Monthly Archives: May 2010


One of the few good aspects of Saturday Night Live’s long, slow descent into complete irrelevance has been the lack of any films based on the venerable show’s sketches. After eleven releases between 1990 and 2000, of which only Wayne’s World even approached watchability, there were none in the last decade. Jorma Taccone’s Macgruber is […]

Great Scene: John Adams

In the American character today, there are few things in shorter supply than political courage.  Indeed, the depth of partisan conformity in Washington, D.C., has made the very idea of “going against the grain” all but unpalatable.  Yet since America’s founding, there has been the occasional profile in stately valor, in which the leaders of […]

Great Scene: Alice

Who is the curious girl we follow down the rabbit hole?  Many people of my generation probably picture Disney’s well-behaved blond soprano, and now we can add Tim Burton’s bare-shouldered adult heroine to our Alice repertoire.  None too sinister young ladies: the world Alice’s imagination creates can be scary, but it’s full of reassuring and […]

Kick Ass

I’ll start by addressing the pun that will be made by so many bloggers over the next few weeks: No, Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass does not kick ass. It is a flawed but mostly enjoyable film that is better than most of what is currently playing in the major theaters, but you’d lose nothing by waiting […]

Stanley Cavell at Harvard

On April 6, I learned who provided Boston-Cambridge cinephiles with one of our most adventurous venues. The Harvard Film Archive celebrated its thirtieth birthday with a talk by the American philosopher Stanley Cavell, who has written extensively on cinema in Pursuits of Happiness: the Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage and The World Viewed: Reflections on the […]

The Headless Woman

Earlier this year, amid all the hype surrounding Katherine Bigelow’s Oscar win, another, possibly more impressive, achievement by a female director went ignored in the mainstream media. In a poll of hundreds of New York’s film experts to determine the best Latin American films of the last decade, the top spot did not go to […]