About Lee Gardner
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A Pair of Mumblecore Vets Find New Possibilities in 'Frances Ha' and 'Computer Chess'
Published 11/27/2013 at 2:04 p.m.
At this late date, a platonic romcom crossed with a coming-of-age tale shouldn’t have Frances Ha’s freshness, its sparkle, its gimlet-eyed shrewdness about character, its genuine emotional wallop.
Some Things Never Change: Yet More Badly Written Female Characters, Led by 'Lovelace'
Published 11/13/2013 at 12:14 p.m.
Fellow writer and film nerd Violet LeVoit made a solid case recently that Deep Throat is of such cultural and historical significance that it should be added to U.S. National Film Registry alongside Citizen Kane and the Zapruder film. No ...
Sailing Into Uncharted Territory With 'A Hijacking' and 'Leviathan'
Published 10/30/2013 at 11:11 a.m.
No one could blame you if you felt you’d had your fill of films featuring mensch-y cargo-ship crews versus Somali pirates. But if Captain Phillips didn’t totally top you off, consider making time for A Hijacking (Magnolia DVD, Blu-ray, and ...
'Room 237' Sheds Light on the Craziest Interpretations of Stanley Kubrick’s 'The Shining'
Published 10/16/2013 at 11:26 a.m.
“I’m gonna make a little bit of a leap here.” Yeah, no kidding. By the time you hear an unseen speaker say those words, you’re well down the rabbit hole that is Room 237 (MPI DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming), a ...
Olivier Assayas and Sofia Coppola Catch the Complicated Moods of Two Very Different Eras
Published 10/02/2013 at 11:21 a.m.
A fun experiment that perhaps one could have conducted at some hypothetical groovy multiplex earlier this year: Switch the digital prints on audiences waiting to see Olivier Assayas’ Something in the Air (MPI DVD and streaming) and Sofia Coppola’s The ...
Three Veteran Bands From the Furthest Edges of Rock Confirm Their Relevance
Published 10/02/2013 at 10:31 a.m.
Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast) should blow anyone expecting a nostalgic reverie back about five steps. In fact, it’s soon clear that a coupla dudes on the far side of 40 went and waxed one of the best, most vital metal ...
Four Directors Focus on the Drama of Brutality, With Mixed Results
Published 09/18/2013 at 3:35 p.m.
Canadian director Kim Nguyen’s War Witch begins at the kind of emotional pitch most films never reach—a self-orphaning—and it doesn’t let up, or let down, from there.
'Kon-Tiki' and 'Europa Report' Demonstrate the Perils of Old-School Adventure
Published 09/04/2013 at 10:52 a.m.
Why do we go to the movies? Well, lots of reasons, but one of the easiest and most common answers involves living other lives, experiencing thrills and dangers unlike the routines of our ordinary lives. In a word: adventure. It ...
Arthouse Auteur Wong Kar-wai’s Kung-Fu Epic 'The Grandmaster' Is a Mixed-Up Mess
Published 09/04/2013 at 10:36 a.m.
Discerning movie lovers have learned to turn to Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-wai for neo-Nouvelle Vague romance, for Asian gamines and 24-hour urban bustle and yearning glances, for bittersweet shaggy-dog stories of missed connections and lonely apartments. Kung fu, not ...
Lost in Paradise: Three New Foreign Films Explore the Line Between Fantasy and Reality
Published 08/21/2013 at 10:33 a.m.
It’s somewhat comforting to think that the country that once gave us Fellini and Antonioni is as obsessed with tawdry reality TV as we are here in multiplex land.