Reviews

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 »

Best of New Directors/New Films 2010: Shorts

By

Best of 11 Short Films from New Directors/New Films Logorama (H5: François Alaux, Hervé de Crécy, and Ludovic Houplain. 2009. France. 17 min.) And you thought only Chuck Workman could give us a fast-cut world of colliding, spiraling images we somehow retain. Advertising’s even faster, more vivid, more memorable, because the 2,500-and-counting corporate logos that… Read more »

Best of New Directors/New Films: Bill Cunningham New York

By

Bill Cunningham New York (Richard Press. 2010. USA. 84 min.) “I let the street speak to me.” At 80 and still pedaling a Schwinn bike (his 29th, the other 28 rode off without him), the New York Times style photographer knows Manhattan sidewalks and the women and men walking them better than anyone. Midtown strollers… Read more »

Best of New Directors/New Films: Samson and Delilah

By

Samson and Delilah (Warwick Thornton. 2009. Australia. 101 min.) Jeff Bridges can teach you a sad thing or two about chronic alcoholism in Crazy Heart. And if you’d like a primer in the despair of speed and heroin, look no further than Julian Schnabel’s artful filming of Lou Reed’s Berlin concert. But petrol sniffing? Well,… Read more »

Best of New Directors/New Films: The Evening Dress

By

The Evening Dress (La Robe du soir) (Myriam Aziza. 2009. France. 98 min.) You can count on one hand the recent films that get adolescent sexual awakening right. If you narrow that to female adolescent sexual longings, only a few stand out. Water Lilies, made in France in 2007 about a girls’ synchronized swim team,… Read more »

Best of New Directors/New Films: The Red Chapel

By

The Red Chapel (Mads Brügger. 2009. Denmark. 87 min.) Repression. Imprisonment. Extermination. North Korea’s shameful secret is its network of hidden rural prisons, where over a quarter million dissidents have been locked up to rot and die. Last year’s Yodok Stories, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, was a closeup look at one escapee,… Read more »

Best of New Directors/New Films: The Father of My Children

By

The Father Of My Children (Le père de mes enfants) (Mia Hansen-Love. 2009. France/Germany. 110 min.) For a long, long time in Mia Hansen-Love’s heartbreakingly beautiful tribute to the French indie film producer Humbert Balsan, the camera holds tight on the actor (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) playing Grégoire, the maverick producer. Grégoire is brisk, casually but… Read more »

Best of New Directors/New Films: Beautiful Darling

By

Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar (James Rasin. 2010. USA. 86 min.) The defining artifact that seems to have launched the persona, transformation, and life journey (1944-74) of a Long Island boy named James Slattery was a letter from Kim Novak. It’s a generic response to a fan, but… Read more »