Archives for July 2007

ARCHIVES

Remembering Ingmar Bergman

The world has lost one of its most influential filmmakers

On Monday morning, the world mourned the passing of the world’s greatest living filmmaker, Ingmar Bergman. His death comes as less of a tragedy and more of a shock, a jarring reminder of the frailty of human existence. Bergman outlived virtually every other cinema great of his generation – most notably, Federico Fellini (who died in 1993) and Akira Kurosawa (who died in 1998). And unlike those ... more >

No End in Sight

The inside story. From the ultimate insiders.
Campbell Scott, Gerald Burke and Ali Fadhil
Directed by Charles Ferguson

Drop everything and RUN, don't walk, to the nearest theater showing Charles Ferguson’s No End in Sight. You probably think, like I did, that you have some idea of what’s going on in Iraq, mess and all, what brought it about and what’s being done about it. Trust me, you have no idea. I know I didn’t and kept shaking my head in disbelief as I sat transfixed through the harrowing 100 minutes of the ... more >

ULRICH MUEHE

(BY SAÏDEH PAKRAVAN) It is not too much to say that Ulrich Muehe, the German actor who died on July 22 of stomach cancer, must have given one of the greatest screen performances ever in The Lives of Others by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Not since Buster Keaton has an impassive face expressed so much, though to be fair to both, Muehe’s star turn as Gerd Wiesler, a Stasi agent, offers a much ... more >

Away from Her

It's never too late to become what you might have been
Julie Christie, Michael Murphy and Gordon Pinsent
Directed by Sarah Polley

The first question that arises when viewing Away from her is how Sarah Polley, the 28-year old Canadian actress who has directed the film can know so much about aging, the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and the way the two elements of a couple can rub against each other like pebbles on the beach until the edges are smooth, yet retain so many seemingly washed-away memories and ... more >

300

An extraordinary battle, retold in epic glory
Gerard Butler, Lena Headey and David Wenham
Directed by Zack Snyder

The biggest problem with 300, Zack Snyder’s retelling of the Greco-Persian battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., is its audience. Or, rather, two specific segments of that audience, to wit: a) Iranians, not happy at the humiliating—for them—last stand of the 300 Spartan warriors against the Aechemenid king Xerxes’ vast army. Chatrooms have been buzzing with furious bitching, much in the spirit of the ... more >

Dans Paris

City of Light gets top billing in French film
Romain Duris, Louis Garrel and Alice Butaud
Directed by Christophe Honoré

Curiously, Dans Paris (Inside Paris), second feature-film from the young French director Christophe Honoré (Ma Mère) takes place in a suburb of the French capital. The City of Lights is never far from consciousness; and its proximity is constantly reaffirmed by the ubiquitous Eiffel Tower, visible out of most windows, and in numerous exterior shots. Jonathan (Louis Garrell) and Paul (Romain ... more >

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: STUCK IN MALPENSA AIRPORT

Hear the word Bollywood and images of choreographed routines, bright colors and heavily eyelinered eyes are conjured. Bollywood is a dance. No, Bollywood is a musical, no, it’s a TV series! Misinformation notwithstanding, Bollywood gets around. Most of us should be able to place the genre; others will agree that it isn’t American, probably unpatriotic. I recently was properly introduced to the ... more >