Many years ago, let's say 30 or so, I was a regular reader of "The Boston Phoenix" in part because of the writing of Clif Garboden: it was eloquent, witty, informed, impassioned and ferocious in its commitment and ideals. And, more often than not, it was also very funny (his "Hot Dots" column, a preview of the week's TV programming, was a comic mini-masterpiece).
That Guillermo Del Toro is a busy guy.
In between nurturing the Mexican Film
New Wave with co-Amigos Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu with their production company
Cha Cha Cha, working on
a two part adaptation of Tolkein's "The Hobbit," and much, much more, the auteur
behind "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Hellboy"
is writing a trilogy of novels (co-authored by Chuck Hogan,
who also wrote "Prince of Thieves," now being adapted into "The Town" by Ben
Affleck, shooting in Boston as we speak and looking for local actors)
about a plague of vampirism titled "The Strain
You can't title a film "Antichrist" and not expect to get a
few extra blog postings from me. And some awards from the jaded cinephiles at Cannes. In a rare stab at
irony, the Ecumenical Jury presented Lars Von Trier's transgressive saturnalia
with its ad hoc "Anti-prize." They objected to its gruesome misogyny, including
[SPOILER] a scene involving a pair of scissors and a part of the female anatomy.
I haven't seen Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist"
yet, but after reading various descriptions of it, I was thinking that it
sounded just like a film that could have been made by the crazy Chilean
director, the now octogenarian Alejandro Jodorowsky, the guy who gave us "El
Topo" (1970) and "The Holy Mountain" and "Santa Sangre" (1989).
Is art just a futile attempt to cover up trauma and an
illusory substitute for loss? Is the internet, like cinema, a reflection of the
subconscious processes of the mind? Sometimes I wonder how these people have
the patience to put up with me, asking questions like that.
PK: I was reading Roger Ebert's review of
your film "Ararat," and he's saying that it's a very powerful story, but why do
you have to make it so difficult, , why not just tell one of the stories
instead of having it a film within a film and so forth.
Lisa Nesselson, our guest correspondent at this year's Cannes Film Festival, graces this blog with her account of what's transpired so far, including the long awaited appearance of "Antichrist,"the latest opus from self-confessed "world's greatest filmmaker," Lars Von Trier.
We're, like, five days into the 62nd Cannes Film Festival,
and I gotta tell you, "Agora" rocks and "Kinatay"
I was about ten minutes into the Criterion DVD of "The
Friends of Eddie Coyle" (1974 | $29.95 | it will be coming out tomorrow)
when it occurred to me that every film
worth seeing involves crime, the mob or neighborhood gangs. Is that the city I
live in? What happened to the Freedom Trail, the Red Sox, stuffy Brahmins,
Henry James, the Kennedys, the Blue Laws or "Make Way For Ducklings?"
Also: sex. [Part 1 of this interview appears here.]
PK: It's sort of like a repository of the subconscious of
everybody who is using it.
Every new film by Atom Egoyan is
a cinema event. Some are masterpieces -- "Exotica" (1994) and
"The Sweet Hereafter" (1997) are two of the best films of the 90s, and the latter I would put on my top ten
for that decade. Even when they do not totally satisfy -- I had some
reservations about his new film "Adoration"--
they inevitably provoke thoughts about such issues as identity, innocence,
guilt and the role of technology.
Perhaps in order to combat the juggernaut of "Star Trek" which probably will be dominating the screens when her film "The Girlfriend Experience" comes out next month, Sasha Grey made this porn parody. I say, more power to her. She will go far.
PK: One of the things, in the other interviews I've read,
that really bugs you, is when people think that all people in your line of work
Sasha Grey has said that before she settled on her current
name she had considered calling herself Anna Karina, after Jean-Luc Godard's
muse, lover and star of his own take on the prostitute experience, "Vivre sa vie
I find her more on the tough cookie side a la Julie Christie in "McCabe &
Mrs. Miller "(1971).
Twenty years ago Steven Soderbergh started his career and
rebooted Independent Cinema with a film about a lonely guy who got his jollies
by watching videos of women talking about their sex lives. This depiction of
sex at three degrees of separation, of media engendered narcissism, voyeurism
and onanism, was called "sex, lives and videotape
Having called it so well when it came to Iraq,
John Podhoretz turns his acute neo-conservative analytical mind to something
else he knows nothing about -- movies. In "Thinking on Film," his apparently ironically
titled column in "The Weekly Standard," Podhoretz tells us why the end of the film criticism profession is a good
Most people get annoyed when I try to read politics into
popular movies, so I'm somewhat relieved that I'm not the first one to notice
the Spock/Obama connection made clear in the latest "Star Trek." Such as: both
are mixed race, both are logical, both have funny ears and are in love with an
African American woman.
What would an interview be without an annoying digression
about misogyny? In this case it might be more germane than usual, what with
Tyson spending time in prison on a rape conviction. Toback, though, proves more
than up to the task. We don't even get a chance to talk about ear-biting.
PK: One of the criticisms of the movie is
that you don't offer any other point of view than that of Tyson when it comes
to the accusations of abuse in his marriage to Robin Givens and his conviction
for raping Desiree Washington.