'Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me': A Loving Tribute to one of the World’s Most Influential Yet Unsuccessful Bands
Published 8/7/2013 at 12:00 p.m. 0 comments
Big Star did change a lot of people’s heads. And if there’s any justice in the world, Nothing Can Hurt Me will only help that number grow.
Peter Farrelly’s 'Movie 43': The Return (or the End) of the Comedy Anthology?
Published 7/24/2013 at 11:40 a.m. 0 comments
What a weird time for the anthology film to be making a comeback.
Claude Lanzmann’s Restored 'Shoah' Gives Voice to the Survivors, Perpetrators, and Collaborators of the Polish Holocaust
Published 7/10/2013 at 10:34 a.m. 0 comments
This is a history told utterly in the now, on the spot, and related almost entirely by eyewitnesses.
Steven Soderbergh Directs a Surprise Ending in the Revelatory Thriller 'Side Effects'
Published 6/26/2013 at 11:35 a.m. 0 comments
You might be forgiven if you didn’t want to sit through 106 minutes of sad, wan Manhattanite Emily (Rooney Mara) struggling with depression. Not that director Steven Soderbergh doesn’t make her story compelling, but his latest film, Side Effects, definitely ...
'Scum' and 'Life Is Sweet' Serve Up Divergent Views of the British Working Class
Published 6/12/2013 at 11:56 a.m. 0 comments
Scum and Life Is Sweet, a pair of older British films out now in new video editions, offer two contrasting and indelible visions of that most endlessly gawkable aspect of British life—its working class.
Haskel Wexler Blurs Fact and Fiction in 'Medium Cool'
Published 5/29/2013 at 12:01 p.m. 2 comments
Intermittently out of circulation since its 1969 debut, Medium Cool returns in a typically luxe new Criterion DVD/Blu-ray edition, and, despite some of its dated aspects, it retains a provocativeness as bright and pungent as a fresh coat of paint.
Shane Carruth's Follows 'Primer' With the Perplexing But Rewarding 'Upstream Color'
Published 5/15/2013 at 12:11 p.m. 0 comments
That Upstream Color even exists represents both a triumph and a rebuke to the mainstream film-production system that couldn’t spring for a work this daring and, for all its polish, most likely inexpensive.
'Repo Man'’s Class Anger Still Seethes Almost 30 Years Later
Published 5/1/2013 at 11:38 a.m. 0 comments
Without putting too much weight or importance behind what a bunch of now-elderly former youths once wanted to express, one of the key things that keeps the spirit of punk alive, or at least on life support, is class anger. ...
Film Critic and Documentarian Mark Cousins Explores a Very Personal 'Story of Film'
Published 4/17/2013 at 11:08 a.m. 0 comments
Most people who’ve been halfway paying attention know the story of film, or at least some version of it. Eadweard Muybridge, Thomas Edison, jerky silents, talkies, glossy Hollywood studios, the New Wave, the ’70s, Star Wars, indies, CGI, something like ...
Terence Malick’s 40-Year-Old 'Badlands' Well Suited for the 21st Century
Published 3/27/2013 at 11:52 a.m. 0 comments
Terrence Malick’s trademark lyricism was in full bloom in Badlands, his very first film, and many of his auteurial touches well established. But the Criterion Collection’s new DVD/Blu-ray issue reintroduces a film that’s far flintier and more fraught than Malick’s ...
Getting Lost With 'The Loneliest Planet' and 'Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow'
Published 3/13/2013 at 11:07 a.m. 0 comments
As writer/director Julia Loktev’s elliptical style and carefully parsed feed of information telegraph, the journey at the center of The Loneliest Planet (MPI DVD, download, and streaming) isn’t merely geographical, and the perils aren’t confined to getting lost.
Leos Carax Returns With the Baffling and Enigmatic 'Holy Motors'
Published 2/27/2013 at 10:58 a.m. 0 comments
Carax takes what may very well have started off as a hodgepodge of ideas and weaves them together into a tantalizingly cohesive whole, despite the constant puckish wrong-footing and tangents.
'Dredd' and Takashi Miike offer bloody upgrades
Published 2/13/2013 at 10:48 a.m. 0 comments
Dredd (Lionsgate) probably shouldn’t be any fun. It is an avowed attempt to undo the damage done to the vintage sci-fi comic’s rep by Judge Dredd, the hacktacular 1995 Sylvester Stallone vehicle, and it does so by doubling down on ...
'Detropia' and 'Five Broken Cameras' Offer Intimate Portraits of Communities in Decline and Conflict
Published 1/30/2013 at 11:50 a.m. 0 comments
There are more than 100,000 homes standing vacant in the city of Detroit, many of them fallen into what can only be characterized as ruin. Combined with equally vast tracts of crumbling industrial infrastructure, these acres of shambles have come ...
'Compliance' and the Rediscovered 'Wake in Fright' Depict Life Under Extreme Conditions
Published 1/23/2013 at 10:48 a.m. 0 comments
Compliance (Magnolia) would be a 15-minute short without the not-uncommon quality that gives it its title. Based (alarmingly closely) on actual events, writer/director Craig Zobel’s new film aims to get at the get-along/go-along relationship we have with power, and the ...