Earlier this week, BBC Culture released its lists of “The 100 greatest American films” from a poll of 62 international film critics. The results weren’t surprising — what was left off cause more discussion — with the usual suspects: Citizen Kane, Vertigo, The Godfather, The Searchers, 2001, etc. topping the list. While these lists are arbitrary for their ranking, they remain fascinating for their treatment of the time-honored notion of canon. Whether or not Citizen Kane is the greatest motion picture of all time is debatable, but most agree that it is amongst of the greats. A pillar of cinema … Continue reading THE THIRD MAN
David Thorpe’s documentary, Do I Sound Gay?, is cinema by way of the diary. After breaking up with his boyfriend, Thorpe realizes that he is not happy with the person he is and decides to change for the better. This happens to just about everyone at a crossroads in their life, but few turn the camera on themselves and take something back from the political and put a human face on it. Thorpe’s issue is his voice, or his gay voice, which he finds grating, effeminate and juvenile. To correct this, Thorpe starts taking lessons with dictation coaches and speech … Continue reading DO I SOUND GAY?
On the eve of World War II, the great director, Jean Renoir, gave one of the most tragic and truthful dictums of all time, “The awful thing about life is this: Everybody has their reasons.” That was true for the film in which it was spoke (The Rules of the Game) and remains true to this day, especially as the US/Mexico border is being ripped apart by Cartels, gangs, mafia and corrupt government officials. Cartel Land director Matthew Heinman doesn’t need to give statistics, facts or talking points, he just needs to let his subjects speak their reasons, and boy … Continue reading CARTEL LAND
On February 10, 2008, singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse was nominated for six Grammys, walked away with five – including Record of the Year — and solidified her place as a worldwide recording artist. For most people, that would have been more than enough. For Winehouse, it should have been, but as she admitted to one of her oldest friends that night, “It’s just so boring without drugs.” So it goes for the life of an addict, and so it went for the public life of Amy Winehouse, a remarkable talent constantly overshadowed by addiction to drugs and alcohol. That was the … Continue reading AMY
On November 23, 2012, at approximately 7:40 p.m. in Jacksonville, Fla., Michael David Dunn gunned down Jordan Davis at a Gate Gas convenience store parking lot. The dispute was over the loud music emanating from the vehicle Davis was in, but shootings like these are never about what they’re about. Davis was a 17 year-old black teen and Dunn was a 45 year-old white software engineer and if the shooting was about anything, it was about race. A mere nine months after George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin for similar reasons, the Davis/Dunn shooting eerily echoed that which could … Continue reading 3½ MINUTES, 10 BULLETS