Once upon a time, Orson Welles is supposed to have lamented that he spent 95 percent of his life running around trying to raise money for movies and 5 percent making them. “It’s no way to live,” he concluded, but that imbalance lasted Welles until he was seventy, when he died, alone, in a cottage in the Hollywood hills. READ MORE >>
I don’t have a whole lot in common with Angelina Jolie, but we do share a terrifying family history of breast cancer. Like Jolie, I lost my mother to cancer—mine at 49, Jolie’s at 56. Also like Jolie, I decided to have the genetic test for the BRCA1 and 2 mutations, which, if present, indicate a severely increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer over a lifetime. READ MORE >>
Right from the start of his career, it was clear that Terrence Malick was out to challenge the conventions of the art to which he was dedicating himself. Even that first film, Badlands, showed some unconventional ideas about time. His subsequent films, varying in success, all showed an impulse to see, to realize, in an individual way. READ MORE >>
Analyzing the pro-life movement's dominant form of self-expression
The anti-abortion movement's defining medium used to be the poster, typically featuring a misleading photo of a stillborn fetus much older than most states' abortion laws allowed. These days, it's probably the undercover video. READ MORE >>
What makes his films so good is what hurts 'Family Tree'
Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries are small, perceptive oddities, so unblinkingly committed to the worlds they investigate that the comedy can seem almost accidental. This is Spinal Tap (1984) spoofs the pretensions and ambitions of aging rockers with mortal seriousness. Waiting for Guffman (1996) does the same for a community theater ensemble in small-town Missouri. Best in Show (2000) makes tightly-wound dog owners into fully likeable monsters. READ MORE >>
A sex symbol takes on a mullah in Pakistan's national elections
The Beautiful Atom Bomb was, in her time, a rare talent. She had a waist on a gyroscope that attached to an ample bottom, which she could shake with such alarming ferocity that the laws of physiology seemed reversed: She didn’t control it, it controlled her. Her vibrating posterior propelled her right across the movie screen like an outboard motor, and she would saddle up to a stunned onlooker, hindquarters aflutter, and induce an immediate relaxation of the jaw muscle. READ MORE >>
Stories We Tell is not just very moving; it is an exploration of truth and fiction that will stay with you long after repeated viewings. For a first screening of this picture is simply a way of getting in training for it. It is fiendishly difficult to review and to praise properly. This is not just documentary, but narrative magic. READ MORE >>
Five films later, Hollywood still doesn't get Fitzgerald's novel
F Scott Fitzgerald’s last royalty check was for $13.13. He died in Hollywood in 1940, a has-been at the age of 44. His young secretary at the time, Frances Kroll, writes in her memoir that when that final royalty statement came through from Scribner’s, “the handful of sales proved that the author, himself, was the only purchaser. He told me about it, laughing bitterly.” READ MORE >>
This twenty-first century Henry James update is too cute by half.
So the movie adaptation of What Maisie Knew has dropped the character of Mrs. Wix, but it does have Onata Aprile. Not that anyone should have settled for that enticing trade-off in making a picture based on the Henry James novel, published in 1897, and setting it in contemporary New York, READ MORE >>