August 2, 2013 |
Though not credited as a remake, "Breaking the Girls" takes the basic premise of "Strangers on a Train," the Patricia Highsmith novel famously adapted to the screen by Alfred Hitchcock - I'll kill for you if you'll kill for me - and transports it to the modern day. Law student Sara (Agnes Bruckner) has had a run of misfortune brought on in no small way by a jealous classmate, costing her a job, a scholarship and a place to live. She also meets the rich, troubled Alex (Madeline Zima), setting in motion a series of events to solve all their problems.
August 1, 2013 |
Spanish filmmaker Fernando Trueba had to grow older before he felt ready to direct "The Artist and the Model," which opens Friday. Not long after he won the foreign language film Oscar in 1994 for "Belle Epoque," Trueba began thinking about doing a film about an artist in the winter of his life who is inspired by a new model to create his masterpiece. In something of an understatement, Trueba confessed during a phone interview from New York that he's not the "kind of guy who has an idea and then starts working the next day on it. I have many ideas and let them grow in my mind.
July 31, 2013 |
The free-form documentary "The Gardener" takes acclaimed, exiled Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf ("Kandahar") and son Maysam to Israel to investigate the 170-year-old Bahai faith, which - although based in Haifa - has its roots in Persia. Unfortunately, the elder Makhmalbaf, who wrote and directed, puts many spins on this ethereal mood piece - it is by turns poetic, impressionistic, metaphorical and even a bit trippy - without satisfying such genre basics as structure, depth and resolution.
July 24, 2013 |
BEIRUT -- Iran's expatriate filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf is facing withering condemnation in his homeland for attending a film festival in Israel, the Islamic Republi's archfoe. The acclaimed director, considered a pioneer of moviemaking in Iran, traveled to the Jerusalem Film Festival this month to screen his latest work, "The Gardener," which explores the conflict between two generations about the role of religion in society. Javad Shamgdari, the head of Iran's official cinema organization, penned a letter to the leadership of the Iranian cinema museum demanding the removal of all of the director's awards and trophies.
July 18, 2013 |
The conventional wisdom holds that summer is for teens - hence so many superheroes, fart jokes and massive pieces of machinery - and that adults better wait until fall if they want to visit the multiplex. "Red 2" is set to turn the conventional wisdom upside down. Three years after the first "Red" movie put guns into the hands of actors of a certain age and grossed nearly $200 million worldwide, Friday's sequel arrives squarely targeting patrons in their 50s and 60s. Yet even though the first film was a solid hit, the second installment was not considered a sure thing until "Red" also generated outsized DVD receipts.
July 17, 2013 |
The California kid whose first full-length feature film wowed the judges at Sundance and Cannes this year is now showing it off to the world. "Fruitvale Station," about Oscar Grant, the young black man shot and killed by a transit police officer in Oakland on New Year's Day 2009, opens nationwide a week from Friday. Ryan Coogler has been moonlighting as a youth counselor at San Francisco's Juvenile Justice Center (where his dad works), but now his time is at a premium. Coogler's path from football star to filmmaker has people not only talking about his Oscar Grant film but about Oscar, period.
July 17, 2013 |
There's a great story at the heart of Matej Minac's documentary "Nicky's Family," if only it were allowed to be told unvarnished. In the 1930s, Englishman Nicholas Winton took it upon himself to rescue more than 650 Czech and Slovak children from the encroaching horrors of Nazism, a herculean feat of willful humanitarianism that stemmed from just one man's triggered conscience. Minac's film about this undertaking (called the Czech Kindertransport) and its ripple effect in generations of charity-minded descendants is narrated by one of the rescued, Canadian broadcaster Joe Schlesinger, and features interviews with countless others, not to mention Winton himself.
July 17, 2013 |
In the typical life of a viral video, a reality show mishap becomes a YouTube clip, which then reaches the masses online. Uncommon Content, a New York filmmaker, is betting it can do the opposite. Uncommon, which produces the Reserve Channel on YouTube, makes half-hour shows for the Web and tries to get them picked up by networks to turn them into mainstream programs. It has so far produced seven Web series, one of which features musician, producer and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams.
July 16, 2013 |
TV is the new black for film gentry. Once regarded as a purgatory for serious actors and producers, television has been attracting top-tier movie talent on both sides of the camera for years thanks in no small part to the deep character studies encouraged by cable networks. And this year's Primetime Emmy nominations, which roll out early Thursday morning, may underscore the point as never before. Film stars Kevin Spacey, Jane Fonda, Jeff Daniels, Shirley MacLaine, Holly Hunter, Al Pacino, Helen Mirren, Michael Douglas, Matt Damon and Kevin Bacon, as well as respected filmmakers David Fincher, Steven Soderbergh and Jane Campion are just some of the cinema-tilted talent in line to get the early morning wake-up call late this week.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 2013
Toshi Seeger Partner in activism with husband Pete Seeger Toshi Seeger, 91, folk singer Pete Seeger's wife of 70 years and a close partner in his social and environmental activism, died Tuesday at the couple's home in Beacon in New York's Hudson Valley, according to family friend Thom Wolke. The cause was not immediately known. Toshi Aline Ohta Seeger was born in 1922 in Munich, Germany, to an American mother and a Japanese father and was brought to the United States as a baby.