MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

Wilmington By Mike WilmingtonWilmington@moviecitynews.com

Wilmington on Movies: Extraordinary Measures and Tooth Fairy

Extraordinary Measures (Two and a Half Stars) U. S.; Tom Vaughan, 2010 Nothing can break your heart like the spectacle of a loved one with a seemingly incurable disease; few can elevate it like a true story of disease defeated, a life saved, a doom deferred. Witness the

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Wilmington on Movies: The Book of Eli, The Spy Next Door, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, The Lovely Bones and 35 Shots of Rum

The Book of Eli (Two and a Half Stars) U.S.; Allen & Albert Hughes, 2010 The end of the world arrives again this week, though thankfully only in the movies. In The Book of Eli — an exciting but, for me, finally disappointing sci-fi thriller from the Hughes Brothers — Denzel Washington plays a lone,…

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Wilmington on Movies: Leap Year, The Sun

Leap Year (Two and a Half Stars) U.S.-U.K.: Anand Tucker Leap Year — in which Amy Adams learns that a bad-tempered Irishman who runs a tavern/hotel is in many ways preferable to a smooth-talking Boston cardiologist with a Blackberry — is a sweet-natured picaresque romantic comedy blessed with spectacular Irish scenery and cursed with the…

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Wilmington: The National Film Critics Awards

This year’s big winner at the 2009 voting awards meeting of the National Society of Film Critics, the 44th in its genuinely storied annals, was Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker. Already

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Wilmington: Ten Best of 2009

Here are my ten best, from a year of my life I wish I had never lived, a year of sorrow and pain and occasional flashes of redemption and love. What of the movies I watched during that time of personal tragedy? Well, this makes twice I’ve

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THE TEN BEST OF 2009

Here are my ten best, from a year of my life I wish I had never lived, a year of sorrow and pain and occasional flashes of redemption and love. What of the movies I watched during that time of personal tragedy? Well, this makes twice I’ve put Up at the head of a ten-best compendium…

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Wilmington

Quote Unquotesee all »

“On behalf of all nominees, we would like to express our unanimous and emphatic disapproval of the climate of fanaticism and nationalism we see today in the U.S. and in so many other countries, in parts of the population and, most unfortunately of all, among leading politicians.

“The fear generated by dividing us into genders, colors, religions and sexualities as a means to justify violence destroys the things that we depend on – not only as artists but as humans: the diversity of cultures, the chance to be enriched by something seemingly ‘foreign’ and the belief that human encounters can change us for the better. These divisive walls prevent people from experiencing something simple but fundamental: from discovering that we are all not so different.

“So we’ve asked ourselves: What can cinema do? Although we don`t want to overestimate the power of movies, we do believe that no other medium can offer such deep insight into other people’s circumstances and transform feelings of unfamiliarity into curiosity, empathy and compassion – even for those we have been told are our enemies.

“Regardless of who wins the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday, we refuse to think in terms of borders. We believe there is no best country, best gender, best religion or best color. We want this award to stand as a symbol of the unity between nations and the freedom of the arts.

“Human rights are not something you have to apply for. They simply exist – for everybody. For this reason, we dedicate this award to all the people, artists, journalists and activists who are working to foster unity and understanding, and who uphold freedom of expression and human dignity – values whose protection is now more important than ever. By dedicating the Oscar to them, we wish to express to them our deep respect and solidarity.”

Martin Zandvliet – Land of Mine (Denmark)
Hannes Holm – A Man Called Ove (Sweden )
Asghar Farhadi – The Salesman (Iran)
Maren Ade – Toni Erdmann (Germany)
Martin Butler, Bentley Dean – Tanna (Australia)

“I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures. I like to subscribe to Susan Sontag’s thought of no highs and lows. I think dismissing popular culture and popular films can be really dangerous because they may seem innocuous, but some are works of art and even when they’re not they can say so much about the culture that they’re reflecting. This also gets into the idea of canon. What is good and isn’t good? Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about that. Specifically, who writes these canons? Mainly, straight white guys — which basically rigs the system. So, if you have a knowledge of female filmmakers, queer filmmakers, African or Asian filmmakers, some people won’t give them the same culture capital. They’ll say, “Oh, that’s nice niche knowledge.” No, it’s not. You’re just seeing it through the prism of something white and male. Like Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Scandal.’ I love that show, but is it a guilty pleasure because it’s a soap on TV? No. I think it has incredible writing, incredible thought and characters, so we should take it seriously. That’s a long-winded answer to say, “Yes, I love Titanic.” I was 10 years old when it came out and my mom took me to see it three times. I was so obsessed with it. A big thanks to my mom who’ll never get those nine hours of her life back.”
~ Toronto Int’l Programmer and Critic Kiva Reardon