Eric Schlosser: Our Fast Food Nation's Whistle-Blower

Interviewed By Susan Gerhard
November 17, 2006

"The book Fast Food Nation - a richly reported and thickly described literary investigation into the bowels of your everyday burger - was initially an article in Rolling Stone before it became a bestseller, spawned a children's book, instigated a movement, and morphed into a movie by Richard Linklater. If it didn't feel so wrong, you could almost say that it has, by now, become franchised..." Eric Schlosser tells Susan Gerhard how he worked with Richard Linklater to turn his bestselling exposéem>Fast Food Nation into what Film Comment's Kent Jones calls an "unassuming film, one of the most politically astute to come out of this country in quite some time."

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The Incendiary Cinema of Douglas Sirk

By Sean Axmaker

"Halfway through Written on the Wind (1956), after oil baron Robert Keith has been bluntly confronted by the tawdry affairs of his alcoholic daughter Dorothy Malone, the dialogue drops out and the driving rumba takes over the soundtrack. Malone kicks up a storm sashaying in her girdle, perversely proud of the discretion that has wounded her upright dad..." Sean Axmaker explores the brilliant film career of Douglas Sirk whose pictures though often misunderstood, never fail to entertain and exist as a benchmark in cinematic history. The American Cinematheque's retrospective of Sirk's films opens March 1st, 2007 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

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The Polish Brothers: Inside the Outsider Aesthetic

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

During a recent conversation with Mark and Michael Polish, both 36, about their new movie The Astronaut Farmer, several questions came up about insiders and outsiders. For example, the Polish brothers made their debut with the quirky indie film Twin Falls Idaho (1999), in which the identical twins appeared as Siamese twins. It received some good notices and took in nearly double its initial cost, but it didn't exactly catapult the brothers into the mainstream.

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Gary Tarn & Hugues de Montalembert: The Assassinated Light

interviewed by Jonathan Marlow, 21-February-2007


"Arguably the most unconventional documentary to air on television this year, Black Sun uses a series of remarkable audio interviews as a foundation for distinct ways of seeing the world around us. The film has played numerous festivals to much acclaim since its 2005 debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. Viewers tuning in to the program (Cinemax, 28-February, 7:00pm ET/PT ) relatively unawares will be rewarded with a thought-provoking and innovative account of overcoming adversity."

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New (and Coming Soon) on DVD: Feb. 27, 2007

Tenacious superstate Dylan, Terry Gilliam, Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and a doc on girls hoops highlight this week's new DVD releases. And don't forget a superb British miniseries that is as thrilling as it is topical. Plenty more to come, too, as you can see.


More: Interview with D.A. Pennebaker >>

Thoughts on Tideland? More >>

A girl hoop dreams? More >>

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The Heart of the Game

A more uplifting (and real-life) girls coming of age tale than Tideland, The Heart of the Game focuses on the passion and energy of a girls' high school basketball team in Washington state. "An exhilarating story of loyalty and perseverance, The Heart of the Game succeeds as both inspiration and social commentary," wrote Kevin Crust in the LA Times. Adds The Oregonian's M.E. Russell: "Intimate, funny, moving and incredibly rousing -- even if you're allergic to sports movies."

Update! James Van Maanen reviews the film for GreenCine: The Heart of the Game (and the bigger picture, too).

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D. A. Pennebaker: Looking Back?

" In the midst of a tribute presented by the Documentary Film Institute last year, Jonathan Marlow had the opportunity to speak with D.A. Pennebaker about his remarkable fifty-year career. Best known for his music films, such as Monterey Pop and Down from the Mountain, Pennebaker is also responsible for a number of exceptional political documentaries -- The War Room, as director, Al Franken: God Spoke, as producer..." Pennebaker's outstanding documentary Don't Look Back starring Bob Dylan has been re-released with some spectacular extras, including 20 hours of never before seen footage accompanied by a 168 page booklet. Don't miss this re-issue!

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Tideland: What to make of it?

Tideland. The reviews for Terry Gilliam's dark fantasy were insanely all over the map - from rather hateful ("tiresome...and creepy" thought the NY Times' AO Scott), to more flattering ("crazy, dangerous and sometimes gorgeous" wrote the Chicago Tribune's Michael Wilmington). Most critics scratched their head at it. Audiences on Metacritic gave "10"s and "0"s. We think it could make a good double-bill with Pan's Labyrinth. It's on DVD now. What do you think?

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The Razzies: Worst of '06

Basically, It Stinks, TooNever mind the Oscars. Why not focus on 2006's worst films? While the Golden Rasberries missed out on quite a few other bad films (what no love, or hate, for The Wicker Man? And where's All the Kings Men, Saw III or Poseidon for that matter?), their list is a good starter kit for anyone's home Bad Movie Film Festival (maybe they're a little hard on M. Night here, but I guess he can take it).


Herewith, the Razzies:

  • Worst Picture: Basic Instinct 2
  • Worst Actor: Marlon and Shawn Wayans, Little Man
  • Worst Actress: Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct 2
  • Worst Supporting Actor: M. Night Shyamalan, Lady in the Water
  • Worst Supporting Actress: Carmen Electra, Date Movie and Scary Movie 4
  • Worst Screen Couple: Shawn Wayans and either Kerry Washington or Marlon Wayans Little Man
  • Worst Remake or Rip-Off: Little Man
  • Worst Prequel or Sequel: Basic Instinct 2
  • Worst Director: M. Night Shyamalan
  • Worst Screenplay: Basic Instinct 2
  • Worst Excuse for Family Entertainment: RV
  • What would make your own Razzies, your own Worst of '06 list?

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    79th Annual Academy Award Winners

    A little celebration called The Oscars happens every year in Hollywood, California or thereabouts.

    Here are the winners for the 79th such ceremony.

    Continue Reading 79th Annual Academy Award Winners

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