With two grim milestones passed -- the fifth year of war and the 4,000th soldier killed in action -- it would seem prime time for the presidential candidates to push the issue in their campaigns. John McCain, for one, seems to have pretty much taken it for granted that the war has been won (winning = endless U.S. military presence) and is setting the groundwork for a similar intractable, bloody and unrthinkably costly conflict in Iran?xml:namespace>
Anthony Minghella, who died unexpectedly Tuesday at the age of 54
, made some films that were truly great (“The Talented Mr. Ripley”), some that were madly overrated (“The English Patient”) and others that
were deeply flawed (“Cold
Mountain”). In all of
them, however, he demonstrated the same principles: reverence for the art of
film, ambition to push that art to its limits, a sincere humility and an
engaging sense of humor.
Last year I had the chance to talk with director Ang Lee on the
occasion of the release of his steamy, unrated film “Lust, Caution.” Ever the
champion of beautiful young women who appear naked on screen, I asked him if he
was concerned about the impact the film would have on Tang Wei, who engages
with Tony Leung in numerous graphic and anatomically challenging sexual acts.
The heated, ongoing Democratic presidential nomination contest might be an interesting historical footnote, but what really concerns most Americans at the moment is, what’s wrong with Oscar? I thought the ceremony went rather briskly this time, but then again I was also eating pizza, doing the Sunday “Times” crossword puzzle and paying my bills (don’t ask!) while watching.
what a terrific motion picture “Chicago,”
winning the Oscar and all a few years back. But who knew it’s been made into
eight sequels already? Where was I when this happened? We’re already up to “Chicago 10” already and
having seen the movie, I don’t see how it ties in. At least it doesn’t have
Richard Gere tap dancing.
Now, as far as I know, unlike the ill-fated “The Signal,” “Chicago
10” is still in the theaters. So I can run
the lengthy phone interview I conducted with the director, Brett Morgen. And
it’s a good thing, because I think this part animated, part archival recreation
of the events leading up to the anti-war demonstrations at the Democratic
National Convention in 1968 and the subsequent trial of
the “ringleaders” provides some useful services.