Archives for March 2007


Hal Hartley

Independent cinema's maverick

Hal Hartley could be described as several things at once: the genial underdog, a director’s director, a nomad in need of a place to settle. The enigmatic auteur Rolling Stones magazine has called a “fervently inventive original” has remained loyal towards the actors he has worked with (for better or for worse Hartley often works with the same people, like Martin Donovan, James Urbaniak, Parker ... more >


Sex romps, with artistry please
Sook-Yin Lee, Peter Stickles and PJ DeBoy
Directed by John Cameron Mitchell

At the 59th Cannes Film Festival I stood outside the press conference for Shortbus, by John Cameron Mitchell. Two large plasmas hung on each side of the foyer area leading to the conference room and journalists started huddling around the screens to watch the proceedings. Inside, Mitchell, who was flanked by his producer and the cast patiently fielded questions from the press, his usual ... more >

Two-family House

An Italian-American must-see
Michael Rispoli, Kelly Macdonald and Kathrine Narducci
Directed by Raymond De Felitta

What is it about those Italian-Americans in the movies? Italian-Americans make some of the best characters out there. Madone! I just saw Two-family House (De Felitta; 2000) starring Michael Rispoli (who later went on to play, as several other castmembers from Two-family House, in the Sopranos). Small world, the Italian-American world on celluloid. Marty Scorcese and Bob De Niro were especially ... more >

Secrets And Lies

A Mike Leigh classic
Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn and Phyllis Logan
Directed by Mike Leigh

Recently IFC began broadcasting Mike Leigh's "Secrets And Lies" (1996) again, giving us an opportunity at a second (or third, or fourth) look. Hortense Cumberbatch (Marianne Jean Baptiste) is a successful thirtysomething who longs for something--she's never met her biological mother (played by Brenda Blethyn) and was put up for adoption just after birth. Sometimes after the death of her adoptive ... more >

Foreign film HUGE!

By ALI NADERZAD - March 15, 2007Am I starting to sound like the New York Post, or the Daily News? That's because I tried to do that. And it's also because the current state of affairs with American screens is quite prodigious, indeed. Foreign films are huge, this year, indicating a turning of the tide--but is this going to permanently alter the face of American exhibition? It is probably safest ... more >

Cannes Confidential — The suitcase incident

It's my last day here and I have to attend the 8:30 am Marie Antoinette screening (Sofia Coppola; 2006) in the Grand Theatre Lumiere. Monsieur Gauthier, the owner of the B&B where I had a room, drove me and my luggage to the Palais--1 human, 1 carry-on and a large black Delsey. All of a sudden, facing off with the security personnel regarding said luggage did not seem an option; I shall screen ... more >

Coffee and Cigarettes

A scene from a Jim Jarmusch movie
Bill Murray, GZA and RZA
Directed by Jim Jarmusch

In "Delirium," one of the shorts in Jim Jarmush’s “Coffee and Cigarettes” (2003) GZA and RZA, two members from the rap group Wu-Tang are sitting at a table in a diner, presumably late at night in some place urbanized and dreary—the entire film, in fact, seems to exist against a similar backdrop. GZA proclaims the benefits of drinking tea and avoidance of coffee and goes into an edifying rant about ... more >