Kauffmann: Films Worth Seeing
February 19, 2010
Ajami. In a multi-ethnic district of the city of Jaffa, Arabs and Jews struggle among themselves and with one another in various prisms of crime and love. Co-directed by a Palestinian and an Israeli, it is swift, vital, and gripping. (In our upcoming 3/11/10 issue.) The Messenger. Two U.S.
January 30, 2010
The White Ribbon Sony Pictures Classics Creation Newmarket Films Michael Haneke, whose new film is called The White Ribbon, has given it a subtitle: A German Children’s Story. That is warning enough. This Austrian director is by now so distinctively established as a connoisseur of darkness--with Funny Games, about neighborliness as murder; with Caché, about the past seeping into the present; with The Piano Teacher, about the animal in the civilized--that his dainty subtitle must be seen as a deadpan tease.
CBS Owns Showtime, Showtime Partners With Oliver Stone, Oliver Stone Is a Historical Fabricator ... And Hates Democracy Besides
January 12, 2010
And Showtime is about to present, in a ten-part miniseries, Oliver Stone’s “Secret History of America.” Don’t you wonder why, if Stone (and Michael Moore, for that matter) is right about the evils of capitalism, an enormous capitalist corporation has produced--and will now show--what is, almost by self-advertisement, a nutcase reconstruction of the American past, focusing on its enemies, who he seems to think have been traduced by historians? Someone named Jackson Creswell, from a website called Collider, seems to think that Stone “revel[s] in political controversy ...
January 11, 2010
The whole silly book is lit up with the superficial melodrama of scandal. Whereas Hollywood is so much more level-headed.
Killing Kazstner. Killing Who?
October 27, 2009
You probably don't know who Rudolf Kasztner was. But, actually, I've know about him since I was a teenager. Was he a Jewish hero? Or was he a traitor to the Jews? I can still hear the familiar piercing locutions of my parents' bad marriage, fought out over politics, Jewish politics, daily, unrelenting, almost viperous. My mother was for him, this Dr.
A Little Late, Absolutely Devastating
October 13, 2009
I don't much like their Nation. And it, for that matter, doesn't like our nation. But, every so often, Calvin Trillin writes something that tells truth to his own. What Whoopi Goldberg ('Not a Rape-Rape'), Harvey Weinstein ('So-Called Crime') et al. Are Saying in their Outrage Over the Arrest of Roman Polanski Deadline Poet By Calvin Trillin October 7, 2009 A youthful error?
Attitudes, Plus Love
October 03, 2009
David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews With Hideous Men has been adapted for the screen. Well, parts of it have been adapted--chiefly, the four parts that bear the same title as the book and the film. Wallace’s book is a miscellany of prose outbursts, some that soar in known styles, some that fling aside known styles, some of deliberate wildness. The book evokes much the same reaction as does Godard.
Kauffmann: Films Worth Seeing
October 03, 2009
The Baader Meinhof Complex. This German film about German terrorists of the 1970s is not only dynamically made and acted, it tries to tell the truth about the reason for the outbursts. Certainly there is a great deal of violence, but there is also some understanding of character and of political texture. (Reviewed 9/23/09) Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. The actor John Krasinski is not only in this film, he adapted and directed it. Drawn from David Foster Wallace’s fiction, it explores contemporary male attitudes toward women with less bravura than Wallace but with considerable insight an
Tucker Max Isn't Just A Jerk. He's Pitiable.
September 27, 2009
Few movies released in recent years--or, let's be honest, ever--look as abysmal as I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, a beer-and-boobs-saturated bro flick that came out Friday. Based on the book of the same name, the movie is a vehicle for popular blogger Tucker Max, whose claim to fame, put bluntly, is thinking that he's totally awesome because he parties and sleeps with women (allegedly). Lots of women (allegedly). And then, he writes about it. His blog, Tuckermax.com, begins with the salutation, "My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole." Charming.
The Movie Review: 'Fame'
September 25, 2009
Way back in 1980, when the Oscar-winning theme song of the movie Fame declared "I'm gonna live forever," it was easy to believe the lyric was an example of artistic license. Now, it's not so clear. With almost Biblical tenacity, the film begat a television series which begat a stage musical which begat a reality show. When that last iteration was cancelled after a single season in 2003, it was possible to imagine that the longest 15 minutes in show business history had finally ticked to a close.