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Film

Arts

Where the Boys Are

With many new cast members, Todd Stephens delivers yet "Another Gay Movie" Comment
Arts

Spaghetti Eastern

By By: STEVE ERICKSON Comment
Arts

Holocaust Without Passion

By By: STEVE ERICKSON Comment
Arts

Where the Boys Are

With many new cast members, Todd Stephens delivers yet "Another Gay Movie" Comment
Arts

Spaghetti Eastern

By By: STEVE ERICKSON Comment
Arts

Holocaust Without Passion

Jiri Menzel founders on the shoals of whimsy in look at conscience. Comment
Theater IN THE NOH

Gillette's Edge

By: DAVID NOH | Anita Gillette has always exuded an instant onstage warmth and empathy, reminiscent of such great character actresses as Eve Arden or Fay Bainter. You can see her with Jamie Farr in "Flamingo Court" (New World Stages; 212-239-6200). Comment
Arts

Absurding the Bard

By: GARY M. KRAMER Comment

Absurding the Bard

By: GARY M. KRAMER Comment
Arts

Cinema By Six

By: GARY M. KRAMER Comment
Music

Crash Treated with Care

By: STEVE ERICKSON Comment
Arts

In a Lonely Street

Midway between the epic Indian-hating of "The Searchers" (1956) and the baroque half-breed caricature of "Nevada Smith" (1966) there appeared, from Hollywood's margins, a movie about Indians - real American Indians, not bronzed whites - unlike any before it, and comparable to very few since. Comment
Arts

A Little Nothing For Everybody

If making documentaries about the Iraq War could end it, it would have been over a long time ago. And if writing think pieces about Americans' apathy toward films about that war could encourage spectators to go see them, Nick Broomfield's "Battle for Haditha" would have played for several months at Film Forum, rather than two weeks, and Kimberly Peirce's "Stop-Loss," produced by MTV Films, would have attracted crowds of screaming teenagers. Comment
Arts

Sarcasm Eases the Shocks

Brent Gorski stars as the title character in "Holding Trevor," a fine romantic comedy-drama he penned about a trio of gay and gay-friendly 20-somethings searching for love and the meaning of life. Comment
Arts

No Dutch Treat

Part of this year's "New Directors/New Films" series, co-presented by MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, "La France" is undoubtedly the best gender-bending World War I musical you'll ever see. Impossible to classify, it's a war movie with a love story that only flowers in its beginning and then in its closing moments. It's far more fully realized than the kind of promising but not quite accomplished film "New Directors/New Films" often showcases. Comment
Arts

Aunt Kate

Katharine Houghton, Katharine Hepburn's niece, wants to make it clear: "Kate and Spencer Tracy were rampantly... heterosexual." William J. Mann's recent biography "Kate: The Woman […] Comment
Arts

Battlefront Dispatches

Epistolary relationships are a standard conceit of literature and theater. In today's world of texting, IMing, email, and FaceBook, however, it seems almost quaint to build a relationship through handwritten notes - or even to invest the time that such writing takes - and the depth of communication it implies. Comment
Arts

Client 9 Blues

Italian director Marco Ferreri named one of his films "The Future Is Female." For France's Olivier Assayas, that's a given. Comment
Music

Tender Is the Heart

Christophe Honoré's "Love Songs" is a poignant meditation on grief and how love - of both the hetero and homo varieties - can helps ease suffering. And it's a musical. "Love Songs" is a bold and ambitious film, and it is one that is also incredibly heartfelt and moving. Comment
Arts

Fear, Loathing In Portland

Gus Van Sant has charted an interesting path in his forays in cinema and, for much of it, one that must be admired. A pioneer of New Queer Cinema with his beautifully shot mini-pic "Mala Noche," he went on to grab considerable attention with the independent films "Drugstore Cowboy" and, most notably, "My Own Private Idaho." Comment
Arts

Least Among the Exploited

The remarkable "Blind Mountain" tackles the subject of human trafficking with tremendous restraint and control. Set in the early 1990s, in northern China, writer and director Li Yang portrays how money and corruption enable men in rural villagers to buy women, for marriage and breeding, and also painfully captures the despair of the victims, who often resign themselves to their fate because given the forces of social conformity, there is, in reality, little chance of escape. Comment
Arts

Grrrrl Power

There is much sound and fury, signifying something in "Girls Rock!," an ambitious though not entirely successful documentary about a rock and roll camp for 8-18 year-old females. On the surface, the film breaks down stereotypes of women in music -and clearly shows how girls can become empowered through performance. When a female band burns up the stage at camp one afternoon, many of the girls in the audience see these performers as role models. Comment
Arts

