August 8, 1999 |
To the Japanese, America has long seemed a dangerous and violent place. Perhaps that is why Hollywood's obsession with guns and gore surprises no one here, and why violence is accepted as a key ingredient that makes U.S. movies so popular and profitable in Japan. In fact, American movies are expected to be violent. "Every major movie has scenes in which people are killed," said Naoko Kimura, host of a weekly TV program that reviews Western movies.
January 18, 2002 |
In the past decade, Tsai Ming-Liang has made five features that have contributed to making the Taiwanese cinema among the most venturesome and challenging in the world today. All five have surfaced locally in festivals and film series, with the second, "Vive l'Amour," receiving a brief run. "What Time Is It There?" is Tsai's latest and marks a change in tone for the director.
May 11, 2000 |
The Laemmle Theaters' "American Independents" continues at the Sunset 5 on Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. with Lynn Hershman Leeson's ambitious and ultimately captivating "Conceiving Ada." In the film, a San Francisco computer wizard, Emmy Coer (Francesca Faridany), not only taps into the life of Lord Byron's brilliant and controversial daughter, Ada (Tilda Swinton), but tries to transmit Ada's memory and genius into the baby that Emmy is carrying.
August 4, 1992 |
Timothy Carey's "The World's Greatest Sinner," which screens Wednesday only at the Nuart, is best viewed as primitive art, a sort of hick morality play whose incoherence mirrors the confusion of its hero's mind. Even those who would dismiss it as simply a bad movie would have to admit it's decidedly different, a personal work filled with real places and people.
December 24, 1992 |
The character of Donato only utters a few lines in Francesco Rosi's poetic and contemplative "Three Brothers." But that hardly matters. In this rural widower's craggy face, you can feel a profoundly earthy dignity and sadness that seems to transcend language. Throughout this 1980 Italian film, the old man (Charles Vanel) seems to symbolize a simple yet honorable way of life that is crumbling in the face of an increasingly chaotic modern society.
April 29, 1985 |
"Sunrise" (1927), that high point of the German Expressionist influence in American films, is the appropriate opening for the County Museum of Art's tribute to F. W. Murnau, running Wednesdays at 8 p.m. through June 3 in the museum's Bing Theater. Designed by Rochus Gliese and luminously photographed by Karl Struss and Charles Rosher Sr., "Sunrise" is intensely stylized and was shot on an immense city set and in a vaguely European village constructed on Fox's back lot.
August 5, 1985 |
"Contemporary French Cinema," composed of four recent double features, gets under way at UCLA Melnitz Friday at 8 p.m. with Colline Serreau's "Qu'est qu'on attend pour etre heureux!" ("What Are We Waiting for to Be Happy?"), preceded by Caroline Roboh's "Clementine Tango." We can skip over "Clementine Tango," a precious fable set in a kinky Paris nightclub and so tedious as to give decadence a bad name.
January 19, 1990 |
The Little Tokyo Cinema's Yasujiro Ozu series continues today with "Tokyo Story" (1953), long regarded as one of the finest films of all time, and "Equinox Flower" (1958). "Tokyo Story" tells of an elderly couple's visit to their married children, who neither have as much time for them as they had hoped nor are as successful as they had imagined.
July 24, 1998 |
Tommy O'Haver's "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss" is a giddy yet wise romantic comedy about a self-absorbed young gay photographer from Indiana who has come to L.A. in search of love and success. Sean P. Hayes' boyish Billy loves old Hollywood movies, particularly women's melodramas, and O'Haver makes his film a witty homage to vintage screen romance while keeping its perspective on the here and now.