Author Archive

Like Kevin Costner, Thirteen Days is Solid

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

In a few years people will see how hokey Traffic is. By that time there might be wide appreciation for Kevin Costner’s good taste and companionable acting and director Roger Donaldson’s skillful technique in Thirteen Days. For now the nation’s political weariness puts Thirteen Days in an unfair position. After the electoral battle of the [&hellip
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Schnabel’s Before Night Falls Is a Fine Way for a Filmmaker to Conduct His Career

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

Before Night Falls Directed by Julian Schnabel That combination of vision and compassion–also apparent in Schnabel’s new film about the late Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas, Before Night Falls–is a fine way for a filmmaker to conduct his career. So far Schnabel’s movies suggest an impasto. Personal, biographical details amass so that his subjects’ complexity–their emotional [&hellip
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The House of Mirth is as Spellbinding and Sorrowful as a Cello.

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

The House Of Mirth Directed by Terence Davies Capturing different moments of Lily’s devastation, Davies’ artistry goes beyond the still life in exactly the way that cinema supersedes painting and photography; it conveys emotions (or the ineffable) beneath the surface view of Lily’s world. In the mansions, plush interiors and formal social gatherings, the characters [&hellip
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With Finding Forrester, Gus Van Sant’s Gone Hollywood for Good

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

Finding Forrester buries Gus Van Sant’s first film Mala Noche under layers of sanctimony and sentimentality. Years after showing an hermetic older white man drawn toward young Latino boys, here Van Sant casts Sean Connery as Forrester, a reclusive author–and apparently the last white man in the South Bronx. From his tenement perch, Forrester scopes [&hellip
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Ed Harris’ Jackson Pollock Biopic: Nice Try, But He Doesn’t Pull It Off

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

Celebrity worship is such an epidemic that adding a biography of Jackson Pollock to the heap is less necessary than an understanding of his art and how it became important. Even more impressive would be an examination of how the New York art world’s hierarchy and Pollock’s neuroses converged to create a movement’s heroic figure. [&hellip
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M. Night Shyamalan’s Racist Game

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

It Will Never Stop Unbreakable is the Birth of a Nation of our day. Not in terms of greatness or innovation; it simply embraces noxious attitudes that many people hold without question or shame. Like Birth, it is most dangerous in precisely the moments some people find "entertaining"–when its childish story lulls their consciousness, or [&hellip
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Philip Kaufman’s Poor Quills Takes on Sade; Joaquin Phoenix in The Yards

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

Writer Richard Torres nailed Philip Kaufman, the director of Quills, as "the Zalman King of art filmmakers." That was a few years back, referring to Kaufman’s spuriously "adult" features The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Henry & June. In Quills, a travesty biography of the last years the Marquis de Sade spent incarcerated at the [&hellip
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Charlie’s Angels:Dopey Fun and the Infantilization of World Cinema

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

Rock DJ directed by Vaughan Arnell "He’s a boy’s boy," actor Sam Rockwell praised his Charlie’s Angels director McG (born Joseph McGinty Mitchell). That explanation needs explanation. It doesn’t mean McG has gone in for hardcore violence or hardcore sex, but has availed himself of the youthful privilege to be lighthearted–even to make a girls’ [&hellip
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Brit Teen Unrealism

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

Brit Teen Unrealism Both Billy Elliot and Ratcatcher only want audiences to have a good time, the first through indulging escapism, the second by overindulging misery. These movies desecrate the admirable grasp on social observation and dramatic expression that that earlier Brit new wave (inspired by postwar documentary renaissance) achieved so beautifully. Neither of the [&hellip
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George Washington is a Great, Great Film

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

George Washington directed by David Gordon Green First, full disclosure: I initially saw George Washington unawares as a jury member at the Newport International Film Festival last summer. My fellow jurors and I had never seen anything like it. We unanimously agreed to award it the three top prizes within our mandate (Best Film, Best [&hellip
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