July 26, 1980
When Alfred Hitchcock died, Mark Crispin Miller wrote this impassioned defense of Hitchcock's legacy against the onslaught of his critics, citing him as "among the greatest artists of this century."
If it’s a new year, it’s a new Woody Allen movie. And if it’s a new Woody Allen movie, it’s a new round of Allen treating us to his philosophy of life. One need not have studied The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious to understand that behind all of Allen’s jokes about how we are all going to die is a decidedly un-funny fear of death, because he is all too happy to spell it out, explicitly, ponderously, pretentiously, insufferably, in his films and in interviews surrounding his films.
Larry David might look like a new agey Moses in his HBO movie Clear History, which premiered Saturday night, but somehow the wild facial hair and flowing pants only serve to make him seem more like Larry David. He doesn’t play a role so much as demonstrate the stubborn transcendence of his persona: Even disguised in the shell of a new character, he sets about delivering nitpicky rants and torpedoing casual social interactions with his neuroticism.
It's been a tough summer for the film industry. A number of high profile films have tanked at the box office, and even Steven Spielberg—the man commonly assumed to have birthed the blockbuster era—is predicting the "implosion" of Hollywood.
And what's right about 'Burning Bush'
Turning from "The Newsroom" to “Burning Bush” is to go back in time and to come forward in sensibility.
Our Nixon is the title of a documentary presented by CNN and some non-political friends, which—again with an implying title—seems set to give us the inside scoop on Nixon’s career. Penny Lane, the director, became interested, she says, when she learned that, along with the known material, there was a large body of videotaped material that had never been seen. This point is never completely explained. But she states that the film was produced entirely from previously extant material, which makes it especially interesting.
'Lovelace,' 'The Canyons,' and 'Ray Donovan' reviewed.
Lessons from the action flick '2 Guns'
The new Denzel Washington–Mark Wahlberg action comedy, lamely titled 2 Guns, feels like a throwback to an earlier era. The fight and chase scenes don’t have much CGI, the villains are drug-dealers and corrupt government officials rather than megalomaniacs or cyber-criminals, and most of the fun comes from the banter between the two leads.
Joshua Oppenheimer on 'The Act of Killing'
An interview with the director of perhaps the most disturbing film about genocide ever made.
Michael Cera gets high, and highly annoying, in 'Crystal Fairy'
Critics, including me, have been teasing the arrival of Michael Cera's manhood—or his man-childhood, anyway—for so many years now that you’d be forgiven for thinking the actor was still a teenager, and a virgin to boot.