Archives for December 2008


The Wrestler

The passion of the ram
Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood
Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Using unorthodox strangleholds, filmmakers have long wrestled with the figure of Christ. Few achieve the full body slam as strangely as The Wrestler, an outstanding tag-team combo of professional wrestling, Rocky, and The Passion of the Christ. Robert Bresson presented Christ as a mule in 1966’s Au Hasard Balthasar. Here, Darren Aronofsky presents the Savior as a Ram – Randy “Ram” Robinson (a ... more >

Serbis to come to U.S. in early 2009

Filipino movie making rounds of fest circuit

Philipino director Brillante Ma Mendoza finished editing his film Serbis just days before it was screened at the Cannes Festival as part of the Selection Officielle. It showed--or rather, it sounded, like it was a rush job. A rougher-than-necessary-cut was shown to the press corps including this writer. The street sounds completely overwhelmed the exterior shots (Serbis reads like a Sixties ... more >

Soderbergh and Del Toro

Soderberg and Del Toro talk about guerilla filmmaking

On Friday, the first part of the Soderberg-lensed Che gets its limited release. It stars Benicio del Toro in the role of the beloved guerillero and follows Guevara during his Cuba years (the second part of Che is set for release early next year). SCREEN COMMENT met with Soderberg and Del Toro to discuss icons, what Fidel Castro would have thought and how to market long films. Steven, you live ... more >

Catherine Keener

2009's Actress to Watch

Which of her screen characters do you think Catherine Keener resemble most? Floatie Dupree (Box of Moonlight, DiCillo, 1995), a carefree, easygoing flirt or Maxine Lund (Being John Malkovich, Jonze, 1999), a sassy company woman who wears irony on her sleeve? I'd go with the latter although doing so would be to overlook her ability to play both character types—and everything else in between. With ... more >


An ardent chapter of history revisited
Frank Langella, Michael Sheen and Rebecca Hall
Directed by Ron Howard

Like the president at its center, Frost/Nixon has a difficult time being honest about itself. So it's a useful exercise to break down what the film is and isn't. It is not a film about how BBC celebrity interviewer David Frost drove a confession out of Richard Nixon during a 1977 sit-down interview. It is the story about how Frost wrestled Nixon into enough of a half-assed apology to partially ... more >