January 17, 2003 |
There's a scene in Lan Yu, Stanley Kwan's quiet, sad love story, in which a successful Beijing businessman (played by Hu Jun) buys his new lover some spiffy clothes. A blank-faced, handsome kid from an impoverished rural province, Lan Yu (Liu Ye) models a particularly flashy shirt, casually remarking that if he wears it he could be mistaken for a Japanese. Given its subject matter - a gay romance - and its thrumming, neon-lit urban setting, Lan Yu the film also could be mistaken for Japanese, by the untrained eye (and ear)
February 22, 2008 |
The signal is everywhere and nowhere. The signal infiltrates our lives through the TV and the stereo, through cell phones, home phones and car radios. The signal tells us what to do, what to desire . . . and whom to kill - first. There's no escape from the signal. That's the premise of The Signal, a startlingly original, smart indie film that so effortlessly mixes high-caliber gore, suspense and shocking violence with vaudevillian hilarity, it's clearly animated by the spirit of the classic Re-Animator films.
January 7, 2000 |
You can't say the title for "Snow Falling on Cedars" is misleading. Because that's pretty much what you get. Snow falling on cedars. Yep, snow. Falling. On cedars. It's all very. . .lyrical is a charitable word, and clearly the effect director Scott Hicks ("Shine") is after here. In adapting this best-selling novel of interracial romance amid the turmoil of World War II, Hicks wants to visually suggest some of David Guterson's poetic writing, hence the photographic haiku: fog-shrouded mountains of the Pacific Northwest, moonlit waters, and of course, snow falling on cedars.
July 11, 1999 |
Joshua Wood was in 11th grade when he met the girl he would marry. He and Renae Wieder both lived in the Lehigh Valley but attended different schools. Josh was scheduled to take the college-entrance exams one Saturday at Renae's high school. And because Josh didn't know his way around there, his then-girlfriend arranged for an acquaintance of hers (Renae) to meet Josh there and make sure that he got to the right room on time. "As soon as I met her, I regretted having a girlfriend," Josh said.
August 1, 2003 |
What's the Neil Young song? "A Man Needs a Maid"? Well, Jacques (Jean-Pierre Bacri), a depressed Paris recording engineer whose wife has left him and whose apartment is a mess, needs one, and in Claude Berri's micro-eventful The Housekeeper, that's what he gets. Of course, she's young and scruffily sexy, and after a few weeks of dusting and sweeping, she moves in with Jacques. Adapted from a popular French novel and brought to the screen with off-handed charm, The Housekeeper manages, despite its middle-aged male-fantasy scenario, to steer clear of the predictable - or, at the very least, give the predictable some real human dimension.
October 8, 1989 |
Tonight, Susan Dey will spend two hours trying to persuade you to forget Grace Van Owen of L.A. Law and Laurie Partridge of The Partridge Family. Chances are, she'll succeed: In I Love You Perfect (Channel 6, 9 p.m.), Dey plays Christina Taylor, a young woman with inoperable cervical cancer. The ending of the movie is no surprise. Like the woman on whose life the TV movie is based, Dey's Christina dies, but the real story of I Love You Perfect is the romance Christina has with her boyfriend, Alan Matthews.
December 16, 2005 |
From Crouching Tiger to The Hulk, the movies of Ang Lee are about characters caught between the rock of tradition and the hard place of desire. His Brokeback Mountain features Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as Wyoming cowpokes who encounter bliss on a notch between the rocky Tetons and the unforgiving hard place of 1960s society. This unforgettable tale of love and yearning finds the closemouthed Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) and the chatty Jack Twist (Gyllenhaal) up on Brokeback tending sheep during the summer of 1963.
February 19, 1988 |
It was one of those festive St. Valentine's Day affairs, the men in black ties, their ladies in fashionable gowns. There were roses at every table and the orchestra played all the grand old love songs. It was an evening you might expect to read about in David Iams' society column, but a young religious from Rome turned it into a showcase of love, Irish and Italian style. The guests had gathered to honor G. Fred DiBona, son and heir of the late Common Pleas Court jurist, dead now eight years.
August 10, 1995 |
In Bruce Graham's The Champagne Charlie Stakes, Charlie, who is generally a two-dollar bettor at the track, puts his life savings on a long shot to provide for his family before he dies. The play, a love story between husband and wife, father and daughter, will open tomorrow at the Spring Garden Mill Playhouse in Northampton. Set in 1990, the play also deals with parents getting older. "It has some very funny moments and some very tender moments. It's a celebration of life, but unfortunately life does have some sad moments to it," said director Elliot Simmons of Philadelphia.
May 4, 1993 |
It takes almost a full act for Kiss of the Spider Woman to get around to re-creating a scene from a movie. Enacted against a photographic projection of a lush tropical garden, the movie turns out to be a musical of the Carmen Miranda stripe, with Chita Rivera breaking free of a huge birdcage to shake a tailful of yellow plumes at a clutch of bare-chested island boys. It's a tolerable bit of nonsense, and it materializes just in time to rescue Kiss of the Spider Woman from a seemingly terminal case of the droops.