Author Archive

Moulin Rouge Offers Techno Gimmicks and Cultural Mishmash as New Thrills; See Zhang Yimou’s The Road Home Instead

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

Prevailing non-wisdom says that the movie musical is dead. But that can only be so for critics who haven’t noticed the genre’s rebirth over the past two decades as the music video. Maybe that’s why so many have fallen for Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge. Media muckers have acclaimed Moulin Rouge with a blind enthusiasm tantamount [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Striporama Preserves the Roots of Pop Pornography; A Knight’s Tale Mixes Period Comedy with Smirky Postmodernism

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

Two burlesque comics (Jack Diamond and Mandy Price way past their prime) perform moldy shtick on a stagy set (resembling an SRO, it’s virtually a projection of lonely old men’s seedy private worlds). After some rickety routines and cornball jokes, the men don pajamas and climb in bed together, putting a pin-up poster under their [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

The Mummy Returns and the Trivialization of Movies

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

Time and Tide Directed by Tsui Hark In his shrewdly timed academic study Planet Hong Kong (Harvard University Press), Prof. David Bordwell analyzes the trivialization of movies. It comes at the precise moment crouching critics have revealed themselves to be hidden nerds. What Bordwell discovers about Hong Kong action films goes way beyond their mind-boggling fascination [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Beatty in Town & Country; Shinji Aoyama’s Eureka

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

Knives are out for the accident-prone Town & Country, the Warren Beatty comedy that first began filming three years ago. But don’t trust those blade-sharpening insiders and player-haters. They probably liked You’ve Got Mail, Chasing Amy and Bridget Jones’s Diary–sex comedies with far less wit and imagination than Town & Country still has in its [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Merchant-Ivory Cracks The Golden Bowl; Kingdom Come’s Downhome Comedy

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

Merchant-Ivory’s film of Henry James’ The Golden Bowl is irremediably cracked (the narrative is ragged, scenes play like takes during a rehearsal, its release was delayed a full year after rumors of a calamitous reception at Cannes) but somehow those misfortunes also go toward making it the duo’s most interesting classical adaptation. (They couldn’t do [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Josie and the Pussycats; Morgan Freeman in Along Came a Spider

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

Remember the Spice Girls? Their bawdy individuality is what’s missing from Josie and the Pussycats, a movie so caught up in synergy–the new evil of the commercial world–that it cannot adequately spoof the consumerism it worships. This comic book/tv cartoon adaptation presents Rachael Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson and Tara Reid as a girl rock band [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Walken, in Jonze’s New Video; Bridget Jones’s Diary

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

Success hasn’t mellowed Christopher Walken. He seems to have grown more blissfully sinister. Except for John Malkovich, no American movie actor has been as interestingly creepy. That’s the most immediate idea in Weapon of Choice, Spike Jonze’s new music video for Fatboy Slim, and Jonze’s first significant work since Being John Malkovich. The title of [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Tomcats is Classically Crass: Johnny Depp in the Drug Epic Blow

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

Not since Van Halen’s Hot for Teacher music video has a single film been so classically crass as Tomcats. Take that as an endorsement. This latest variation on the teen sex comedy has its notable gross-outs, but its best moments are memorably funny. Writer-director Gregory Poirier finds screwball comedy’s vulgar roots–a considerable achievement, distinct from [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

A Comedy-Drama Set in Modern-Day Senegal

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

Great old advertising copy for Susan Hayward’s 1947 Smash-Up proclaimed: "Filmed on location–INSIDE A WOMAN’S SOUL!" A similar boast could be made–and with some seriousness–for Ousmane Sembene’s Faat-Kine. The comedy-drama set in modern-day Senegal observes special details of an African female’s life, but you can see Sembene is simultaneously mapping out the nation-state, tracking psycho-political [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Seagal’s Exit Wounds; Iran’s The Day I Became a Woman Pulls Off What U.S. Films Can’t

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

Explosions, car wrecks and killings used to be called the "money shots" of action movies because they guaranteed box office. Now they serve an additional purpose of yanking sullen, downtrodden masses out of their humiliation and lethargy. Can’t kill the boss? Sam Jackson will annihilate hundreds of Arabs for you (Rules of Engagement). Not making [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

..