| Jan 15, 2016

The man who sold the world on music

The Starman has departed for his home planet. I can’t imagine a world without David Bowie, but the strange thing is, he never was in my world, at least physically. So why do I feel the loss as dearly as I would my closest ...

The darker side of young adulthood

Jan 13, 2016

The darker side of young adulthood

The opening shot of “Little Birds” tells us all we need to know about its heroine Lily, a 15-year-old stuck in a deader-than-dead-end town. As she lies in the bath, the camera pans across the pale white skin of her legs until it lands ...

Top 10 films of 2015: Like finding a needle in a haystack

Dec 23, 2015

Top 10 films of 2015: Like finding a needle in a haystack

Finding alternatives in 2015 to big-budget blockbusters and beard-stroking festival films wasn’t easyIt has been a lean year. All too often, it felt like you had seen the movies of 2015 before — each new release seemed to be the shadow of a shadow ...

'Heaven Knows What' paints a grim picture of drug addiction

Dec 16, 2015

'Heaven Knows What' paints a grim picture of drug addiction

“You just gotta see that junk is just another nine-to-five gig in the end,” wrote Jim Carroll in “The Basketball Diaries” way back in 1978. Perhaps no film about heroin has captured that grinding routine of score-shoot-nod-hustle-score as well as “Heaven Knows What” — ...

'Straight Outta Compton' is a sanitized biopic of N.W.A's story

Dec 9, 2015

'Straight Outta Compton' is a sanitized biopic of N.W.A's story

In the summer of 1989, wherever you went — every house party, every car stereo, every street corner boom-box — you’d hear the same two tracks shredding the speakers: Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” and N.W.A’s “F—- tha Police.” It was the summer where ...

'Restrepo' and 'Korengal' capture emotions of war

Nov 25, 2015

'Restrepo' and 'Korengal' capture emotions of war

Filmmakers Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger were embedded with U.S. soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade in a firebase in Afghanistan’s remote Korengal Valley throughout 2007 and 2008. Their resulting documentary, “Restrepo,” was released in 2010; only now is it screening in Japan, and ...

'Moonwalkers': one very small step for comedy in film

Nov 18, 2015

'Moonwalkers': one very small step for comedy in film

One of the king-daddy conspiracy theories of all time — right up there with the “grassy knoll” and Area 51 — is the notion that the Apollo 11 moon landing of 1969 did not actually happen and that it was created on a movie ...