Archives for April 2009



The documentary Evander doesn't want you to see
Mike Tyson
Directed by James Toback

Is Mike Tyson the ear-chomping, woman-hating, sticking-and-moving offense to public decency that some would say? Or is he the family man, Muslim convert, and spiritual seeker that his supporters (and enablers) have described for so many years? Tyson, director James Toback’s point-blank documentary look at the former heavyweight terror, suggests some of each. The movie is part accusation, part ... more >

The soloist

When two great actors meet
Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr. and Catherine Keener
Directed by Joe Wright

“The Soloist” is the true-life story of LA Times reporter Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) who discovers and helps a schizophrenic and former Julliard cellist (Jamie Foxx) living on the streets of the City of Angels. The film, directed by Joe Wright (“Atonement”), features a lead character tormented by multiple voices in his head. Likewise, we can hear the multiple voices going on in the film’s ... more >

TFF’09-Paola Mendoza shines in Entre Nos

Mendoza earns our best performance award at this year's fest

Actor and filmmaker Paola Mendoza makes it all look so easy. She directed “Entre Nos,” a Colombian-American film in the TFF’09 Discovery series, without a single false note and also gives the strongest lead performance I have seen thus far at this short Tribeca Festival. I would say, in fact, that it’s the best performance I have seen in a while. She plays Mariana, a Colombian mother of two who ... more >

TFF’09: Blank City

From avant-guarde to No Wave

One of the ideas behind the so-called No Wave movement, the subject of "Blank City," is about the retreating of art away from the establishment, the denial that a structure can exist to help an artist thrive. One learnt to make a movie because someone shoves a camera in their face and said “you can do it.” The genesis of No Wave was a band of disposessed twentysomethings who roomed together in the ... more >

TFF’09-Vegas, based on a true story

When digging deeper will only lead to problems

What first struck me about Amir Naderi’s film “Vegas” is how Iranian it looks; it looks and feels Iranian, and happens to be set in Las Vegas (the non-shiny part of the city, which tourists don’t visit). Symbolic possibilities are everywhere in this small world Naderi constructed around a narrative of a poor, three-person family who dig up their yard in search for a treasure. The arid desert ... more >


Feminism is not dead, says Gordon

If the name Bette Gordon doesn’t immediately ring a bell, don’t fret. It just means you’re not the cinephile you claimed you are or weren't a part of downtown Manhattan when downtown Manhattan was still very, very cool. But at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, which is opening this week, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to become (re)acquainted with her. Two films which she directed are ... more >

Cannes ’09-Lineup Announced

Controversial filmmaker Gaspar Noé leads the way

What is the theme this year in Cannes, playing it safe? Well-known auteurs hog all the space on a line-up that's bursting at the seams with big budget fare, with the occasional exception. In a way, you could say it's been the same mix for years, and that's because this is what works. But has the Cannes Festival selection process gotten stale? I beg to differ with my own assertion (if that's even ... more >