Archives for December 2011


Singing in the new year

Zooey and Joe sing!

Actors Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the prom queen and king of independent cinema, got together recently for a Youtube-bound recording of "what are you doing New Years Eve?", a song originally written by singer-songwriter Nancy Wilson. During the languorous ballad Gordon-Levitt has a snoopy grin while Zooey's deep and troubled voice echoes some kind of long lost love. It all sounds ... more >

J.J. Abrams brings special FX into your living-room

You've heard right! J.J. Abrams, whom you might remember from such instant classics as Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Super 8, has created an iPhone application via his movie studio Bad Robot which lets users add a touch of originality to their humdrum existences: point your iPhone camera towards the Christmas tree, and just as your step-mother's pomeranian steps into the picture, unleash ... more >

The Year That Was

The best of the best: Here. Now.

It’s that time of year when this critic must sift through the hundreds of films consumed in the past twelve months and make choices—some easy, others very difficult—about the year’s best batch of films. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi’s marital drama snatched top prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, and for good reason. Back in February, I wrote, “One of the film’s best qualities is that it ... more >

A Separation

Iran's entry for best foreign film at the Oscars
Peyman Maadi, Leila Hatami and Sareh Bayat
Directed by Asghar Farhadi

Nader and Simin: A Separation by Asghar Farhadi is the Iran-made candidate for Best Foreign Picture at the Academy Awards. Not only is it a superb film with nary a wasted shot, but actors Leila Hatami and Peyman Maadi (they won the Best Actor awards at the last Berlin Film Festival) give three-dimensional, wholly believable performances as the two sides of an acrimonious couple going through a ... more >

Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol

The franchise is safe: Ghost Protocol delivers the goods
Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton
Directed by Brad Bird

I am a sucker for spy movies. Whether it is the Bourne series, the revitalized Bond series or the Mission: Impossible series, and even though I have a love/hate relationship with the latter. The first one was really good with a lot of double-crossing and excellent action, but the second one was a train-wreck, from the script to John Woo’s over-the-top directing. And J.J. Abrams’s third film got ... more >

Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol

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Nina Menkes retrospective planned for early 2012

The morning-after pill for an awful year 2011

We’re being aggressed by bad Hollywood fare on a weekly basis—two Steven Spielberg movies (The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse, both reviewed this week) out in theatres at the same time (this is quite a boon for the manufacturers of Kleenex) and am sorry to say that civilization is in decline. So a retrospective about an obscure but worthy artist will be just the right panacea to recharge our ... more >