With Martin Luther King's birthday just past us, and Black History month coming up, the time seems right to celebrate those invaluable films that shed light on the black community's long struggle for equal rights in this country.
Just when you start believing there's no hope for anything daring and original coming out of Movieland, something gets released that surprises you. The Artist is one such movie -- and what's new about it is that it's old.
Believe it or not, in a pop culture filled with mindless reality shows and slick formula franchises, there are still a few players out there whose work offers a glimmer of hope that originality and intelligence can prevail. Tilda Swinton is one such player.
In the final analysis, religion is what we humans have made of it, good and bad. Perhaps that's what makes it such a fascinating subject for film. Here then are my candidates for the top ten films dealing with faith and spirituality.
Reading subtitles is a lot like riding a bicycle. Practice not only makes perfect, soon enough it's second nature so you don't even notice you're doing it. This particularly holds true when you're watching something great.
Almost fifteen years after Titanic, with six Oscar nods and one win to her credit, Kate Winslet is an actress at the peak of her powers -- no longer a precocious ingénue, but a professional who's conscientiously developed her craft.
This 63-year-old feature looked almost as if it had been shot last week. I was intensely aware of Moira Shearer's heavy make-up and could literally see Anton Walbrook's pores. It was fascinating, hypnotic, but also more than a little distracting.
I saw no mention of Robert Redford's birthday amongst all the pop dreck that seems to capture people's attention these days. I am going to attempt a tribute of sorts, as I can think of few people in the entertainment field more deserving.
I continue to be nostalgic for comedy that doesn't require constant profanity or a surfeit of fart gags to succeed, that relies instead on subtle, clever scripts and witty dialogue; movies that in the end give their audiences some credit for brains and taste.
Mindless kiddie fare opens at around four thousand screens across the country. When at last a brilliant, provocative film for grown-ups gets produced, it merited four screens. Doesn't this strike you as just a trifle lopsided?
This weekend's release reflects the industry's increasing reliance on that forbidden joy of my childhood -- the comic book -- to justify its existence. But many of the nation's critics readily drank the Thor Kool-Aid.
I read just the other day that Jeremy Renner may take the lead role in a Steve McQueen biopic.
If it goes forward, I will be very interested to see the end product, but I would not care to be an angel investor.
In the artistically vibrant NYC of the 50s, Cassel was an acting student with the famed Stella Adler when he encountered Cassavetes, just six years his senior, a man who'd go on to redefine what independent film could achieve and be.