Luhrmann doesn’t have enough depth to make Fitzgerald’s characters truly shallow
He watches the winking green light. He is blissfully unaware that it is a bilious green, the green of envy, an old money Cyclops that never sleeps. This light will never be extinguished, never be defeated, invulnerable to challenge and change. Behind the light, curled in their shallow magnificence lurk those, “careless people who smash up thing and creatures” ready to be unleashed once again upon exam text youth.
Simultaneously we condemn and condone the frailty of youth, the barbaric poolside hedonism that spits in the face of all that’s proper and decent.
Hieronymus Bosch is alive and well and living in Florida, bitches! He’s melding slobbering hunks of flesh into micro bikinis Brian Yuzna style. Two finger smiles, porn star tongues-this could be an X-rated Coke advert. Sun kissed skin sizzles in montage, booze cascades in slow motion, Sodom meets Gomorrah by the sea. Welcome to Heaven and Hell. Welcome to Spring Break. Say hello to the “Spring Breakers.”
“Kon-Tiki” is a fictionalized account of the Norwegian experimental ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl’s 4300 mile journey in a balsa raft over 65 years ago.
Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film nominee “Kon-Tiki” is a fictionalized account of the Norwegian experimental ethnographer (and subsequent Oscar Award winner) Thor Heyerdahl’s trans-Pacific journey in a balsa raft over 65 years ago. It’s also a Scandinavian box office sensation and the first Norwegian film to nab nominations from both Oscar and the Golden Globes. I spoke with the film’s co-directors, slated to helm a major Hollywood movie next, about their own trip from Norway to L.A.’s wild west.
“We all live downstream from something.”
by Lauren Wissot
Premiering at this past Sundance Film Festival, Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce’s “The Atomic States of America” is now coming to a digital – here’s to iTunes and Netflix! – format near you. Unsurprisingly, given that Argott is one of the forces behind “Last Days Here,” last year’s winner of the music doc category at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (and for more on that flick, see my interview for Global Comment with Argott and his longtime editor and co-director Demian Fenton), “Atomic States” is a refreshingly entertaining look at a very thorny social issue. Based on Kelly McMasters’s memoir about life in her Long Island, nuclear-reactor hometown, the film eloquently universalizes the many risks of “going green” – or as McMasters likes to say, “We all live downstream from something.” I spoke with the passionate co-directors prior to the film’s (Sundance Institute Artist Services Initiative-enabled) January15th release.
“Is God dead?” For some atheists he never lived, but our film idols did. And when the director you worship dies how do you begin to replace him? Like religion there’s a good deal of choice on offer: Romanek, Audiard, [...]
“Is God dead?” For some atheists he never lived, but our film idols did. And when the director you worship dies how do you begin to replace him? Like religion there’s a good deal of choice on offer: Romanek, Audiard, Haneke, Nolan, Ramsay, Tarantino, but one shouldn’t be hurried into making a rash decision. Their talents are undeniable but when your deity is Stanley Kubrick the problem becomes ever more complex; how do you substitute the one true cinematic God for one of his children?
When do we stop buying the promise that the hand starving us is the only one that can save us?
Hollywood’s latest ode to the “empowering” nature of privatizing the public is called “Won’t Back Down.” The drama, which stars a host of fabulous actors known for portraying strong women – Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Holly Hunter – opens Friday in theaters throughout the United States.
In a nutshell, the film functions as a powerful propaganda piece on behalf of the neoliberal, or market-driven, education reform movement in the United States, which is usually – and misleadingly –called only “education reform.” It pursues neoliberal aims under the guise of ideas that resonate with parents, like “school choice,” which implies spending public money on private school vouchers and privately managed charter schools and forcing parents to choose from a “marketplace” of schooling options. The end game? Replacing traditional public schools with private and charter institutions over time.
What could have easily been a gross out comedy to rival “Bridesmaids” is actually an engrossing and at times touching trawl through the pitfalls of family, unicorns and birds of prey.
Inside the charm and gentle wit of “The Wedding Video” is an Ira Levin satire trying to claw its way out. Set in the WAG safe-haven of Cheshire, Nigel Cole’s movie has all the right credentials to be a British version of “The Stepford Wives” or “Rosemary’s Baby” as it documents the run-up to the wedding of upwardly mobile couple Tim and Saskia.
Nolan’s movie lumbers from set-piece to set-piece like a blinded Cyclops enraged by its inability to cling on to past glories.
“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.” Hans Gruber may have misquoted Plutarch but his lament seems perfectly suited for Christopher Nolan. If “Inception” was his Battle of Issus grinding the might of the old Hollywood blockbuster beneath his heel then “The Dark Knight Rises” is Nolan’s Hydaspes and the mutiny of his army in its bloody aftermath.
Director David Cronenberg wraps Don DeLillo’s characters up in a shroud of pseudo science and startling self-importance. What exactly do people like Eric really do?
The grin on Eric Packer’s limo is 50,000miles wide. And why wouldn’t it be? His limo is bullet proof, bomb proof and future proof. He’s a billionaire investor rocking the fly honey heiress and hangs with rap stars like Brutha Fez. He can get his prostate checked out daily and snap up priceless art with the flick of his wrist. Eric’s so rich he has two private elevators: one each to suit both of his moods.
Eric is 28.
“Call Me Kuchu” is a sweeping portrait not just of the heroic gays and lesbians who often literally put themselves in the line of fire each and every day just to demand basic human rights, but also of a self-righteous Ugandan society which bans homosexuality and openly advocates for the death penalty for HIV-positive men.
Recently racking up awards from the Berlin Film Festival to Toronto’s Hot Docs, Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s “Call Me Kuchu,” which follows a group of Ugandan LGBTI activists in Kampala (led by the recently murdered David Kato, the kuchus’ – Ugandan slang for queers – answer to Martin Luther King, Jr.), is one of those rare docs that manages to enlighten, uplift and enrage in equal doses. It’s a sweeping portrait not just of the heroic gays and lesbians who often literally put themselves in the line of fire each and every day just to demand basic human rights, but also of a disturbingly self-righteous Ugandan society, which bans homosexuality and openly advocates for the death penalty for HIV-positive men. I got a chance to speak with the film’s own fearless co-directors as they were preparing for “Call Me Kuchu” to close the Human Rights Watch Film Festival at NYC’s Film Society of Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater on June 28th.
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