Category Archives: theatrical

The Skeleton Twins: (Sad) Funny Bones

The Skeleton Twins feels so clichéd “indie” that it almost folds over into meta. That’s not entirely a bad thing—at least we’ve reached the point where delicately essayed indie-feelin’ films about human people not wearing superhero costumes or trying to blow each other up are created and appreciated often enough to be criticized for familiar […]

Interview: Love is Strange Writer-director Ira Sachs

At first blush, Love is Strange, independent writer and director Ira Sachs’ sixth feature, feels Woody-Allen familiar: Gentle piano music plays; a nattily dressed couple (Alfred Molina’s George and John Lithgow’s Ben) lovingly bicker; and diverse but attractive characters gather to sing songs in a perfectly appointed New York apartment. But Love is Strange quickly […]

Who Guards Against the Guardians of the Galaxy?

Let’s be clear at the start: I enjoyed The Guardians of the Galaxy. Quite a bit, thank you. I had much of the good-times happy smiles with it, and I laughed a whole lot, often heartily and with great joy. It’s a totally entertaining lark (with a bit of heart), and if you like fizzy, […]

Interview: I Origins Writer-director Mike Cahill and Star Michael Pitt

Three years ago, writer-director Mike Cahill and his collaborator, writer-actress Brit Marling, helped lead a new sub-genre of science fiction with their breakout film Another Earth: intensely thoughtful and intelligent, smaller-budget films that aren’t afraid to raise complicated existential issues. Cahill’s sophomore feature I Origins may have a somewhat larger budget and more expansive locales […]

Transformers 4 is the Greatest Film Ever Made About 21st Century America

No, I’m not being facetious. This isn’t winking satire. I’m stone cold Steve Austin serious: Transformers: Age of Extinction is quite possibly the single most important cinematic document so far about how America fever dreams itself into continued existence in the 21st Century. For the most part, critics have been baffled and stymied by Michael […]

Interview: Third Person Writer-director Paul Haggis

Paul Haggis spent two decades in the trenches writing for sit-coms like Diff’rent Strokes, One Day at a Time, Who’s the Boss, and Facts of Life and TV dramas such as LA Law, thirtysomething, and Walker Texas Ranger. But ten years ago, Haggis broke out big as a film writer, with back-to-back Best Original Screenplay […]

Edge of Tomorrow: Cruise, Again and Again

I once reveled in mocking and deriding Tom Cruise for the obvious reasons: the shallow All-American Super-Jock swagger; the intense self-deprecatingly positivity; the mish-mash of film choices from soggily pretentious Oscar-lickers (Born on the Fourth of July, Rain Man, The Last Samurai) to cloying, image polishers (A Few Good Men, Jerry McGuire) to silly popcorn […]

Maleficent: Witches Be Crazy

Last summer, upon surviving The Lone Ranger, I felt I’d finally come to some sort of Zen-like epiphany about these giant Disney marketing events masquerading as “movies”: They aren’t really films at all; not in any classic sense of what cinema is, what it means. My weary separate peace with these packaged, pre-sold, cross-promoted, brand-leveraged, […]

Interview: Cold in July Writer-director Jim Mickle

Last fall I chatted with writer-director Jim Mickle about his cannibal-family horror film We Are What We Are. As we discussed the style of that film, Mickle (who comes off incredibly nice and intellectually and artistically curious) mentioned that his next film was set in the ’80s and had a very different, more neon, visual […]

Interview: For No Good Reason Director Charlie Paul and Producer Lucy Paul

Most Americans know English artist Ralph Steadman through the splatter-mad satiric illustrations he did for Hunter S. Thompson’s books and articles, most famously 1971’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. That was certainly the case with me when I attended a Steadman (splatter) signing in London in 1986. But from there I came to love […]

“While all the other arts were born naked, [film], the youngest, has been born fully-clothed. It can say everything before it has anything to say. It is as if the savage tribe, instead of finding two bars of iron to play with, had found scattering the seashore fiddles, flutes, saxophones, trumpets, grand pianos by Erhard and Bechstein, and had begun with incredible energy, but without knowing a note of music, to hammer and thump upon them all at the same time.”

--Virginia Woolf
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