Category: Uncategorized

Vision: From the Life of Hidegard von Bingen

Film lovers and critics must expect to receive a certain amount of grief for their taste in movies, but there is a different kind flak awaiting the cinephile who loves a good foreign flick.  Americans hate foreign things, especially foreign films.  Just try asking a friend to go to a foreign film, and you will […]

Nowhere Boy

In the sixty-odd year history of modern pop music, there are dozens of artists who have achieved the status of icon or legend, and the most famous names on that list are more globally recognizable than any world leader, but of all those great talents and massive names, I’d say only two acts—The Beatles and […]

Howl Interview

I recently took part in a roundtable discussion with Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the Oscar-winning directors (Epstein made The Times Of Harvey Milk and they co-directed Common Threads: Stories From The Quilt) of the new film Howl, a multi-faceted drama about the making of Allen Ginsberg’s eponymous poem. The film stars James Franco as […]


“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…” Thus marks the beginning of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” arguably the most famous American poem of the post-war era. Discovering this poem has been a vital moment in the lives of so many so-called “angel-headed hipsters” over the last fifty years that it hardly seems […]

DVD Review Modern Times

Over the summer, when fresh 35mm prints of some of Charlie Chaplin’s best films started touring the country and rumors that perhaps Criterion might get into the Tramp business, I excitedly shared the news with a friend, knowing that he was both a fan and someone who taught the films.  I expected mutual enthusiasm, but […]

Inside Job

CDOs.  AAA ratings.  Derivatives.  These are just a few financial phrases that Matt Damon simplifies for audiences of average Americans in Charles Ferguson’s documentary Inside Job.   The film carefully walks the line between cinema and power point presentation as it attempts to explain the 2008 economic crisis and—more importantly—point the finger of blame.  Ferguson (No […]

Review: Rapt

Ask any specialist in schadenfreude: giants laid low make fruitful subjects, and what better time than 2009 for the movies to put industrial bigwigs through trials by fire? Lucas Belvaux’s Rapt of that year, shown July 18 at the Museum of Fine Arts’ French Film Festival, is based on the 1978 kidnapping for ransom of […]

Review: Hadewijch

I’ll admit it: I was raring to see Hadewijch because the story of a girl too scarily religious for a convent sounded right up my alley.  I was expecting something satirical but empathetic, like Luis Buñuel on a kinder day.  But Bruno Dumont, the director of the 2009 film soon to be playing at the […]

Review: The Concert

Radu Mihaileanu’s The Concert is a film about the enduring repercussions of an act of Soviet anti-Semitism…sort of.  At times it’s actually more of a comedy about a group of shabby, loud Russian musicians horrifying the starchy Parisian artistic establishment.   It’s also a familial drama in which a young woman finds her roots and […]

Interview with Ken Winokur – 3 Silent Classics of Josef von Sternberg

A few weeks ago, Criterion released an excellent box set–a collection of early Josef von Sternberg films.  They are a must own for anyone interested in cinema, especially in this new incarnation.  The set contains commentaries, documentaries, essays, and two brand new scores from the Alloy Orchestra.  I had the opportunity to catch up with […]