February 25, 2010 |
Pete Hamill's Reader's Digest story "The Yellow Handkerchief" inspired Yoji Yamada's appealing 1977 film of the same name, and now it has become the basis for a new movie, also of the same name but not really a remake. Screenplay writer Erin Dignam and director Udayan Prasad have taken the plot outline of the Yamada film and created original characters in a rural post-Katrina Louisiana, captured in evocative images by master cinematographer Chris Menges. This "Yellow Handkerchief" is a gentle, low-key road movie, centering on the eternal need to love and to trust, suffused in the humanist spirit that has won its veteran producer, Arthur Cohn, three Oscars.
March 27, 1987 |
"The Killing Fields" won British cinematographer Chris Menges a 1984 Oscar, and now he's been nominated again for his work on "The Mission," his second collaboration with director Roland Joffe. "I promise I'll come this time," Menges said over lunch in Hollywood the other day. He'd been kept away from the 1985 Academy Awards by the press of family responsibilities--he's the father of five children whose ages range from 9 to 22.
March 23, 1997 |
Four of the five were born outside America. Several share a past in documentary filmmaking. And each is quietly insistent on sharing credit with his crew and director. But this year's Oscar-nominated cinematographers could not be more different in their subjects, from the bitter white snowscapes that envelop the residents of "Fargo" to the sun-baked orange desert of 1930s Egypt in "The English Patient" (the location in fact was Tunisia, filmed in chilly winter).
March 8, 1987 |
"Fatherland" (Great Britain, 1986, 7:30 p.m.). Directed by Ken Loach, with photography by Chris Menges, the marvelously well-acted "Fatherland" traces the odyssey of an East Berlin singer of protest songs who moves to the West. Part political thriller, part razor-keen depiction of high-life in the record business in today's divided Berlin, the film moves from Germany to England as its hero searches for his father, a political emigre from Berlin 30 years before him.
May 11, 1992 |
"Crisscross" (citywide), set in 1969 during the days around the Apollo moon launch, captures something about that controversial decade almost perfectly. It's a mixed achievement: a small, movingly done human story swallowed up in a more conventional crime thriller. Yet, if it fails, it doesn't fail ignobly.