business for Hollywood three years ago, when his "X-Men" surprised everyone and earned huge box-office bucks, grossing $54 million on its opening weekend. Singer likes to think it's because he focused on the human side of the "X-Men" stories.
September 22, 2000 |
These are tough times for Hollywood - revenue is down, movies are bad, and D.C. politicians are hammering studios for pitching sleaze to kids. To politicians, the industry has responded with outraged denunciations of creeping censorship and indignant expressions of their First Amendment freedoms. It would be far easier to sympathize with their position if we didn't routinely have to sit through crap gobs like "Urban Legends: Final Cut. " Here's a movie that represents precisely what Washington says is wrong with Hollywood - a trashy production whose only purpose is to offer up grotesque R-rated violence to a teen audience.
August 6, 2000 |
For whatever reason, Dizzy Gillespie looks almost comfortable on the same wall as the Sex Pistols. The Beatles mingle with Judas Priest. And Blair Elliot fingers his goatee, smiling. Elliot, 32, owns Doylestown's Siren Records, Bucks County's primary portal to vinyl records, underground music and independent-music culture. "We find a nice balance with the people who come here," he said, standing midstore in an off-white Sun Records T-shirt and shorts. "Some are kids, amateur DJs looking for indie hip-hop.
April 7, 2000 |
The cheerfully subversive spirit of Yana's Friends is defined by a bizarre twist on that hopeful '60s exhortation "Make love, not war. " As Scud missiles rain down on Tel Aviv during the Persian Gulf War, a couple engages in energetic sex while wearing gas masks. This explains the unusually heavy breathing and brightens Arik Kaplun's engaging serio-comedy. His characters are Russian immigrants who have flooded into Israel in the years before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. And these newcomers find things so tough that they face life more in desperation than aspiration.
February 25, 2000 |
Laugh at Long Island if you like. Eric Mendelsohn, the writer and director of the poignant new film "Judy Berlin," has found unexpected poetry in the suburban cul-de-sacs that most movies only mock. Gawk at Gwyneth, eyeball Julia, or stand in awe of Meryl's acting chops. Mendelsohn thinks that Barbara Barrie is a true national treasure, "one of America's finest living actresses," who just doesn't get enough to do these days. Born, raised and happy to keep visiting his parents in Old Bethpage, Mendelsohn won the best-director prize at last year's Sundance Festival for "Judy Berlin.
February 8, 2000 |
As the son of a doctor, M. Night Shyamalan briefly considered a medical career. But by age 11, he was making movies with the family camera in the back yard of their home in Penn Valley. And in his graduation yearbook at Episcopal Academy in 1988, he listed film as his life goal. Yesterday, Shyamalan, now widely known as the writer and director of The Sixth Sense, returned to his alma mater to talk about his success, taking questions from 600 sixth through 12th graders. "As a kid, I loved Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I wanted to make those kinds of movies," Shyamalan said.
December 12, 1999 |
A month before a pair of former Penn State film-school students wrapped up filming a feature called The Hall Monitor, two teenagers at a high school in Littleton, Colo., shot and killed 13 people at the school. After the initial horror of the incident sank in, the filmmakers - Kevin Hartman of Audubon and Shawn Gioiosa of Altoona - felt another kind of dread: Who would distribute their movie now? Their fear turned out to be justified. Despite extensive efforts to market their satire on cinematic violence, Hartman, the film's director, and Gioiosa, the screenwriter, still don't have a deal - though they haven't given up on getting one. They know it's a tough sell: The Hall Monitor features a gun-toting pseudo-hero who keeps the high school corridors clear with a .44 Magnum.