Monthly Archives: January 2013

Mama (Andrés Muschietti, 2013)

If you are a young director, having your work noticed by someone like Guillermo Del Toro, someone who is beloved by both critics and audiences for his recognizable visual style and imaginative storytelling is probably a dream come true. For Andrés Muschietti, that’s exactly what happened, and Del Toro agreed to executive produce Mama, which […]

Out Of Sight (Steven Soderbergh, 1998)

Sometime after Pulp Fiction had already spawned a dozen knock-offs and Quentin Tarantino had moved on to the more substantial Jackie Brown, Steven Soderbergh was taking his own Pulp Fiction­-infused look at Elmore Leonard with Out Of Sight. More of a straight-shooter than the homage-heavy Jackie Brown but possessing all the time jumping and black […]

Broken Embraces (Pedro Almodóvar, 2009)

No working director plays with conventions of genre as well as Pedro Almodóvar. No matter which genre he is sending up, he is always capable of putting his own twist on it, making his films both glaringly auteuristic and, if not a bit dark at times, unashamedly commercial. His art-house sensibilities are candy for cinephiles […]

Like Crazy (Drake Doremus, 2011)

Like Crazy the Grand Jury Prize winner at 2011’s Sundance Film Festival is an actor’s piece. Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin, who play the couple Anna and Jacob, improvise all of their dialogue and do a pretty good job with inhabiting it. It’s more than a little sappy, but it’s also the type of “butterflies […]

Mandabi (Ousmane Sembène, 1968)

I am still a newcomer to the films of Ousmane Sembène, but even with my limited experience, it is clear that his cinema is an intensely political one; colonialism, race, corruption, and religion surface time and time again as Sembène’s observational style remains consistent. Most recently I watched Mandabi (the other two I have seen […]

Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)

For a while, it looked like Margaret was doomed to become one of those lost classics, to be tepidly received initially and seen scantly, if at all. Kenneth Lonergan, often cited as one of the two most important American playwrights of his generation (alongside Tony Kushner), writer of Gangs of New York and writer-director of […]

Primer (Shane Carruth, 2004)

If there is one plot device that incites the masses to freak out time and time again, to be both lazy and scrutinizing, it’s time travel. If you do it wrong, you have a Looper, where every time-travel related incident in the entire film becomes the object of a viewer’s tirade about plot holes. If […]