Now you are ready to see some cinema. And, in this regard, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival does not disappoint. With 200 films on tap, the selection here is among the best of all the Southern California film festivals.
Despite what you've heard about film productions "running away" to Georgia, Louisiana and New Mexico, Southern California (SoCal) is still the world headquarters of global film production. However, what kind of place is SoCal when it comes to film festivals?
To say that this has been a whirlwind year for filmmaker Erica A. Watson would be an understatement.
It's been 5 years since Kathryn Bigelow broke through the glass ceiling when The Hurt Locker won her the Oscar for Best Director.
Festivals keep alive the communal experience of film viewing, considered an anachronism in the age of laptops and cell phones.
This low-budget underdog manages to keep you on the edge of your seat in suspense better than any of the previously mentioned blockbusters could ever hope to do.
ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL a Sundance breakout film this year just hit movie theaters in wide release. I got to sit down with the director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and actor Thomas Mann and discuss this gem of a movie. It's quirky, sophisticated, fun and wildly creative.
Norman Mailer taught me that a title should tell the audience what the book or movie is about. And yet, this title, I fear, will keep an audience away when this is one of the most enjoyable films I have seen this year.
I interviewed filmmaker Bryan Singer for Venice Magazine in late 1998 to discuss his Stephen King adaptation, Apt Pupil. It was somewhat awkward for me, as Bryan and I had been classmates at USC and he was both the first contemporary and first film school comrade I'd ever interviewed.
While the film doesn't revolve around sexuality, through the character of Shirin, Akhavan sheds light on an otherwise underrepresented group of people. "No one believes in bisexuality," Akhavan says.
How do we tell the story about women today? A portrait, more like a contemporary mosaic, if you will, emerged, of disruptive, brilliant, super femmes from diverse backgrounds around the globe, as I interviewed five women to celebrate International Women's Day.
Nina Simone's music stirs the soul. I liken it to one awash in the Holy Spirit in a Baptist church on a Sunday morning. Her classical piano finesse infused with her jazzy and bluesy gospel voice is heard in all of her music, especially in all of her civil rights protest songs.
You might know them as Charlie from Girls or Robin from How I Met Your Mother, but the following actors we know from the boxes in our living rooms prove that they command even more star power on the big screen, stretching their acting chops to heights we didn't know existed. Here were our favorites from this year's Sundance.
Though it's a cliché for a Sundance Film Festival premiere to be called "a labor of love," never has the term been more apt than with Sembene!, Jason Silverman and Samba Gadjigo's impassioned biopic of Ousmane Sembène, "the father of African cinema."
Joe Reegan is a funny guy. He's been doing lots of serious acting roles lately, but in person he throws in some funny things that will pass over your head if you're not paying attention. Joe's a good looking guy so I can definitely see how it would be easy to drift off into lala land and not hear a word he's saying.