August 21, 2008 |
The only landmark for about 40 miles on a barren stretch of highway is a mailbox battered by time and desert gusts. It's known as the Black Mailbox, though it's actually a faded white. Over the years, hundreds of people have converged here in south-central Nevada to photograph the box -- the size of a small television, held up by a chipped metal pole. They camp next to it. They try to break into it. They debate its significance, or simply huddle by it for hours, staring into the night.
August 29, 2013 |
The darkish comedy "Afternoon Delight" gives the talented Kathryn Hahn her first movie lead, and for a while it looks like an opportunity to dig in deep. Hahn's vanity-free performance as a bored Los Angeles housewife who befriends a stripper goes a considerable way to humanize a film of occasional insight and underdeveloped provocations. Ultimately, though, her character is as thinly conceived and hard to root for as everyone else in filmmaker Jill Soloway's erratic blend of not-quite satire and halfhearted soul searching.
February 11, 2011 |
"Cold Weather," the latest micro-budget movie from writer-director-editor Aaron Katz, is like an exquisite minimalist painting — its beauty will move you, its simplicity will fool you. For there are layers and complexities to be found in the film, like the many mysteries it slowly exposes. The opening image sets the mood, lingering on a rain-soaked window, its lovely gray blur accompanied by a surprisingly sunny tune from composer Keegan DeWitt's richly textured original score.
February 15, 2009 |
After his death last September, Paul Newman received any number of tributes -- for his acting and his humanitarian efforts. Less remembered, and somewhat neglected throughout his career, was his work as a filmmaker. Newman, who majored in directing at the Yale Drama School, ventured behind the camera only on occasion -- he directed six films from the late '60s to the late '80s, most of them starring his wife, Joanne Woodward. John Cassavetes and Clint Eastwood notwithstanding, the figure of the actor-turned-director often conjures up the dreaded notion of the vanity project.
May 4, 1985 |
Adding a new chapter to the lore of Washington workaholism, Budget Director David A. Stockman was rushed into a closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans on Friday only 8 1/2 hours after assisting at the pre-dawn birth of his first child, a daughter named Rachel. "I had a little sleep and I'm only here for a little while," he said somewhat apologetically as he headed into Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole's office carrying the sheaf of papers that is his trademark.
October 30, 1998 |
Rachel (Amanda Carlin) is a perky little housewife with an excessive stream of happy talk on the eve of her favorite holiday--Christmas. Her husband (Don Fischer) has a unique present for her this year--he's hired a hit man to kill her tonight, although now he thinks they "should have talked it out." Carlin is perfect as the wide-eyed innocent, pushed out in her housedress and robe into the winter snow in Craig Lucas' dark comedy "Reckless," at the Interact Theatre Company.
May 6, 2011 |
Here's the central conundrum in the new romantic comedy "Something Borrowed": Does the pop-off-the-page pretty of Kate Hudson's Darcy give her automatic rights to hunky Dex (Colin Egglesfield)? Or does the less shiny but still pretty penny that is Ginnifer Goodwin's good girl Rachel deserve a shot at the ring, even if that ring's already on her best friend's finger? Before we get to the answer, let me bring up the central problem in "Something Borrowed" — a Grand Central Station of problems.
May 7, 1989 |
Did he find her "lovely"? one of Ellen Lesser's protagonists wonders while posing nude for a painter. "When he looked at her shoulder, delicately rendered, was he thinking of her?" Lesser's sensitive characters often cast about this way for signs of who they are and what they want. Rather than experiencing the sudden epiphanies that lend drama to the lives of many fiction characters, however, they, like real people, must make do with only glimpses of self-discovery. These glimpses (also as in real life)