October 3, 2011 |
In the late 1960s, the civil rights movement had entered a new phase. It was the era of black power — and universities were actively courting African Americans and other minorities to enroll. It was in this charged atmosphere that the "L.A. Rebellion" was born at UCLA. African American students enrolled at the School of Theater, Film and Television and, over the next 20 years, created a new culture of black films that was far removed from the Hollywood blaxploitation urban crime thrillers of the time, which included such box-office hits as "Coffy" and "Superfly.
September 11, 2008 |
A true "radical" filmmaker is not satisfied to merely bloviate from the red carpet or screening room. One must turn art into action. Alex Cox is ready with a personal manifesto: He calls feature filmmaking a dying art form in the Digital Age, has open contempt for corporate Hollywood and feels kinship mainly with hackers, who have "replaced filmmakers and investigative journalists as our best cultural revolutionaries." From the man who began his career with the 1980s cult classics "Repo Man" and "Sid & Nancy," none of this should be surprising.
December 26, 2001 |
The warm December sunshine that fell on Beverly Hills flowed through the windows of the Four Seasons Hotel and landed on E. Annie Proulx. The author shaded her eyes. Almost everything about the place, the weather, the enormous fresh flowers, the uniformed doormen, the minions from Miramax were all about as far away as one could get from the bleak Newfoundland coastline, the wild storms and twisted psyches that defined her Pulitzer-Prize-winning 1993 novel, "The Shipping News."
May 14, 2011 |
Monte Hellman, the most idiosyncratic of the talented filmmakers mentored by producer Roger Corman in the '60s and '70s, is drawing raves for his latest film, "Road to Nowhere," an intense, romantic movie-within-a movie. Hellman and his longtime colleague, writer and Variety executive editor Steven Gaydos, have taken classic noir elements -- a stunning, seductive young beauty (Shannyn Sossamon), her rich and powerful middle-aged lover (Cliff De Young), a missing fortune and a suicide -- and blurred the line between fiction and reality.
October 1, 2010 |
First came the bestselling book, then the sequel, and now comes "Freakonomics" the movie, a kind of victory lap that both celebrates that success and demonstrates why the work of economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner has become an international phenomenon. With the original book selling more than 4 million copies and getting translated into 35 languages, not to mention spending two-plus years on the New York Times bestseller list, Dubner and Levitt's penchant for looking at economic data in adventurous ways and coming up with counterintuitive results has clearly touched a cultural nerve.
September 23, 2010 |
French filmmaker Gaspar NoÃ© makes the kind of movies that require warnings. His brutal 2002 revenge drama, "IrrÃ©versible," arrived in theaters in England and Canada with a written alert about the possible side effects of a strobe-like sequence: "Some people may experience loss of consciousness or epileptic seizures when exposed to certain light effects or flashes of light. " The writer-director's 1998 debut feature, "I Stand Alone" — about a sociopathic butcher with incest and murder on the brain — carries an even less subtle warning.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 |
BEIJING - In the mid-1980s, Wu Tianming's star was on the rise. With China opening up to the world after the Cultural Revolution and Mao Tse-tung's death, he had found success as director of movies including "Life" and "The Old Well" and as the head of the Xi'an Film Studio. Under his guidance, daring and innovative filmmakers like Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige were bursting onto the international scene with pictures like "Red Sorghum" and "King of Children. " Wu was making a name for himself for his willingness to shake up an ossified state-run studio - and was raising eyebrows for calling out Communist Party bureaucrats who meddled in the arts.
February 13, 2011 |
The largely peaceful revolution that ended Hosni Mubarak's regime in Egypt also has the potential to reshape the repressive cultural climate in the country and perhaps elsewhere in the Arab world, according to filmmakers, musicians and other cultural figures who have been watching and participating in the uprising in Cairo. Even as events unfolded in Tahrir Square and across the capital, many artists began filming documentaries and composing music along lines that previously would have been forbidden by the government.
October 4, 2012 |
"Detropia" comes at you with the economically ravaged Motor City of Detroit clinging to its perch like a canary in a coal mine, gasping for breath. The new documentary from acclaimed filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady examines the detritus of a major American city that has been imploding for years. It is a striking and moving study of "what was" versus "what it has become" as the filmmakers try to get at the whys. That the title suggests something other than utopia is made clear from the first frame.
January 23, 2011 |
If filmmaker Gregg Araki once described his 1997 movie "Nowhere" as "'Beverly Hills, 90210' on acid," then it might be best to think of the writer-director's newest feature, "Kaboom," as something like "Gossip Girl" gone gonzo. The story of an 18-year-old pansexual film student named Smith (Thomas Dekker), the film boasts all of the hallmarks of Araki's work: Attractive young people work through issues of sexual identity (in part by having a lot of sex in various gender permutations)