MOVIES

thedeaddontdie-screencomment

CANNES FESTIVAL – “The Dead Don’t Die,” a manichean take on our unraveling society

Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloe Sevigny
Directed by Jim Jarmusch

After planetary disaster strikes the planet one naturally turns to country-music for solace. Wouldn't you? I would. The country song used in Jim Jarmusch's "The Dead Don't Die" was written by Grammy-nominated country music singer Sturgill Simpson for the movie and keeps making an encore throughout the film. The song is a mantra, something for the inhabitants of a small American town named ... more >

amazinggrace-arethafranklin

PARTING WORDS: “Amazing Grace”

The documentary “Amazing Grace,” the filmed version of an Aretha Franklin concert in a black church, was originally filmed in 1972 by Sidney Pollack. The problem—lack of synchronization between image and sound—that prevented the project from being completed, has finally been fixed thanks to digital technology. That which gives us a superb and moving moment of music and film history and ... more >

maryharron-movienews

WE’RE NOT IN WONDERLAND ANYMORE, ALICE, revisiting the Manson family murders with “Charlie Says” filmmaker Mary Harron

Matt Smith, Hannah Murray, Sosie Bacon and Marianne Rendón
Directed by Mary Harron

Director Mary Harron has had a fascinating journey on her way to the Tribeca Film Festival. Her earlier film “American Psycho” tells the story of a demented killer. “The Notorious Bettie Page” was a historic period piece. With “Charlie Says,” a historic period piece about a demented killer, she’s completed the circle. The story of Charles Manson and his infamous crimes has been told before, ... more >

blindspotting-screencomment55

What everybody ought to know about “Blindspotting”

Daveed Diggs and Raphael Casal

Race, class, social injustice. Our country has struggled with these since forever and cinema provides the means to address issues and heed the call of activism and resistance through art. In these dangerously unstable times “Blindspotting” has led the charge and turned the camera on us. When the film came out last year, it was a striking debut for first-time filmmaker Carlos Lopez Estrada ... more >

Wesley Wales Anderson was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Texas Ann (Burroughs), is an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and PR. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson's parents divorced when he was a young child, an event that he described as the most crucial event of his brothers and his growing up. During childhood, Anderson also began writing plays and making super-8 movies. He was educated at Westchester High School and then St. John's, a private prep school in Houston, Texas, which was later to prove an inspiration for the film Rushmore (1998). Anderson attended the University of Texas in Austin, where he majored in philosophy. It was there that he met Owen Wilson. They became friends and began making short films, some of which aired on a local cable-access station. One of their shorts was Bottle Rocket (1993), which starred Owen and his brother Luke Wilson. The short was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was successfully received, so much so that they received funding to make a feature-length version. Bottle Rocket (1996) was not a commercial hit, but it gained a cult audience and high-profile fans, which included Martin Scorsese. Success followed with films such as Rushmore (1998), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and an animated feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). The latter two films earned Anderson Oscar nominations.

Editorial: Happy Birthday, Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson turns fifty today. 50 is a big deal. If you've come this far it probably means one, or both, of two things: (1) you've got awesome survival skills and (2) you're the type of person who looks forward to whatever comes next. I wonder how the passage of time has affected Wes Anderson, our great American filmmaker. Does the spark to create more easily? Or, rather, do he fall into a new ... more >

steven-spielberg

Editorial: Spielberg spoke. Nobody listened.

In an odd reactionary display, Steven Spielberg had recently called for a change in the Academy Awards eligibility criteria in order to rule out any chance for the streaming platform Netflix to be able to throw nominees in the race for an Oscar. He lost. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), which is responsible for handing down the Oscars, announced last week that it ... more >

birdsofpassage-screencomment2356

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: “Birds of Passage”

Carmiña Martínez, José Acosta and Natalia Reyes
Directed by Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra

With "Birds of Passage" Ciro Guerra, alongside co-director Cristina Gallego, continues his work as historiographer of South America. Guerra is known for his previous work, “El Abrazo de la Serpiente” (“Embrace of the serpent” in the Spanish original), in which a shaman from the Amazon teams up with scientists in searching for a sacred healing plant. This is the first time that Gallego goes behind ... more >