Reviews Archive for November, 2008

Quo Vadis

As the pool of epic movies yet to be released on DVD diminishes, each release that does appear seems to become all the more significant. Warner Home Video has issued an impressive Two-Disc Special Edition of the 1951 MGM production, Quo Vadis. 1951, remember, was before widescreen or stereo sound was utilized to make such movies…

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Not Quite Hollywood The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! Directed by Mark Hartley

Not Quite Hollywood may be my favorite talking-heads-and-clips movie ever. (That’s Entertainment is not really a doc, but just a series of great clips from great musicals… different animal.) It is complete, and informative. But mostly, it’s very, very entertaining. From the very beginnings of the Aussie film business to the sexual exploitation and self-mockery…

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Che Directed by Steven Soderbergh

My first reaction to Steven Soderbergh’s Che was absolute shock at the idiocy and arrogance of it all… that is to say, the idiocy and the arrogance of the response from Cannes. This is one reason why I hate seeing a movie “after the fact.” It is a real challenge to all critics – and any one…

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What to Catch the Second Half of AFI Fest

AFI Fest, which kicked off last Thursday, is a different sort of fest than Sundance or Cannes or Toronto. Many of the films on the schedule are what I would consider more mainstream-friendly fare (which is not at all to say they aren’t good films). Much of the schedule here is kind of a “best…

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Hunger

Hunger focuses on the Irish prison hunger strike led by Bobby Sands in 1981. The depiction of the squalor these predominantly political prisoners live in and the endless beatings they undergo from jailers is vividly and unflinchingly portrayed. Written and directed by the acclaimed installation artist Steve McQueen, it’s an accomplished first film and, at the same…

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Hurt Locker

The best Iraq movie so far (closely nipping Nick Broomfield’s Battle For Haditha) and the best new American film at TIFF that I have seen this year is Kathryn Bigelow’s Hurt Locker, which really isn’t so much an Iraq War film as it is a war film that happens to be in Iraq. Mark Boal’s screenplay does what so…

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Ray Pride on: The DVD Wrapup: Founder, Punching Henry, Paris 05:59, Apocalypse Child, Donnie Darko, Woman of the Year, Tampopo, Handmaid’s Tale and more

RAY WEIKEL on: The DVD Wrapup: Founder, Punching Henry, Paris 05:59, Apocalypse Child, Donnie Darko, Woman of the Year, Tampopo, Handmaid’s Tale and more

Carrie Mulligan on: Wilmington on DVDs: The Great Gatsby

estes1963 on: The DVD Wrapup: Drive Angry, Once Upon a Time in the West, Adua & Her Friends, A Clockwork Orange, Undertow, The Joke, Passion Play, Kaboom, Harvest ...

isa50 on: Wilmington on DVDs: Gladiator; Hell's Half Acre; The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Rory on: Wilmington on Movies: Snow White and the Huntsman

gurley1986 on: The DVD Wrapup: Blood Simple, Cat People, Shallows, Neon Demon, Sirk X 2, Warcraft, Kamikaze '89 and more

Quote Unquotesee all »

Dear Irene Cho, I will miss your energy and passion; your optimism and joy; your kindness towards friends, colleagues, strangers, struggling filmmakers, or anyone who randomly crossed your path and needed a hand. My brothers and I have long considered you another sibling in our family. Our holiday photos – both western and eastern – have you among all the cousins, in-laws, and kids… in the snow, sun, opening presents, at large dinner gatherings, playing Monopoly, breaking out pomegranate seeds and teaching us all how to dance Gangnam style. Your friendship and loyalty meant a great deal to me: you were the loudest cheerleader when I experienced victories and you were always ready with sushi when I had disappointments. You had endless crazy ideas which always seemed impossible but you would will them into existence. (Like that time you called me and suggested that we host a brunch for newly elected mayor of LA, Eric Garcetti because “he is going to president one day.” We didn’t have enough time or funding, of course, only your desire to do it. So you did, and I followed.) You created The Daily Buzz from nothing and it survived on your steam in spite of many setbacks because you believed in a platform for emerging filmmakers from all nations. Most of all, you were a wonderful mother to your son, Ethan, a devoted wife to your husband, and a wonderful sibling and daughter to your family. We will all miss how your wonderful smile and energy lit up the room and our lives. Rest in peace, Irene.
~ Rose Kuo Remembers Irene Cho on Facebook

“You know, I was never a critic. I never considered myself as a film critic. I started doing short films, writing screenplays and then for awhile, for a few years I wrote some film theory, including some film criticism because I had to, but I was never… I never had the desire to be a film critic. I never envisioned myself as a film critic, but I did that at a period of my life when I thought I kind of needed to understand things about cinema, understand things about film theory, understand the world map of cinema, and writing about movies gave me that, and also the opportunity to meet filmmakers I admired.

“To me, it was the best possible film school. The way it changed my perspective I suppose is that I believe in this connection between theory and practice. I think that you also make movies with ideas and you need to have ideas about filmmaking to achieve whatever you’re trying to achieve through your movies, but then I started making features in 1986 — a while ago — and I left all that behind.

“For the last three decades I’ve been making movies, I’ve been living, I’ve been observing the world. You become a different person, so basically my perspective on the world in general is very different and I hope that with every movie I make a step forward. I kind of hope I’m a better person, and hopefully a better filmmaker and hopefully try to… It’s very hard for me to go back to a different time when I would have different values in my relationship to filmmaking. I had a stiffer notion of cinema.”
~ Olivier Assayas