Conversations from the Telluride Film Festival: FIRST REFORMED

This conversation between Eric Kohn of Indiewire, writer/director Paul Schrader, and actor Ethan Hawke took place following a screening of FIRST REFORMED at 2017’s Telluride Film Festival. Spoilers follow. ERIC KOHN: Paul, first of all, anyone who’s seen your films knows that a lot of what’s going on here is very personal to you. Just how personal is this setting and the things that we see you working through here? PAUL SCHRADER: Not that personal. I didn’t have to do much research to do. But you try to find a metaphor, whether that be a cab driver or a drug dealer or a small … Continue reading Conversations from the Telluride Film Festival: FIRST REFORMED

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

The Magnificent Seven doesn’t start with fanfare. No blaring horns to signal the American West, no soaring strings to complement the vast vistas before the camera, no cinematic shots of warring bandits cresting a hill, no legends and no heroes. Instead: ominous tones and close, shaky shots of a wagon delivering gold to a heavily watched bank. Cut to a church where a debate rages between the parishioners. Should they stay or should they go? Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) is coming to pay pennies on the dollar for their land — which he will strip-mine and pull every last ounce … Continue reading THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN

2014: A Year of Moviegoing

2014, like any year prior to it, was a magnificent year for moviegoing. Granted, there were the duds, the sequels, the franchises and once again, a Michael Bay Transformers movie took the number one spot at the box office, but they pale in comparison to the slew of inventive, creative and original movies that found their way on to screens big and small. Depending on who you read, there were somewhere between 600 and 900 movies released in 2014. Certainly no shortage of options for adventurous moviegoers. Of those 600 to 900 new releases, I clocked in with 200 (an arbitrary goal I set for myself last January, … Continue reading 2014: A Year of Moviegoing

Starz Denver Film Festival: Day 10 – 12

From jean to shining jean Proper cinema doesn’t highlight the differences that separate us, but the things that connect us. Blue Gold is one of those documentaries it works hard to show us how tradition and culture can spread across the globe, all in a harmless, but somehow revolutionary pair of pants. Jeans were first known as Miner Pants, but then WWII came and the jeans went overseas. At first, the jeans were identified with cowboys, but thanks to Marlon Brando and James Dean, they became the symbols of counter-culture. Symbols that The Ramones and The Sex Pistols co-opted. Soon, these jeans were taken and marketed … Continue reading Starz Denver Film Festival: Day 10 – 12

Movie Beat – 07.11.14

The Battered Bastards of Baseball – Next week is All-Star Week where the best of the National League and American League will take a break from a grueling and long season to play a game, that has some impact on the outcome, but is by and large for fun. The Battered Bastards of Baseball looks back to a time when baseball was a whole lot of fun and money didn’t pollute and convolute everything. How could it? There was none of it to go around! The story of Portland’s Mavericks and Bing Russell, directed by Chapman Russell Way and Maclain … Continue reading Movie Beat – 07.11.14

Movie Beat – 08.30.13

Afternoon Delight – Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) is a stay at home Mom with not a whole lot going on. Her husband, Jeff (Josh Radnor) isn’t the lovey-dovey type and the marriage is on the rocks. Rachel needs something, anything to make her feel important. She met McKenna (Juno Temple), a nineteen-year-old stripper who has been kicked out of her apartment and invites her to come and stay with her family and “act” like the nanny. Inviting a nineteen-year-old stripper into the home when your marriage is on the rocks seems like a bad idea to me. Jane Lynch, Jessica St. … Continue reading Movie Beat – 08.30.13

Movie Beat – 06.07.13

Dirty Wars – One part documentary, one part recreation, and one part storytelling excellence equals the adaptation of Jeremy Scahill’s latest book of investigative journalism.  Scahill has been on the front lines for the war on terror since 1998, years before the phrase was even coined. Based on his book of the same name, Scahill tracks down the hidden war, the war that is happening behind the war we see on TV, the dirty war that might be the real reason for a decade-plus and two wars that Americans have fought abroad. Conspiracies, corruption, cover-ups, just another day in Afghanistan. Written by … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.07.13

Movie Beat – 05.24.13

3 Geezers –  If these geezers were in their twenties, they would audition for Jackass, if they were teenagers, they would be labeled ‘troubled youths’, and if they were in preschool, they would fit right in. J Kimball (J.K. Simmons) is researching a role for an upcoming movie and spends some time with these degenerates in a retirement home. When it becomes clear that he is in too deep, he calls on his Hollywood friends to put these old farts in their place. Makes perfect sense to me. Basil Hoffman, Lou Beatty Jr., Tim Allen, Scott Cann, Breckin Meyer, and … Continue reading Movie Beat – 05.24.13