December 27, 2009
The big questions: What we'll still be talking about in 2010. "American Idol." Will we miss Paula Abdul's parade of verbal nonsense -- "I want to squish you! Squish your head off and dangle you from my rearview mirror," she told runner-up David Archuleta in 2008 -- after Ellen DeGeneres makes her debut? (Jan. 12) "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1." Must we begin saying goodbye to Hogwarts? Can no one imperio J.K. Rowling into writing more?
October 25, 2009 |
Samuel Fuller was a director with a signature style: blunt verging on brutal, partial to shock cuts and mega close-ups. As a screenwriter, this former crime reporter was no less distinctive, favoring hot-button issues and hard-boiled repartee. A superb new seven-disc set, "The Samuel Fuller Collection" ($79.95, Sony, out Tuesday), which contains two films written and directed by Fuller and five earlier efforts on which he has a writing or story credit, is an intriguing auteurist study that shows the Fuller personality both as the driving force of a film and as an (often powerful)
August 13, 2009 |
Martin Scorsese is more than just an influential, Oscar-winning filmmaker with such credits as "The Departed," "The Aviator," "Raging Bull" and "Taxi Driver." He's also a cineaste with an encyclopedic knowledge of film and is perhaps among the most ardent and vocal advocates for film preservation and restoration. In 1990, Scorsese, along with the late Robert Altman, Sydney Pollack and Stanley Kubrick, as well as Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, George Lucas, Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg, created the nonprofit organization the Film Foundation.
April 12, 2009 |
Late to the party talking about: Ida Maria I was lost, but now am found and daring you to listen to the power punk-pop anthem "Oh My God" by the Norwegian rocker just once. When you fail -- and you will fail to resist the growing hysteria in her raspy voice as she pounds out the lines "You think I'm in control? Oh my God!" again and again -- go buy her first U.S. album, "Fortress Round My Heart," and enjoy the rest.
July 24, 2008 |
There are moments in cultural history, notes Thomas Lindlof in a phrase typical of his fluent but never fussy prose, "of gathered tension." Such a moment came with the 1988 release of Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ," an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis' classic novel of the same name. In our present era, when fundamentalists can seek violent solutions, there's a certain harmlessness to the controversy Lindlof so painstakingly details.
April 7, 2008 |
Jess Manafort jokes that she was born with a "put-on-a-production" gene because, at age 4, she was already directing her parents while they were taking home movies of her. "You can see in the actual home movies, I am, like, stamping my foot, ordering them to turn my Cinderella record up loudly and telling them to move closer." And now, 21 years later, she's directing young actors -- including Amber Heard and Alexa Vega -- in her first feature film, "Remember the Daze," which opens Friday.