August 1, 2014 – 8:44 pm | No Comment

The star-system was pronounced dead by almost everyone, but as of the moment of writing everyone is talking about Liza Minnelli in Cabaret and she made the covers of Time and Newsweek simultaneously. Contrast the …

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Incendies
May 16, 2011 – 4:08 pm | No Comment
Incendies

by Richard von Busack
CELEBRATED as it is, Incendies, Canada’s Oscar bid, is truly dire. The film’s fans celebrate how it mixes a plot of Sophoclean inevitability with the history of how Lebanon tore itself apart …

I Wake Up Dreaming 2011, Roxie Theater, San Francisco May 13-26
May 12, 2011 – 1:05 pm | No Comment
I Wake Up Dreaming 2011, Roxie Theater, San Francisco May 13-26

(Adrienne Barrett in Dementia, 1955)
by Richard von Busack
Down with critics trying to sum up the themes and variations of a film festival when they could be talking about the movies themselves! (Blame editors looking for …

Cave of Forgotten Dreams
May 5, 2011 – 1:35 pm | 2 Comments
Cave of Forgotten Dreams

by Richard von Busack
DESPITE the deaths of Welles and Heston, cinematic narration muddles along somehow. We do have the molasses-drenched tonsils of Morgan Freeman, still the voice of Jehovah’s own unequivocation, and we …

Meek’s Cutoff
May 4, 2011 – 4:33 pm | No Comment
Meek’s Cutoff

By Richard von Busack
For every Jim Bridger or Kit Carson, there must have been a dozen fools like the hoarse-voiced, lying guide Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood). Kelly Reichardt’s neo-western Meek’s Cutoff shows us a group …

Thor
May 4, 2011 – 11:24 am | One Comment
Thor

By Richard von Busack
Putting Chris Hemsworth in close-up on the poster for Thor was a big risk. A big risk for him, anyway: if the movie didn’t work, he’d have this comic book part hung …

Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen
April 29, 2011 – 12:45 pm | No Comment
Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen

By Richard von Busack
Much of Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zen is golden superhero garbage, with Donnie Yen dressed in the black livery and visor mask of Kato from the Green Hornet, …

Reel Work 2011
April 28, 2011 – 7:16 pm | No Comment
Reel Work 2011

by Richard von Busack
THE INVALUABLE labor film festival Reel Work now enters its 10th year with screenings in Silicon Valley and beyond, providing directions out of a world of nouveau feudalism—one’s alternative to Atlas Shrugged: …

Potiche
April 18, 2011 – 2:25 pm | No Comment
Potiche

By Richard von Busack
The trailers for Francois Ozon’s Potiche look fairly atrocious, so it’s a surprise to see it and discover why it’s been sticking around. It’s based on a 1970s farce by Barillet and …

Scream 4
April 17, 2011 – 2:28 pm | One Comment
Scream 4

By Richard von Busack
Is Scream 4 a “shreiquel” or a “screamake”? I shouldn’t ask that question because the film asks that question itself. Strangely likable morsel of slasher-Pirandello that it is, Scream 4 asks more …

The Conspirator
April 14, 2011 – 1:58 pm | No Comment
The Conspirator

by Richard von Busack
ROBERT REDFORD’S The Conspirator is one of those pieces of history that Howard Zinn liked to unearth. It’s a shameful episode—from 1865—and it deserves to be remembered.
James Solomon’s script had been lingering …

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