Hands on a Hardbody

Written by Godfrey Cheshire on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Hands on a Hardbody directed by S.R. Bindler This truly is the most threadbare time of the year for new film releases. Yet I find dependable entertainment value in a headline that invariably appears in the Times in late January. It reads something like “Documentaries Are the Surprise Favorites at This Year’s Sundance.” Granted, documentaries at Sundance and in general these days [&hellip
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Gloria

Written by Matt Zoller Seitz on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Gloria directed by Sidney Lumet John Cassavetes’ 1980 Gloria was easily that director’s most conventional feature, and frankly, it wasn’t very good–sort of a mobbed-up reworking of the Japanese comic book Lone Wolf and Cub, in which a lone warrior protects a child against legions of would-be assassins. It was a baldfaced bid for commercial success. But it had grimy [&hellip
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The 24 Hour Woman

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

The 24 Hour Woman directed by Nancy Savoca Ten years into her movie career, Rosie Perez plays a spoiled white woman’s fantasy in The 24 Hour Woman. This isn’t progress; it’s a trap. As Grace Santos, she suffers arriviste abundance: work at a New York television show, marriage to an up-and-coming actor, a comfortable apartment and fertility. Grace already has everything but [&hellip
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Playing by Heart

Written by Godfrey Cheshire on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Playing by Heart directed by Willard Carroll Movies that weave together three, four, five or more separate stories: We now see a sprinkling of these oddities every year. They’re generally independent productions, and usually melodramas, a form that allows for enough tonal variation that the films are seldom mistaken for each other. Altman’s Short Cuts is perhaps the best-known of the last [&hellip
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In Dreams

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

In Dreams directed by Neil Jordan Neil Jordan knows what the screen is for. That’s unusual for an artist who began in literature, but right for one who used words to evoke feelings and images. His new movie In Dreams overflows with sights that suggest an artist has opened up his subconscious for public display. This is not a gift to [&hellip
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Barrabas

Written by Ed Halter on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Barrabas by Louis Feuillade We have a theory that crime enhances beauty,” explains Mary Vivian Pearce, decked out like a dime-store Alice Faye, in John Waters’ Female Trouble. “The worse the crime gets, the more ravishing one becomes.” Artistic head of Gaumont studios in the silent 1910s, Feuillade created fast-paced crime serials that throb with dreamlike decadence. In a paroxysm [&hellip
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Hurlyburly

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Hurlyburly directed by Anthony Drazan Don’t miss Sean Penn’s extraordinary performance in Hurlyburly. I know for a fact that very few critics saw Hurlyburly at the time most of the awards groups voted (mea culpa) so no critics’ trophies point in the direction of Penn’s honesty and daring. But though Nick Nolte is prizeworthy (in Affliction or anything else), Penn’s [&hellip
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A Man Escaped

Written by Godfrey Cheshire on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

A Man Escaped directed by Robert Bresson What’s your favorite film?” It’s the most banal question a critic–or any cinephile–encounters, and therefore the most essential. It invariably springs from trivial circumstances. Cocktail party chatter, waiting in line for something or other: strangers trying to connect, through a slightly forced, artificial conviviality. The subject turns, warmingly, to movies, but when you ask [&hellip
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Children of Heaven

Written by Matt Zoller Seitz on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Children of Heaven directed by Majid Majidi Children of Heaven wrings more suspense from its modest story and characters than any recent foreign film I can recall. During the final sequence, I had knots in my stomach, partly because the movie was coming together in thrillingly unexpected ways, thanks to the filmmaker’s old-style craftsmanship–a rare thing in this era of MTV cinema–but [&hellip
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