Archives for August 2011


Actors should stick to acting

But thankfully they don't.

In a past issue of the New Yorker’s Talk of the Town, actor Ted Danson talks to Elizabeth Kolbert—the magazine’s environment expert—about his work in the field of oceanography and marine conservation. He talks about the protection of oceans and marine life, about his concern over the fact that a year after the BP oil spill, offshore drilling is again being promoted. (Though why he should be ... more >

Dying to do Letterman

What would you do if you had five years to live?
Steve Mazan
Directed by Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina

Dying to Do Letterman, the documentary directed by married couple Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina, chronicles five tumultuous years in the life of Steve Mazan, an average-Joe comedian whose lifelong dream is to perform on Late Show with David Letterman. That goal was expedited once Mazan was diagnosed with liver cancer and told, in early 2005, that he may have just five years to live. Mazan ... more >

Phnom Penh Lullaby

DocuWeeks 2011
Directed by Pawel Kloc

Phnom Penh Lullaby is a John Cassavetes-style documentary—about a bickering couple, no less—but one will not find amusingly rambling scenes of middle-class drunkards quaintly skirting their troubles. Here, the handheld, jerky camera lingers on sad babies, sad prostitutes, trash-strewn streets and some of the saddest domestic squabbles ever recorded on film. Depending on your personal taste, you ... more >

James Franco

Planet of the Apes star to appear in Wizard of Oz prequel

Is James Franco all over the place or is he? Certainly, there are few careers as stimulating to watch (even the occasional booboo, like his hosting of the Academy Awards, adds to his likableness): edgy films like 127 hours, challenging roles (it took some nerve to play Alan Ginsburg in Howl) taking the time to attend a major university (Columbia), teaching summer classes at P.S. 1 along with ... more >

Gondry’s got it

Be kind rewind director going back to his roots

I looked in my crystal ball and saw that Michel Gondry is making a French movie. That’s a first. What’s the most American of our filmmakers (he’s always claimed he’s French but I know that Parisian accent is fake) doing making a movie across the pond? For one thing, he’s been able to cast France’s leading man Romain Duris (no, it’s not Guillaume Canet as you might have presumed), along with the ... more >

Miss Representation

The film Adam Carolla does not want you to see
Cory Booker, Margaret Cho and Katie Couric
Directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom

The most poignant scene in Miss Representation, Jennifer Siebel Newsom's documentary on the sorry state of female imagery in popular culture, is where Newsom reveals that she made the film for her newborn daughter. A teenage athlete molested by her coach, Newsom developed a severe eating disorder and inferiority complex about her looks. She excelled at Stanford University, but when she later ... more >

Don’t be afraid of the dark

... more >