For all the years that I have lived in America, which has become my home since immigrating from Russia a few decades ago, I've had a dream: to get behind the wheel of a car and drive thousands upon thousands of adventurous miles across this beautiful country of ours.
There are plenty of shows that have premiered since the late 1990s that might give that critic a run for his money. But the show that digs the deepest into America's troubled criminal justice system isn't particularly violent, sexual or otherwise. It's not even set in prison.
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.
This idea, the concept of cinema as a hand across cultures, is exactly what the TFI Documentary Fund is about. From a festival that began to heal a city, to a program and their funds that continue to mend the world through cinema, TFI is high on my list of groundbreaking, life-changing organizations. Many may have tried to imitate it but none have even come close.
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.
Maybe after all these years, my memory is playing tricks on me, but I remember him looking like a brilliant bolt of lightning that carried its own sto...
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.
Of the hundreds of films screened at festivals across the nation only a handful will wind up at your local theatres, and that goes for those lucky enough to have been viewed at the growingly prestigious Tribeca Film Festival (TFF).
As a fever ate away at my remaining brain cells last week, I was bombarded with questions about the Tony nominations. I answer two main questions below.
What do Adele, Foster The People, Hozier, Norah Jones, Arcade Fire, Lorde, Beck, Coldplay, The Black Keys and Sia all have in common?
The 65 minutes long work is a poetic essay and a double love story. there is the filmmaker's love for San Francisco, a city where all one's special and beloved places "are disappearing before your eyes," and there is her love for women -- women who are almost too beautiful to be looked at, who are adored, courted, pursued, but remain elusive.
Indeed, there was no elephant-in-the-room in the spacious Alice Tully Hall: Every woman presenting, from Jane Fonda to Elisabeth Moss, spoke about Redford's good looks. But clearly, he is much more than eye candy.
Now onto the film itself. When I tell you that a film based on voice recordings and archival photography, interwoven with touching cinematic portraits of the soldiers today can indeed be a spellbinding masterpiece, believe me.
When I'm in New York, the Tribeca screenings have to get in line with all the other things on my calendar -- and most of those take precedence over spending Saturday or Sunday at a multiplex in Battery Park City watching films I probably wouldn't review even if they were released.
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.
I rarely miss either the Sundance or Toronto film festivals each year -- but my relationship with the Tribeca film fest has been spottier. Partly that's due to scheduling: For a variety of reasons, I've been out of town for large chunks of the festival each of the past couple of years.