Film Topics

No leader of the pack, but still a heartthrob

Aug 20, 2014

No leader of the pack, but still a heartthrob

by Mark Schilling

What is it with women and bad boys on motorcycles — including college boys with pretensions to being bad? A conundrum of my youth. Yes, I understood the appeal of a Marlon Brando or James Dean with a big thrumming machine between his legs, ...

Zulu (Cape Town)

Aug 20, 2014

Zulu (Cape Town)

by Giovanni Fazio

Any movie with Orlando Bloom in it is getting an extra star this month because he recently did what so many of us have longed to do: He took a swing at Justin Bieber. Hell, I’d give him five stars if he had landed ...

The Great Beauty

Aug 20, 2014

The Great Beauty

by Kaori Shoji

‘The Great Beauty” recalls two other films set in Rome: “La Dolce Vita” and “Roman Holiday.” The former takes huge bites out of the city’s decadence and debauchery in much the same way as “The Great Beauty.” The latter takes a mere lick at ...

Leviathan

Aug 20, 2014

Leviathan

by Giovanni Fazio

One reviewer jokingly suggested that the alternative title of “Leviathan” could be “David Lynch, Gone Fishin’, ” and there’s some truth to that: While the film is a documentary of a New Bedford fishing trawler working the North Atlantic, the disorienting, woozy aesthetic and ...

Sacro GRA

Aug 20, 2014

Sacro GRA

by Kaori Shoji

“Sacro GRA” takes the all-roads-lead-to-Rome adage one step further by telling us that one of those roads is actually sacred — the 65-odd-km GRA (Grande Raccordo Anulare). It’s Italy’s most expensive highway, circling Rome in one big loop. Documentarian Gianfranco Rosi took his camera ...

Female anxiety shot from every angle

Aug 13, 2014

Female anxiety shot from every angle

by Mark Schilling

The Japanese film industry used to be like much of the rest of Japanese society: male-centered and male-run. It made plenty of movies about women and for women, but their directors were all men. That began to change when Naomi Kawase won a Cannes ...

Tavarataivas (365 Nichi no Simple Life)

Aug 13, 2014

Tavarataivas (365 Nichi no Simple Life)

by Kaori Shoji

Perhaps you are aware of the tiny house movement, where people move into a teensy-tiny house with the barest of amenities, or Project 333, where people choose to dress with only 33 items for three months or longer. Both have gained significant interest over ...

Promised Land

Aug 13, 2014

Promised Land

by Giovanni Fazio

You can never be sure which Gus Van Sant you’re getting when you are about to watch a film by this stylistically promiscuous director. Will it be the sympathetic chronicler of outsider teens (“My Own Private Idaho,” “Paranoid Park”); the maker of mordantly funny ...

Bajari (Gypsy Flamenco)

Aug 13, 2014

Bajari (Gypsy Flamenco)

by Kaori Shoji

As the world becomes more digitized, human beings begin to seem much less physical. Sometimes it feels as though people have no clue what to do with their bodies anymore. But in Barcelona’s Gypsy community, the flame of Flamenco burns as brightly as it ...

The Queen of Versailles

Aug 13, 2014

The Queen of Versailles

by Giovanni Fazio

Pride comes before a fall, and proving that old proverb correct is “The Queen of Versailles,” a documentary tracking one obscenely wealthy couple’s attempt to build the largest mansion in America, modeled on the Palace of Versailles, no less, but with a bowling alley. ...

Danchi No Yume (Dreams of the Projects)

Aug 6, 2014

Danchi No Yume (Dreams of the Projects)

by Kaori Shoji

There is such a thing as a Japanese dream, and in many ways it’s a lot like the American dream. Japanese hip-hop artist Anarchy’s dream has to do with escape, money and, ultimately, getting to a place where he can perform in a music ...