Author Archive

The Small-Town Surrealism of Desert Blue

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

Desert Blue directed by Morgan J. Freeman Casting and directing actors in ways that play to their strengths is a talent in itself. In both Streets and Blue, the Sexton character is a troubled hero who has a disordered home life (one parent is dead and the other is either a deceiver or deceived). He has an unlikely dream—in Streets, [&hellip
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Trekkies

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

Trekkies directed by Roger Nygard What is the nature of obsession? Almost any of the Star Trek fans who appear onscreen in Roger Nygard’s documentary Trekkies could answer that question. That is, they could answer it if they agreed that what there are engaged in is an obsession, as opposed to a hobby or interest. And most of them [&hellip
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Paulina directed by Vicky Funari

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

Paulina directed by Vicky Funari Plenty of people had it rough as children, but you’d have to look a long time to find somebody who had it rougher than Paulina Cruz Suarez, subject of the riveting nonfiction feature Paulina. In early adolescence, she got up the nerve to leave Mauro, traveled to Mexico City and returned to the town in [&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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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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Dr. Akagi

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

Dr. Akagi directed by Shohei Imamura The first time we see Dr. Akagi (Akira Emoto), he’s running. Not jogging, really running. Lungs heaving, arms pumping, shoes going slap-slap-slap on the ground as he rushes madly through the streets of his seaside hamlet. Like a man desperately hoping to prevent a murder a mile away–or a man hounded by unseen [&hellip
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The Faculty

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

The Faculty directed by Robert Rodriguez Hop in the Way Back Machine with me, dear Sherman, and we will revisit 1992. That was a year when hard-luck indie filmmaker stories still seemed fresh, and Robert Rodriguez trumped everybody. The struggling Austin auteur became an international sensation with El Mariachi, an amusing Tex-Mex Western spoof shot for $7000 or thereabouts, designed [&hellip
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