Archives for February 2008

ARCHIVES

AND THE MISSING LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD GOES TO. . .

(BY SAÏDEH PAKRAVAN) That would be me, of course. Me as a proxy for viewers who dutifully tune in to the Oscar ceremony year after year and, even with numerous TiVo stops, wonder why they put themselves through the pain. Of course, there’s the glamour of our favorite people from our favorite entertainment medium. This 80th Oscar ceremony was no exception. The films in competition were stunningly ... more >

ANOTHER OSCARS COME AND GONE

(BY ALI NADERZAD) Some day, I will be invited to the Academy Awards and will get to wear a tuxedo. Did you know that tuxedo in French translates as 'smoking'? No big surprises concerning the ceremony's format: the lesser-watched categories went up first and slowed down the evening to a grind for the first half-hour. Then, things started to get interesting. Boldfaced names seem to be more on the ... more >

THAT AWFUL LAST HOUR OR O, TERENCE WHAT HAST THEE WROUGHT?

(BY SAÏDEH PAKRAVAN) What was director Terence Young thinking when he had Alan Arkin (playing an arch-villain) jump on poor blind Audrey Hepburn in the 1967 Wait Until Dark? We were already gathering our coats and umbrellas, having left Arkin for dead--and for good, as had been the rule until then in films where nasty brutes terrorized decent people and had finally gotten their just deserts. But ... more >

BE KIND REWIND * * *

(BY ALI NADERZAD) In Michel Gondry's new film Be Kind Rewind (out on Friday), set in Passaic, New Jersey, two friends find themselves in a jam (their video rental business is floundering) and rally their community to a cause, namely, that of junkyard filmmaking. But wait! Something else happens! One of the two friends (played by Jack Black), a nihilist hellbent on government-involved intrigues, ... more >

BE KIND REWIND: A PREVIEW

(BY ALI NADERZAD) More than a year ago I was invited on the set of Michel Gondry's new film Be Kind Rewind which comes out today. I took the regional train to Passaic, New Jersey where the film was being shot on location. Gondry was in the middle of shooting an interior scene with Jack Black and Mos Def and a group of kids sitting around a table, apparently devising the plot to one of their movie ... more >

PROTAGONIST

(BY ALI NADERZAD) A surprising new documentary by filmmaker Jessica Yu seems to have made its way through New York and gone away much too quickly. And there really is an element of surprise, since you might not be swayed immediately by the film. I know I was not. In fact, I was a bit dismissive of it, at first. What interest is there in interviewing four, unimportant men? Four more or less average ... more >

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: ELVIS

(BY SAÏDEH PAKRAVAN) Back in the days, I was the ultimate Elvis fan. I skipped school fourteen times, fourteen times, to see Jailhouse Rock when it first came out (1957). Elvis’s lamentable cinematographic career is redeemed by that one movie, still good today, by King Creole (1958) made by the great Michael Curtiz of Casablanca fame, and by Flaming Star (1960), directed by Don Siegel. All the ... more >