Simon Grim, for those who’ve forgotten and the many more who never knew, is the garbageman-turned-Nobel-Prize-winning poet created by Hartley for Henry Fool, and played by James Urbaniak in that film, Fay Grim, and now Ned Rifle, the conclusion of the trilogy.
Wenders is more directly present here than he is in Buena Vista or Pina, but even if we see him in the frame early on, directing his cameraman, it’s clear that Salt is Sebastião’s show—the film never descends into the kind of essayistic indulgence of his earlier documentaries.
Let us assume for an instant that perhaps Cronenberg is fully aware his satire is stale, that his critique of contemporary Hollywood lacks trenchancy. So what, then is Maps to the Stars up to? Is it an honest portrait of a family laid low by Hollywood’s dream machine?
In honor of See It Big: Gordon Willis, the Museum of the Moving Image screening series co-curated by Reverse Shot, Michael Koresky and Jeff Reichert here pay homage to the great cinematographer by focusing specifically on his work in Woody Allen’s 1978 drama Interiors.
In this Reverse Shot Talkie, host Eric Hynes and director Steve James emulate an episode of At the Movies to pay tribute to its hosts, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert; Ebert's writing legacy; and James's documentary about Ebert, Life Itself.
It’s a production that required the full support of those titans of cultural conformity toward which Pynchon’s novels have long cast a wearily jaundiced eye. Return of the repressed or just further proof of the mainstream culture system’s massively absorptive qualities? Does it matter?
The intellectual questions in nonfiction of late have swirled around hybridity and exploding forms, but hopefully in the wake of CITIZENFOUR we’ll be refocused on the basics of filmmaking: Poitras has crafted a real-life thriller more energetic than Kathryn Bigelow’s infinitely higher budgeted Zero Dark Thirty.
Martin Scorsese had a terrific time during the production of Public Speaking, his portrait of writer and New York mainstay Fran Lebowitz. I know this not from anecdotal evidence or first-hand experience of the shoot, but from what’s on display in the film itself.
Goodfellas is a nervy blast—nostalgia-soaked, endlessly quotable, and oddly fun even as it grinds toward a tragic drug-addled end. Casino, both chillier and more hothouse by turns, nauseatingly violent and deeply, woefully sad, is no one’s idea of a good time.
In this Reverse Shot Talkie, host Eric Hynes takes French actor-director Mathieu Amalric up to Manhattan's High Line to talk about his new film, The Blue Room (out now from Sundance Selects), which is based on the steamy 1964 crime novel by Georges Simenon.
His new film is certainly underwhelming in my living room, but it’s hard to imagine The Zero Theorem would be much to look at in a theater either, so uninspired are its futuristic images, the likes of which we’ve grown well accustomed to since the days of Blade Runner.
In its almost bratty simplicity it shows up so many contemporary nonfiction films, which often seem to exist only to document the exemplary or the culturally notable, and in their slavish obsession with their subjects’ import end up squelching the kind of resonance that Italianamerican casually exudes.
All these years later we’re still thinking about A.I. and how the film manages to engender so much human empathy while remaining an essentially cold, remote work largely told from the point of view of robots.