After eleven years the Roxbury International Film Festival
looks like its going to expand its boundaries, and not just by adding the word
"International" to the title. They've got around fifty titles in their program
from several different countries and it runs from July 29 to August 1 at a
number of local venues including the MFA, the Wentworth Institute, Mass College
of Art, and others.
It's been a bad summer for winners of the Chlotrudis Society's Chloe
Award for Career So Far. Tracy Wright, who won the Award in 2007 for her indelible roles in such independent movies as Miranda July's "You
and Me and Everyone We Know," died on June 23 at age 50. She was the wife of actor and filmmaker
Don McKellar, who won the Chlotrudis Body of Work Award, also in 2007.
Producers and dealmakers in Hollywood are kicking themselves for not
rushing to get the rights to this surefire property. But the China Film Group
Corporation and Beijing Filmblog Media Company beat them to making a film
about Paul the Octopus, the amazing German cephalopod whose uncanny gift for
predicting the outcome of World Cup soccer matches led to international celebrity (a lot of ink, one might say) -- but also attracted the kind of
unwanted attention that goes with such success, namely public acrimony and
"New York Post" columnist Andrea Peyser
has written an op-ed about "The Kids Are All Right" (cleverly titled "The Kids are NOT All
Right") being yet another covert Hollywood
attack against the traditional American family.
She might have a point. As she
puts it: "this film is set to go down in history as the first major motion
picture to make a family led by gay women -- A-lister Annette Bening, as the
control-freak doctor Nic, ‘wed' to A-lister Julianne Moore, as the weepy,
infantilized Jules -- seem not just normal, but close to godly."
I actually thought when "Inception" came out that I'd be the only
one to come up with the idea of compiling a list of other dream and dream scene
and dream-within-a-dream scene movies. Well, dream on. Nonetheless,
I thought that our staff of cinema savants could still contribute something new
and illuminating to the subject, so I asked my critic colleagues at the Phoenix to select some of their
favorite film dream scenes or dream movies and dream up something to write
something about them.
After a long fallow period, the
swag front has picked up lately. The recent trend is for studio publicists to mail out something
that is totally incomprehensible. Like a couple of weeks ago I got this metal, top-like,
dreidl thing; turns out, of course, that
it's a replica of the key mnemnonic device in "Inception
Not that it's ever not been a popular pastime, but beating women
is really hot these days. On screen and off.
Mel Gibson's grotesque recorded obscenities are just the most recent and most highly
publicized of such assaults. What we have going on in movies the past year is supposedly well
intended violence against women.
It's been a couple of months since the last lugubrious screed by
a film critic about the end of film criticism, and I must say I haven't missed
them. So it was with weary resignation that I took a look at New Jersey
Star-Ledger Stephen Whitty's "Why Critics Matter."
To my surprise, it wallowed in neither of the typical modes
of previous such items - self-pity and self-loathing - but actually took an
objective look (note extensive quotes from reputable sources like Tom Bernard
of Sony Classics and David Gross of MovieReviewIntelligence.
Why the sudden recent spurt, for lack of a better word, of films about sperm donors and artificial
insemination? J-Lo might not have done much to stimulate her career earlier
this year with "The Back-Up Plan,"
it remains to be seen how Jennifer
Aniston fares with the upcoming "The Switch" (8/20),
PK: One of the themes of the movie seems to be that, as
awful as this place is, there are some definite pluses, like the adrenaline
rush of combat, and also the solidarity and brotherhood that you were
describing. Can you talk about that in a little more detail? Do you think it's
a bad thing because it encourages wars to continue? Or is it a necessary thing?
Yesterday flights of F-16s buzzed my neighborhood twice - just
before the Red Sox game and at the start of the Esplanade concert - the earsplitting roar giving Bostonians a
slight taste of business as usual for our troops serving in Afghanistan. For
more of the same take a look at journalist/author Sebastian Junger and
photographer Tim Hetherington's documentary
"Restrepo," an account of
some 14 months they spent with a unite of elite airbourne troops on the title
base high in the Korengal mountains on the Pakistan border, perhaps the
deadliest piece of real estate on the planet.
It's been one day since the opening of "The Twilight Saga:
so far it's grossed around $70 million (though that's still less than "New Moon"). My question: "why?"
It certainly isn't for any literary or cinematic merit, but it
would be naïve to think that's ever the case. So it comes down to one painful
truth: women of all ages love the vampires.