ALLIED

From the birth of talking pictures in the late 1920s to the emergence of the European New Wave and rising counter-culture in the 60s, Hollywood studio movies dominated the American market. We now broadly define these movies as Classic Hollywood, but during their heyday they were romantic. They were pictures of beautiful people, doing beautiful things, wearing beautiful dresses and suits while speaking beautifully composed sentences. They never worried about paying rent or finding a parking space, they woke up with their make-up on and were never behind in a conversation. It was fantasy, and audiences ate it up like … Continue reading ALLIED

APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD

Although America did not invent animation, it certainly has dominated it for over a century. Japan has tried, and very nearly succeeded to take the crown, but the one-two punch of Disney/Pixar is too much to contest, and many times animated features from rival studios and across the globe look and feel like faint echoes of those successful formulas. That doesn’t mean great work isn’t being done elsewhere. Not by a long shot. It just has to work a little harder to make an impact on Yankee screens, and when it does, it is something special to behold. Set in … Continue reading APRIL AND THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD

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

THE IMMIGRANT

Two sisters have left Poland and joined the huddled masses seeking the freedom that America offers. Their quest will not be an easy one, as one of the sisters; Magda (Angela Sarafyan) has tuberculosis and must be quarantined. The other sister, Ewa (Marillon Cotiallard) is accused of being of low morals—due to an incident that occurred on the ship ride over—and is threatened with deportation. Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix) enters the picture and says that he can save them both if only Ewa comes with him. She does, and what unfolds is both tragic and transcendent. Ewa leaves with Bruno and … Continue reading THE IMMIGRANT

Movie Beat – 05.16.14

Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case – Reactionary and revolutionary Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei is out on bail. Apparently the Chinese government is taking cues from The Untouchables, because Weiwei was thrown in solitary confinement for 81 days due to Tax Evasion. Ai Weiwei tries his best to dismantle the system from the inside, but the battle is taking its toll. Andreas Johnsen directs the documentary that follows China’s infamous political activist. International Film Circuit gives it a limited release.   Chinese Puzzle – Marriage can sometimes be very complicated. Especially when you toss lesbian-lovers, green cards and psychotics into the … Continue reading Movie Beat – 05.16.14

Movie Beat – 11.23.12

A short work week means a long weekend for movie watching. Six new films out this holiday weekend in addition to Silver Linings Playbook expanding it’s release. You got some extra time, so you might as well dig into a couple of movies. Here are your choices: The Central Park Five – On the morning of April 20, 1989, a young white woman, Trishia Meili, was found in Central Park. She had been brutally assaulted and raped the night before. Five teenage boys were brought forward and convicted of the assault. Four of them were black and one was Latino. Coherence into … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.23.12