Archives for November 2007

ARCHIVES

THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

(BY ALI NADERZAD) A wonderful new film by Julian Schnabel, one of our few American cinema auteurs, has reached theatre screens this Friday. Judging by the crowds in theatres on Friday night (the Angelika Film Center hadn't seen this many people in its lobby since ...) people are turning out in huge numbers for it. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is almost something to be en joyed intimately, ... more >

SHOULD ANIMATED WIN BEST PICTURE?

Animated films like Ratatouille win the hearts and minds of millions for their artful storytelling and character development. And while no traditional acting takes place (thespians enjoy a no dress code policy in the mic booth) voiceover actors, by Academy rules qualify for best actor awards. On the other hand, since actors make up twenty percent of academy voters, a best actor award in animated ... more >

WHAT’S THE MOST YOU EVER LOST ON A COIN TOSS?

(BY ALI NADERZAD) When American contemporary cinema is good, it's really good. The English have Stephen Frears (The Queen is probably the most important film of the last decade) and we have the Coen brothers. But what is "American" you ask? American cinema right now is a Cormack McCarthy novel set in a dry Texan town. And it's money. Lots of it. It's a guy who finds this money and then runs away ... more >

ON THE NEWS REEL: 18TH WASHINGTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL

(BY ALI NADERZAD) WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts will be holding its18th Washington Jewish Film Festival, curated by Joshua Ford. It's an impressive program which will launch on Tuesday, November 29th with Cao Hamburger's The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (see SCREEN COMMENT review). An 11-year old whose parents are forced into hiding during a brutal crackdown in ... more >

I AM NOT THERE

(BY ALI NADERZAD, SCREENCOMMENT) That Todd Haynes’s films are slowly finding their way into the avant-guarde canon is becoming a fact. They are always marvelously inventive and Haynes isn’t afraid to venture into the slimy belly of the beast. He apparently sees life through a different lens than you and I. Films like Poison and Safe have caused furors, which of course lends a degree of ... more >

TWENTY-ONE DAYS OF GUILD STRIKE

(BY ALI NADERZAD) Thanksgiving--it has been about twenty-one days since the Writers Guild of America took to the streets in protest of the so-called fattening up of the American studio: increased profits from ancillaries and not enough go in the writers' pockets, according to the Guild. What is the prognosis? Good, according to SCREENCOMMENT.COM. A new negotiations meeting is scheduled for Monday, ... more >

STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING

(BY ALI NADERZAD) No matter youth’s fleeting triumphs and the admiration bestowed on it, age and experience conceal things that are just as attention-worthy. That is what a female graduate student (played by Lauren Ambrose) has set upon discovering in Andrew Wagner’s Starting out in the Evening. Frank Langella plays Leonard Schiller, a Manhattan writer whose novel is taking an awful long time to ... more >