August 24, 2001 |
Since Ang Lee is a truly international director, it is not surprising that his 1994 Oscar-nominated "Eat Drink Man Woman" makes the smoothest of transitions from Taipei to East Los Angeles as "Tortilla Soup." The story of a long-widowed father, a master chef, needing to let go of his three grown daughters is a universal theme, and the common patriarchal traditions of Chinese and Latino cultures make for a good fit.
August 26, 1993 |
The Amazon comes to Orange County this week. The "Amazon's Edge" exhibit opens at the Santa Ana Zoo, while "Colors of the Dawn/Invisible People: Arts of the Amazon" opens at Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, also in Santa Ana. Complementing both events are several first-rate videos that can add a little Amazoniana to your home.
July 3, 2005 |
Rarely do film festivals celebrate the good, the bad and even the ugly all at once. But the American Cinematheque's "Mods & Rockers" film festival, which begins Tuesday at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, joyfully embraces both the classic and the truly dreadful.
June 16, 1989 |
Fans of "Ghostbusters" can breathe a little easier. It's slimebusting time again and The Boys are back in ferocious form. One-line zingers ricochet around "Ghostbusters II" (citywide) like ectoplasmic ghoulies, contained in a production that builds to a grand finale even funnier than the guys' classic duel with the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. And so, during our descent into the Valley of the Sequels, it's nice to discover that the makers of "Ghostbusters II" have worked hard to keep their movie's edge sharp.
December 3, 1994 |
Of all the fang-and-cape monsters prowling through "Interview With the Vampire," the oddest has to be Louis, a depressed thing who prefers drinking blood from poodles rather than people. His adopted daughter, a darling kiddie-vamp, is close. She's cranky now and then, but at least she's not so finicky--grown-ups taste just fine, thank you.
February 5, 2001 |
E. Elias Merhige's "Shadow of the Vampire" is a curious film, indeed. By turns whimsical and pitiful, it dramatizes the making of director F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror" (1922) and in the process becomes a kind of New Age "Sunset Boulevard." "Shadow" explores the exotic, albeit forgotten era of Murnau, actor Max Schreck and the German cinema of the 1920s.
November 15, 1990 |
Everything old is new again. The Mayfair Theater in Ventura is old. Movies such as "Gone with the Wind," "On the Waterfront" and "Ben Hur" are old. But put the theater and the movies together and Ventura has a new revival theater. Los Angeles movie buff Kevin von Feldt is the man behind the newest transformation of the Mayfair, a theater that most recently showed Spanish-language films and before that, X-rated movies.
October 21, 2007 |
There's a sucker born every minute, but how many are really memorable? "30 Days of Night," the Sony film that hit theaters Friday, is just the latest vampire film that will aim to sate the thirst of horror purists. We got Steve Niles, co-creator of the "30 Days of Night" graphic novels that inspired the film, to pry open the vault of vampire cinema and pick the best of the best, the blue bloods of bloodsuckers.
September 4, 1995 |
"Apocalyptic Embrace: The Films of Werner Herzog," which runs Thursday through Sept. 11 at the Directors Guild and continues Tuesdays and Thursdays Sept. 12 through Sept. 28 at the Goethe Institute, offers a comprehensive retrospective of the most idiosyncratic of the New German Cinema pioneers. Sponsoring the event is the German Film Export-Union. Opening the series Thursday at 7 p.m.
September 17, 2004 |
"Incident at Loch Ness" is an amusing mock documentary that spends considerable energy artfully trying to make you believe it's real as real can be. The movie is transparently a fake, but its counterfeit nature is the heart of its charm.