Archives for November 2010

ARCHIVES

Nostalgia for the light

One of our favorite films this year
Gaspar Calas, Lautaro Núñez and Luís Henríquez
Directed by Patricio Guzmán

“There is no present, only the past,” an astronomer says in Patricio Guzman’s “Nostalgia for the Light.” He goes on to explain that as both light and sound take time to travel, by the time he hears the interviewer’s question in this documentary—if a film so profound can be called a documentary—or perceives his features at any given time, both voice and face as they look and sound in that ... more >

Another year

Right out of the Cannes Festival lineup
Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen and Lesley Manville
Directed by Mike Leigh

How the mind wanders. I was getting ready to write about the latest Mike Leigh (pictured) movie since Another Year is coming out in December and it’s a film that deserves to be talked about. I saw it in good company at the Cannes Festival, and what a charming Year that was. In it, two colleagues have haphazardly managed to keep a friendship going for two decades. Thing is, they’re very ... more >

Tangled

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!
Byron Howard, Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi
Directed by Nathan Greno

Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair … Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen … As a friend of mine noted we are entering an age of collective amnesia. We no longer have to remember anything anymore. There are no long debates over beers about factual details. If there’s a disagreement, the conversation ends and someone pulls up Wikipedia. For example as I get older I no ... more >

Burlesque

Right this way, small-town girls
Cher, Christina Aguilera and Alan Cumming
Directed by Steve Antin

Cher makes her big-screen comeback in “Burlesque,” an outlandish spectacle filled with clichés, lacking in story or feeling and belonging more on a live stage than anywhere else. In it she plays Tess, the owner of I’m-not-even-sure-what-you-would-call-the-club. Basically hot chicks get on stage in lingerie, sequins or diamonds fall around them, and they lip-sync and dance to music. The real ... more >

Love and other drugs

Are you addicted to one-night stands?
Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway and Judy Greer
Directed by Edward Zwick

Love and Other Drugs gives you your fill of Jake Gyllenhaal-Anne Hathaway sex but the movie is an odd blend of dick jokes and soap-opera depression. Gyllenhaal plays Jamie, a failed medical school student and emotionally detached pharmaceutical rep at Pfizer who believes his one main talent is bedding women. While lobbying a big name doctor he meets Maggie (Hathaway), the perkiest early ... more >

Harry Potter and the deathly hallows: part 1

Giving the penultimate wand shake
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
Directed by David Yates

The Harry Potter stories have felt so crunched together in films as of late that it’s a relief to see that the last book is getting the chance to breathe in a two-film format. But “Deathly Hallows Part 1,” for the most part, is a slog. There is more sadness and terror this time around, the wonderment of Hogwarts and Quidditch have been replaced with dark forests and deathly, menacing wand play. ... more >

South of the border

Oliver Stone tracking the world’s political movements
Tariq Ali, Raúl Castro and Hugo Chávez
Directed by Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone’s short film “South of the Border” documents the (in)famous director’s lovefest-of- a-tour across Leftist South America. His main focus is on Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela—or its dictator, depending on whom you ask. The thrust of this short, very one-sided film is simple: everything you think you know about Chavez and his comrades is wrong. Let Oliver show you the real ... more >