October 16, 2011 |
I have the best job in the world. I work with the smartest, most supportive colleagues you can imagine. So it is hard, very hard, to leave a place that pays me to see movies such as Jerry Maguire; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ; and The Social Network . Harder still to leave coworkers who are the most intellectually and emotionally engaged individuals I've ever met - and human thesauruses to boot. With mixed emotions, I am leaving fulltime film criticism in order to pursue longer-form writing.
April 4, 2003 |
The "world" may be gone, but the world has not been forgotten. The newly monikered Philadelphia Film Festival, known in its previous 11 years as the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema is, if anything, more global than ever. From the antipodes to Iceland, from Tokyo to Tunisia, from a Nevada brothel to a Nashville prison, the 300-plus films scheduled to be shown over the next 13 days represent an ambitious lineup of features, shorts, documentaries, animation and experimental cinema.
January 10, 2003 |
Wallow. Sulk. Go with it. In these light-deprived first days of the new year (you've already broken those resolutions, haven't you?), there's no point in trying to be cheery. Instead, feed those seasonal affective disorder blues with the glimmer of a TV screen - or a movie theater, if you can summon the energy to leave the abode. Sate that melancholia with a few truly depressing pics in which unhappy people tread bleak terrain, driving down the desperate roads of their sorry existence.
April 18, 2002 |
START LINING up for tickets. In a move that makes shocking sense for the movie business, red-hot director David Fincher ("Seven," "Fight Club" and most recently "Panic Room") is on the verge of inking a contract to helm "Mission: Impossible 3. " The visually flashy director will join Brian De Palma and John Woo in the smashingly successful "M:I" franchise, the first installment of which grossed $180.9 million domestically, and the sequel $215.4 million. Oh, and Tom Cruise will reprise his role of Ethan Hunt.
April 7, 2002 |
John Sayles walks with a cowboy lope and around Hollywood is known as a hired gun paid munificently to script-doctor blockbusters such as Apollo 13 and The Mummy. Around these parts, though, the Hoboken filmmaker is highly regarded as a maverick who was indie before indie was cool. Using studio paychecks to finance movies the majors would never touch, the unpretentious storyteller consistently spins shoestring productions such as Return of the Secaucus 7 (made for $60,000 in 1980)
April 5, 2002 |
First, the numbers: 157 features, 19 documentaries, 69 shorts, 49 countries. Quantitatively, the 11th Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema is the biggest ever. The projectors began rolling last night with Strut!, Max Raab's satisfying cheesesteak of a celebration of Philadelphia's plumed paraders, the Mummers (the prize-winning doc will screen again tomorrow at the Prince Music Theater). And the projectors will continue to roll through April 18: two weeks of movie madness, tributes to stars and filmmakers, brunches, parties, panels and roundtables (screenwriting!
April 5, 2002 |
An American maverick, an English fantasist, the New York woman who redefined women on screen, and the London man who renewed movie realism on both sides of the Atlantic will be honored by the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema this year. John Sayles, who has made 14 of his 15 features - most notably Lone Star and Return of the Secaucus 7 - entirely outside Hollywood, will be on hand Tuesday to receive the American Independents Award. Four of his films will be shown in the festival, including Secaucus 7 (1980)
April 3, 2002 |
Bawdy religious satire. Rapturous classical music. Excessive altered reality. Bloody gothic kitsch. Nuns, moms and inflatable dolls reveling in sexual glee. Some say such cinematic obsessions signal a troubled mind. But British director-screenwriter Ken Russell says his visions are leaps of a powerful imagination. In any case, Russell and his work will be honored at the 11th annual Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, which starts tomorrow. "I haven't a clue what fuels my work, outside of research and my need for self-mockery," Russell said of the devil's advocacy and flawed heroism in his films.
March 29, 2002 |
A member of the Royal Shakespeare Company at age 23, Oscar-nominated at age 29 for directing and starring in "Henry V," and recently headlining such disparate projects as a John Grisham thriller ("The Gingerbread Man") and a Woody Allen comedy ("Celebrity"), Ireland's Kenneth Branagh has somehow managed to elude Hollywood stardom. This is due, in part, to his choice of offbeat projects like "How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog" (VHS: priced for rental; DVD: $24.99), new to video this week.
August 10, 2001 |
From exploitation movies such as Jailhouse Rock (1957) to exploration movies such as Stranger Inside (2001), prison dramas provide potent metaphors of bondage and freedom. "Prison Breaks: Redemption, Re-volution and Reality," a provocative series starting tomorrow for Film at the Prince, covers the penal panorama. Curator Denise Brown includes potboilers such as Black Mama, White Mama (1972) a blaxploitation film starring Pam Grier, as well as premieres of serious dramas such as Darnell Martin's Prison Song (2000)