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Oscar Reading

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Books, Posts

Movie Awards By Tom O’Neil (Perigee, 804 pages, $19.95) "Critics should not discuss the Academy Awards," one of our most venerable film critics cautioned. That they indulge Oscar babble anyway only shows their nonseriousness. Critics’ overreliance on Hollywood as the measure of artistic standards makes them no different from the rest of the media and [&hellip
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Rohmer’s A Summer’s Tale; De Niro in 15 Minutes

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

"Are three girls at one time enough?" That’s the unnerving question at the heart of A Summer’s Tale, the 1996 Eric Rohmer movie that will finally have its American premier March 14-15, wrapping up Film Forum’s Rohmer retrospective. This would seem to be the most accessible segment of Rohmer’s Tales of the Four Seasons–his quartet’s [&hellip
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The Caveman’s Holiday is Bourgie Nonsense; The Fine Gleaners and I

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

Videocam in hand, 72-year-old Agnes Varda proves herself the nimblest thinker at work in the popular cinema. (Jean-Luc Godard, most recently represented in the Museum of Modern Art’s splendid commission The Old Place, has been pushed outside the popular realm.) Varda’s four-decade commitment to both fiction and nonfiction shows that she, more than any other [&hellip
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3000 Miles to Graceland Is a Fair Assessment of American Ambition Gone Wrong; Monkeybone’s an Ingenious Satire

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

Sideburns, ducktails, money, blood and sex–that’s the satirical surface of 3000 Miles to Graceland. Underneath is a pretty fair assessment of American ambition gone wrong. Kevin Costner plays Murphy, a sociopath obsessed with Elvis Presley who rounds up a gang to rob a Las Vegas casino during an Elvis imitators’ convention. If the symbolism’s bloated, [&hellip
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Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron’s Contrived Sweet November

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

When Sweet November was first made in 1968, it commented on that era’s free love and promiscuity by turning it into schmaltz. Sandy Dennis played a young woman who only keeps lovers a month at a time as a means of assuaging her terminal illness. (She wasn’t loose but liberated and practical.) Bringing back this [&hellip
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The Widow of Saint-Pierre and In the Mood for Love: Two Good Romantic Movies

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

Two current romantic movies–Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love and Patrice Leconte’s The Widow of Saint-Pierre–are marked by restraint. Wong’s film is about amatory attraction between a man and woman who are married to other people, while Leconte’s concerns a couple’s obsessive caretaking of a prisoner condemned to death–love as the highest state of [&hellip
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Lame Slasher Flick Valentine Has Nothing on De Palma’s The Fury

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

The Fury Directed by Brian De Palma Brian De Palma’s The Fury is one of the greatest stylistic achievements in movie history. Each sequence of its thriller plot plays out a spectacular event that conveys the emotional anguish of the characters, exciting your eyes and senses. Lots of crude thrillers are pitched to your nervous [&hellip
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Jennifer Lopez Plays Italian in The Wedding Planner

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

Even Italian girls like Jennifer Lopez, but that’s no reason she has to play one. Cast as Mary Fiori, the lead character in the romantic comedy The Wedding Planner, Lopez has a working girl amiability that is recognizable across ethnic identities. In her clinging but chicly tailored suits, the film and recording star brings back [&hellip
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Whitegirl Julia Stiles in Save the Last Dance

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

When Oliver Stone paraded Cameron Diaz, the white girl of the moment, through Any Given Sunday’s football locker room and posed her next to a black player with the most ostentatious black phallus in the history of Hollywood cinema, American moviegoers everywhere suddenly understood semiotics. (A friend asked me which I thought was more radical: [&hellip
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Guy Ritchie’s Cruel, Juvenile, Fashionable Snatch; Bergman’s Persona

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

Persona Directed by Ingmar Bergman After an instance of deliberate, personal cruelty–and only midway through the movie–Ingmar Bergman brings Persona to a halt. The film literally burns a hole on the screen, the image unwinds from the reels, the projector stops. It’s one of the great moral and esthetic moments in movie history. Young Brit [&hellip
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