Archives for October 2009

ARCHIVES

Good Hair

A good documentary
Chris Rock
Directed by Jeff Stilson

What a pleasant surprise. Chris Rock channels Michael Moore, but instead of greed, he examines black women and their hair. The results is a refreshing look at the love and mania caused by our natural and unnatural tops. We start the documentary at a yearly hair product extravaganza in Atlanta for hair products. There we learn that eighty percent of the market for these products comes from ... more >

Chilean film The Maid debuts in U.S.

Director Sebastian Silva's new film impressed audiences

Latin America as a matriarchal society is a reality that’s alive and well in director Sebastian Silva’s ‘The Maid’ (La Nana). Raquel (Catalina Saveedra) has been a live-in maid for twenty-five years with the Valdes family, an outpost of affluence based in the Chilean capital. And from the looks and sounds of it in ‘The maid,’ women not only rule the coop but fathers are relegated to merely ... more >

Antichrist

We loved it and you will, too
Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe
Directed by Lars Von Trier

Has Lars von Trier ever made an accomplished film? To be sure, the man who stated flat out in Cannes that he was “the best director in the world” has an impressive filmography. But “Dogville,” “Breaking the Waves,” “Dancer in the Dark,” are any of these films actually good? One can argue, of course, that only the most pedestrian mind would expect art to be “good” when it can be so many other ... more >

A Prophet

A rarest of gem
Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup and Adel Bencherif
Directed by Jacques Audiard

A number of film critics and a good portion of the film-going public in France hold Jacques Audiard to be the country’s foremost director. Previous works such as “A Self-Made Hero” (1996) and “The Beat That My Heart Skipped,” (2005) helped create this reputation. The absolutely stunning “A Prophet” confirms it. The film, which received the Grand Prix at the last Cannes Festival, tells the story ... more >

Bronson

We recommend him
Tom Hardy, Kelly Adams and Luing Andrews
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Films hailing from across the pond can take a while to wash upon our shores. Bronson, by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, was released in Europe in 2008. Ah well, good things to those who wait. It is based on the true story of recidivist bar-room brawler and mama's boy Michael Petersen who came during his thirty-odd years in the pen (the majority of which he spent in solitary confinement) ... more >

Where the Wild Things Are

Man-sized lions and goats and such
Max Records and Catherine Keener
Directed by Spike Jonze

There is no way on earth that Where the Wild Things Are will get the terrible reviews that it fully deserves. The Maurice Sendak children’s book on which it is based is too beloved. Director Spike Jonze has too much good will from his days with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. Nobody is going to want to admit that this a Transformers 2-like disaster. But it nearly is. The look of the film, lensed by ... more >

Coco Before Chanel

Everything on Chanel, pre-fame
Audrey Tautou, Benoît Poelvoorde and Alessandro Nivola
Directed by Anne Fontaine

Because biopics must touch the bases of a human life, there is a certain formality to such films. The best you can hope for, sometimes, isn’t brilliance but to do the person justice. Anne Fontaine’s Coco Avant Chanel (Coco Before Chanel, in French) is a lush French film that does justice to its subject. It is a project seemingly willed to quality by the commitment of the performers, starting ... more >