dwhudson's blog

Daniele Luchetti: Anti-Ideology, Pro-Politics

Danielle LuchettiBy James Van Maanen

"What makes My Brother Is an Only Child so alive and entertaining is how it dramatizes the endless tug-of-war between political conviction and personal experience - the way the lines twist and blur and finally implode," writes New York's David Edelstein.

"In a way, I wanted to describe a thoughtful way of handling politics," director Daniele Luchetti tells James Van Maanen in the following interview. "While I am totally against ideology as such, I am pro-politics."

Continue Reading Daniele Luchetti: Anti-Ideology, Pro-Politics

DVD Spotlight: 3/27.

(Cross-posted with GreenCine Daily.)

DVDs, 3/27.

Lost Highway David Lynch's Lost Highway has finally seen a new release on DVD this week, but Cinematical's Monika Bartyzel explains why it's still "not the greatest option for Lynch fans." Meantime, for the Telegraph, Ivan Hewett reports on Olga Neuwirth's musical version, set to premiere as a joint English National Opera/Young Vic production next month. Via the House Next Door.

"A Woman's Face starts out wonderfully, continues well through the midpoint and just when you are thinking, 'Hooray! I love this!' Joan Crawford shows up at a dance in some kind of Swedish peasant dirndl-drag and it's all over." Still, Self-Styled Siren reminds us: "For the first 70 minutes or so, Crawford is so good you almost can't believe it."


Click on to read more notes on recent DVD releases!

Continue Reading DVD Spotlight: 3/27.

DVD Spotlight: 3/25.

(Crossposted on GreenCine Daily.)

In the Los Angeles Times: With Arthur Penn and Warren Beatty, Geoff Boucher looks back on Bonnie and Clyde.

Blast of Silence "Asking a group of cinephiles what films book ended the film noir cycle is akin to throwing raw meat to a pack of wild dogs," writes Mike at Noir of the Week. "You're liable to lose a finger if you're not careful. It's commonly held that Orson Welles's Touch of Evil rounded out the movement but Allen Baron's Blast of Silence should rightfully hold this distinction."

Read the whole shebang by clicking below!

Continue Reading DVD Spotlight: 3/25.

Ramin Bahrani: "It Might Be Great for Kids"

Ramin Bahrani By David D'Arcy

Ramin Bahrani has followed up his widely acclaimed Man Push Cart with Chop Shop, and we've been watching the accolades pour in at GreenCine Daily. Currently screening at New York's Film Forum through March 11, this "low-budget vétériumph" (David Edelstein, New York) will make its way throughout the country over the next several weeks.

David D'Arcy talks with Bahrani about Abbas Kiarostami's admiration for the film, how it differs from the Dardenne brothers's work, nailing the sound of New York and about why kids could get just as much out of the movie as adults.

Continue Reading Ramin Bahrani: "It Might Be Great for Kids"

The Book(s) on Tommy Lee Jones

By Sean Axmaker

Tommy Lee Jones Cormac McCarthy is "our best living prose stylist," Tommy Lee Jones tells Sean Axmaker. And he'd know. After all, the Oscar-winning actor graduated from Harvard with a degree in literature. What's more, he's sure McCarthy's Blood Meridian "would make a terrific movie."

For now, though, following his widely praised performance in In the Valley of Elah, Jones is starring in an adaptation of another McCarthy novel, the Coen Brothers' No Country for Old Men. And planning to direct an adaptation of another great writer, too.

In the Valley of Elah is now out on DVD. And Jones has been nominated for an Oscar for the role.

Continue Reading The Book(s) on Tommy Lee Jones

Jay Jonroy: "The Hardest Thing to Do is Comedy"

Jay Jonroy

By David D'Arcy

Jay Jonroy's David & Layla, currently playing in New York, has been tickling audiences in various US cities since it launched its tour of theaters last July.

