THE BFG

What motivates an artist to return time and time again to the formative and gentle years of childhood? Is it a rejection of the adult world, the world of responsibility and accountability? Or is it a plea to the next generation? Here is where we failed, please to be avoiding these pitfalls. Those who tell stories about their experience are trying to understand now. Those who tell children’s tales, try to understand the future. What makes the latest Roald Dahl cinematic adaptation, The BFG, a success is that the forces behind the movie are nothing if not fascinated about what … Continue reading THE BFG

BRIDGE OF SPIES

James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is a kind man in a cruel world. Rare considering that Donovan is an insurance lawyer in the middle of the Cold War. Donovan — who served on the Nuremberg Trails — is recruited to defend a captured Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), providing him with a competent defense per the United States Constitution. Donovan’s colleagues agree it is his civic duty, and to perform it honorable is the proper American thing to do. Donovan defends Abel to the best of his ability, and if Abel were a U.S. Citizen, Donovan probably could have … Continue reading BRIDGE OF SPIES

Born On This Day – December 18

“Louis B. Mayer’s arm around your shoulder meant his hand was closer to your throat.” –Jules Dassin “I think all children experience filmmaking. When their parents buy them a birthday present of little characters, soliders, little men-when I was a kid it was cowboys-and the kid lies down on the shag rug on his stomach, holds the little figure up right by his eyes so it’s very realistic, and gets an angle on that solider, puts the other solider at arm’s length in the other hand, and goes, bang, bang, bang, bang!-that’s the beginning of filmmaking. We all started out … Continue reading Born On This Day – December 18

Movie Beat – 04.05.13

André Gregory: Before and After Dinner – Most people know André Gregory from My Dinner With Andre, a filmed conversation on life with his close friend and collaborator Wallace Shawn. Others know of his extensive work in the theater, some may know of his brief stint in Hollywood. But only one person knows the whole story, and it’s not Gregory, it’s his wife, director Cindy Kleine. This is a look back in the life of one man, who became a bit of a cultural icon. Never one to shy away, Gregory offers plenty to his fans, but for those who haven’t yet … Continue reading Movie Beat – 04.05.13

2012: A Year At The Movies

2012 was a magnificent year for the movies. They are more diverse, more personal, and more magical than ever. Yes, there was the onslaught of the usual blockbuster fare, sequels left and right, and the mighty flops that were John Carter and Battleship, but there was so much more to discover in theaters this year. It is quite possible that 2012 was one of the best years for the cinema, maybe not on par with 1939 or 1960, but time will tell which of these stories permeate the collective consciousness and hang around and continue to inform our experiences. 2012 also saw a great amount of cinema history as … Continue reading 2012: A Year At The Movies

In Their Words – Tuesday, December 18, 2012

“Being a movie-maker means you get to live many, many lifetimes. It’s the same reason audiences go to movies, I think. When my daughter Sasha was 5 years old, we would be watching something on TV and she’d point to a character on screen and say, “Daddy, that’s me.” Ten minutes later a new character would come on screen and she’d say, “No, Daddy. That’s me.” Throughout the movie she would pick different people to become. I think that’s what we all do. We just don’t say it as sweetly.” -Steven Spielberg Continue reading In Their Words – Tuesday, December 18, 2012

LINCOLN & A ROYAL AFFAIR

It’s the end of the year, and that means that the theaters are loaded up with movies that are all vying for spots on Top Ten Lists and those all important Oscars nominations. Films about important things are seen as important films, and if they can crib from important moments in history, then it raises their prestige even more. History is a lot more fun if we can recognize our favorite actors. There are two films currently in release, one American, one Danish, that are both historical dramas focusing on a major moment in their nation’s history: in America’s corner, Lincoln, … Continue reading LINCOLN & A ROYAL AFFAIR