The harried hero (Mohammed Bakri) of Rashid Masharawi's "Laila's
Birthday" has a few simple rules when it comes to people using his cab. First, put
on the seatbelt if you're in the front seat. Second, no smoking. Third, no
checkpoints. And finally, absolutely no automatic weapons. "You're robbing
yourself!" says one would-be customer toting an AK-47.
We suspect some of you may have missed the salient segment of Peter Keough's interview with Antichrist director Lars Von Trier this week, in which he revealed that Willem Dafoe required a stunt-cock for the film. And not, as in the case of Marky Wahlberg in Boogie Nights, because his member was insufficient for the part, but for the opposite reason: Dafoe's dick is just way too fucking huge:
After writing the onerous article on "Boston Noir" and attending
the "Boston Noir" book launch/reading at the Boston Book Festival (Dennis
Lehane should host a talk show; he's hilarious) I thought I'd fill in the gaps
in my noir knowledge by checking out the Columbia Film Noir Classics I
box set of five 50s B-ish films from that
genre, to be released by Sony and the
The ongoing Boston Palestine Film Festival (Oct. 16-Nov. 1) and the upcoming Boston Jewish
Film Festival (Nov. 4-15) take place, presumably
coincidentally, almost back to back. David Ridgen and Nicolas Rossier's "American
Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein," which screens as part of the Palestine
Festival tonight at 8:30 pm at the Museum
of Fine Arts (the
festival's other venues include The Coolidge Corner Theatre, the Harvard Film
Archive and others), would be an appropriate selection for both.
In which Lars von Trier explains which fox to trust:
PK: The fox I heard came to you in a shamanistic journey? Is
(laughs) That's right. Yes I did from time to time these shamanistic things. It's
a very long story, but it had to do with someone from my family being in the
hospital, and was dying, and then I read somewhere that by means of these
shamans in Brazilian tribes, you could kind of travel for another person.
A while ago we were wondering how Lars von Trier was doing
because it had been reported that he was very depressed
and felt like quitting movies. But now he's back with his most offensive movie to
date and he's still depressed and so is everyone who watches it! But let him do
the talking. Oh, and there are SPOILERS.
The other day I was astonished to find out that there was a
video game for Lars von Trier's "Antichrist." So it doesn't come as such a big
surprise that there is also one for Lehane's "Shutter Island."
And why not, since even Lehane concedes that the novel might be a dying art
form. Here's the conversation picking up at the point where Lehane responds to
how some fans resented his turning to the historical epic genre for his most
recent novel, "The Given Day."
Here's something I forgot to mention: Lehane's most recent
book "The Given Day", a
working class epic set in post-WW I Boston and points west that is a kind of local
noir version of Dos Passos's "USA," has recently come out in paperback and is also
in the process of being adapted for screen with Sam Raimi directing
If there had been no Dennis Lehane, it's safe to say that
Ben Affleck wouldn't be having an FBI SWAT team blasting away at Charlestown
bank robbers a few days ago a couple of blocks from where I live. He was
shooting a scene from "The Town," an adaptation of Boston author Chuck Hogan's novel "Prince of
Back in 2003 or so after Iraq
got squashed Syria
was being pushed as a likely candidate to take its place in the Axis of Evil.
I'm not sure what their status is now since the media and current
administration have stopped demonizing them for the time being, but the
country's image, it's safe to say, isn't one of a progressive, tourist friendly
country full of people who, surprise, are just like we are, only a little
As the ongoing David Letterman sex/blackmail scandal has unfolded a couple of things have gone through my mind. The first was a sense of relief that Letterman would no longer resort to any more Clinton jokes, which he seemed to have been doing as recently as just the other day. The other was more elusive. The whole story reminded me of something.
A couple of postings back I lamented the decline in civility in internet discourse. Well, that sure had an impact.
Here's what some of those who disagreed with my review of "Zombieland" (which topped the box office this week, taking in $25 million) had to say about it on the "Rotten Tomatoes" website:
I have been reading "Farber on Film: The Complete Film Writings
of Manny Farber," edited by Robert Polito (also contributing an illuminating introduction), which just came out yesterday.
Farber is best known for his seminal collection of film essays "Negative Space,"
but I am finding this more rewarding.