Reviews

3-D (Like it Used to Be) in ‘53

By

In 1953 and ‘54, this critic was popping the popcorn, changing the marquee, and patrolling the aisles of the Ritz Theater in Indianapolis, making sure couples kept both feet on the floor at all times. Being on staff at a neighborhood movie house as a high school student was the perfect introduction to the film… Read more »

On the Fast Track of Derby History

By

Late last year, Drew Barrymore’s Whip It was released in theaters, giving the mainstream a fictional take on the world of modern roller derby. The story, adapted from the novel Derby Girl by Shauna Cross, focuses on an outcast teen who finds confidence and her inner power by joining the banked track league of Austin,… Read more »

Tribeca 2010 Critic's Choice: "Cairo Time"

By

Cairo Time (Ruba Nadda. 2009. Canada/Ireland/Egypt. 89 min.) We’ve all logged time in the stranger-in-a-strange-land movie, but rarely with the intense pleasure that accompanies watching Patricia Clarkson discover Cairo. Clarkson works more modestly and with more cumulative emotional impact under Syrian/Canadian writer-director Ruba Nadda than she’s ever demonstrated in a long, distinguished career. There’s a… Read more »

Tribeca 2010 Critic's Choice: "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll"

By

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll (Mat Whitecross. 2009. UK. 115 min.) Imagine the headshot of actor Andy Serkis. Watch his eyes—the man can act with his eyes more expressively than anyone in his generation. In King Kong, wearing the gorilla suit, his eyes were pinpoint flashes of anger, loss, confusion and fury. As Gollum in Lord of the Rings… Read more »

Tribeca 2010 Critic's Choice: "Visionaries"

By

Visionaries (Chuck Workman. 2010. USA. 90 min.) If you were tasked with pulling together a comprehensive history of experimental cinema from the 1920s through today—running exactly 90 minutes—who would you trust to research and assemble such a formidable project? Chances are Chuck Workman would top your list; his reputation as the premiere montage specialist has… Read more »

Defending Tribeca in an Era of Megabrands

By

Those French scamps who walked off with this year’s Best Short Oscar (LogoRama) didn’t sneak in a Tribeca Film Festival logo among their 2,500 global power players. But TFF’s simple, clean graphic wouldn’t have looked out of place next to MGM’s lion and Universal’s revolving world. TFF still has only a fraction (nine years) of… Read more »

Tribeca 2010 Critic's Choice: "The Killer Inside Me"

By

The Killer Inside Me (Michael Winterbottom. 2010. USA. 109 min.) Deep into Michael Winterbottom’s indelibly accurate rendering of Jim Thompson’s most important novel, is a defining scene in an Oklahoma jailhouse. Sheriff Lou Ford (Casey Affleck, as soulless a killing machine as any lifelong Thompson fan could wish for) is trying to cheer up the… Read more »

Tribeca 2010 Critic's Choice: "The White Meadows"

By

The White Meadows (Mohammad Rasoulof. 2009. Iran. 93 min.) “My job has to do with people’s heartaches,” says Rahmat the boatman (Hassan Pourshirazi), a serious and purposeful man whose unending task seems to be circling the tiny islands and inlets spotted through Lake Urmia, one of the largest saltwater lakes in the world. Rahmat’s specific… Read more »

Best of the Shorts: Tribeca 2010

By

At the movies, I want to laugh out loud, clutch my armrest in terror, weep uncontrollably, and be amazed. I’ll admit my standards are high and past Tribeca Film Festivals have been serious enablers of my lofty expectations. So I suppose it was inevitable that one year I would be a tad disappointed by their… Read more »

Taking the Temp of SXSW 2010

By

The fact that Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker made its US premiere one year ago at SXSW upped the intrigue this year, prompting me to wonder if one of 2010’s 134 features or 126 shorts would achieve that rarefied status. SXSW 2010 included films featuring some Hollywood heavyweights, from Bill Murray, Robert Duval, and Sissy… Read more »