Anxious and on the Outside

"Anybody has better things to do than listen to me," declares Keith Sontag (Dore Mann), the hero of "Frownland." The film takes a big risk in placing at center stage a guy many of us would dash out of a subway car to avoid having to listen to. "Frownland" offers the flipside of American independent cinema's common glorification of all things and people quirky and eccentric. It depicts a truly marginal man, an outsider so quirky that he can barely finish a coherent sentence and so eccentric that he's a step away from homelessness. Comment
Arts

There Will Be Development

Bipartisanship may be an ideal in some corners of American politics, but it's surely an understatement to point that it's not a concept honored by most documentarians. As some critics have speculated, Tony Kaye's abortion doc "Lake of Fire" likely bombed because of its refusal to choose sides in the debate. Comment
Arts

Revisiting the Silent Era

Music and film have been inextricably linked since the first pianist played along with a silent movie in 1895. In those days, music was an essential part of the experience but as talkies gave way to the summer blockbuster, the role of music became more incidental. At the Kitchen February 13, however, filmmaker - and ersatz guitarist - Brent Green presented works closer in spirit and execution to the Age of the Silver Screen. Comment
Arts

Windy City Blues

Chicago has often been the place where American justice goes to die. From the Haymarket affair of the 1880s, to the smashing of the Wobblies in 1918, and Red Squad rampages of the '30s, to the projectiles hurled at Dr. King, routing him as even the South could not, Chicago has time and again proven its mettle. Comment
Arts

Masochism Changes Things

During his stay in the US, German director Max Ophuls wanted to film Honoré de Balzac's novella "The Duchess of Langeais" with Greta Garbo and James Mason, but he was never able to make it. Jacques Rivette's cruel melodrama gives some idea what that film might have been like. His version of the story seems utterly consistent with his long-term concerns, yet at 79, he's still breaking new ground. Comment
Arts

Truths and Consequences

The first decade of this young, nervous century may be remembered as, among other things, the documentary decade. After a couple of recent "expanded" editions, it seems only inevitable that "Documentary Fortnight," MoMA's annual nonfiction sampling, would by a kind of meiosis now be flanked fore and aft by two other doc assortments, together billed as "Doc Month." It's raining docs. Comment
Arts

Extreme Aesthetic

It's hard to make generalizations about a program as broad as the 2008 lineup of "Film Comment Selects," which ranges from zombie movies to experimental documentaries. As I noted last year, the series is far more open to provocation and potential controversy than its big brother, the New York Film Festival. Comment

Sweet Exorcist

It took a little while, but Charles Burnett is finally enjoying a crossover moment of sorts. With accolades strewn like rose petals before last year's release of Burnett's debut feature "Killer of Sheep" (1977), in its first theatrical run 30 years after completion, the African-American filmmaker, now in his early 60s, seems at last poised to gain an audience equal to his critical esteem and artistic caliber. Comment
Arts

The Preminger Touch

There is the man. A child of privilege, born in Vienna in either 1905 or '06, according to varying accounts, to a father retained as counsel by the Habsburg monarchs. The young artist turned by the muses from law school to apprenticeship with Max Reinhardt, then to film with "Die Grosse Liebe" (1931) and soon enough onstage in New York and on B detail at Fox in Hollywood, swinging freely between film and theater for years. Comment
Arts

Keeping the Arthouse Open

In 2007, cinephilia meant spending a lot of time in mourning, thanks to the deaths of Michelangelo Antonioni, Ingmar Bergman, Ousmane Sembene, and Edward Yang. Obituary proclamations of Bergman's irrelevance were answered at length in the blogosphere, but even if the director's reputation has fallen since the '60s, he lived a long life and made a vast oeuvre. Yang died in his 50s and only got to direct seven films. His fate seems emblematic of the current state of art cinema. Comment
Arts

Film Fest Honors Gays

This year the 36-year-old, internationally touring, New York City-based Dance on Camera Festival has spread its wings and swept into the boroughs. Expanded content brought opportunities for community-based programming. Comment
Arts

Where There's Oil...

In the finest Hollywood tradition of coaxing movie magic from literary banality, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson has taken Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel "Oil!", which studio heads and agents hadn't exactly been pining to produce, and made from it a work of sensory astonishment and rich moral ambiguities. Comment
Arts

Keeping the Arthouse Open

In 2007, cinephilia meant spending a lot of time in mourning, thanks to the deaths of Michelangelo Antonioni, Ingmar Bergman, Ousmane Sembene, and Edward Yang. Obituary proclamations of Bergman's irrelevance were answered at length in the blogosphere, but even if the director's reputation has fallen since the '60s, he lived a long life and made a vast oeuvre. Yang died in his 50s and only got to direct seven films. His fate seems emblematic of the current state of art cinema. Comment

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