David D'Arcy introduces his interview with the director: "Jonroy's feature debut is a romantic farce with an American Jewish man and a Kurdish refugee of the Halabja gas attacks of 1988 as its protagonists. The script is based on a true Jewish-Kurdish romance, and the real David and Layla are happily married in Paris. In Jonroy's version, David (David Moscow, who played the child in Big) is a neurotic Jewish guy whose fitness-addict fiancéis predictably more interested in kick-boxing and stretching than in sex. He encounters Layla (Shiva Rose) on the street while filming for a cable show, and the ball gets rolling, with lots of meals and discourses on food and sexual pleasure. It will do wonders for your appetite."

Continue Reading Jay Jonroy: "The Hardest Thing to Do is Comedy"

Cao Hamburger: "We Connect and Then We Disconnect"

By Francine Taylor

Coa Hamburger

The Year My Parents Went on Vacation takes place in Brazil in 1970, when the country was ruled by a military dictatorship and its national soccer team, led by Peléa>, was making its way toward the finals of the World Cup," writes AO Scott in the New York Times. "Accordingly, sports and politics both play parts in this film, directed by Cao Hamburger, which filters the tumult and trauma of Brazilian history through the perceptions of a 12-year-old boy named Mauro."

"[T]his warmly engaging film benefits from its understated approach (it suggests rather than spells out the political turmoil), and its light, comedic tone never mitigates the drama of the central story," adds Jean Oppenheimer in the Voice.

Francine Taylor talks with Hamburger about working with kids and getting the look and sound of 70s-era Brazil just right.

Continue Reading Cao Hamburger: "We Connect and Then We Disconnect"

Tony Gilroy and His "Parallel Universe Thriller"

Tony Gilroy

By Michael Guillé

Tony Gilroy had been writing screenplays and watching directors turn them into movies for about a decade when he wrote Michael Clayton. For six years, the project simply would not get up off the ground. Then along came Jason Bourne. With the help of, among others, George Clooney, Sydney Pollack and Steven Soderbergh, he was finally able to get Michael Clayton made - and direct it himself.

The film was well-received when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival and lauded in Toronto. But when it hit theaters... well, you may have missed it. Now's your chance. It's out on DVD next week, just in time for the Oscars. It's been nominated for seven of those, including Best Picture. And Gilroy's been nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay. Michael Guillé/a> spoke with him on the eve of its theatrical run.

Continue Reading Tony Gilroy and His "Parallel Universe Thriller"

Robert Stone and Oswald's Ghost

Robert StoneBy David D'Arcy

"The central and most persuasive interview [in Oswald's Ghost] is with the late Norman Mailer, author of Oswald's Tale, who died on November 10," writes David D'Arcy, introducing his latest interview. "Although I'm a fan of Robert Stone's work, especially his hallucinatory doc, Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst, I was skeptical at first, not about the notion of a film that might put conspiratorial explanations of the JFK assassination to rest, but about the idea that there was anything left to be said about the shooting of JFK and the search for a 'mastermind.' I can recommend Oswald's Ghost to skeptics like myself, and to anyone else."

Oswald's Ghost is now out on DVD.

Continue Reading Robert Stone and Oswald's Ghost

James Mangold & Peter Fonda: Mad About Yuma

3:10 to Yuma "Andrew Sarris once wrote about the 'bread-and-butter' Western and the 'blue ribbon' Western," writes Jeffrey M. Anderson at his excellent site, Combustible Celluloid. "The latter, ultra-serious example tried to make the Western more important by adding outside elements, but at the same time it sapped all the fun and very nearly killed the genre. Now James Mangold has brought it back with this strapping 'bread and butter' example."

Not only does Jeffrey give the new 3:10 to Yuma [official site] 3½ stars out of 4, he also tips his hat to one of its stars, Peter Fonda, whose The Hired Hand is "one of the best Westerns of the 1970s." Here, he talks with Mangold and Fonda about their lively takes on the genre.

3:10 to Yuma is now out on DVD.

Continue Reading James Mangold & Peter Fonda: Mad About Yuma

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