“I’ve seen the future,” Prince sang back in 1989 on the soundtrack to Tim Burton’s Batman, “and it will be …” Gotham City was on the cusp of change; a
hero had arrived on the scene to usher in the new. Cincinnati has been
waiting, always on the verge of its own bankable opportunity to step
into the future as a lively and engaged urban market. Every city needs a hero.
Once upon a time, audiences fell in love with Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová as their characters in the hit movie Once
fell slowly into an unrequited affair rooted in their shared musical
passion. They stepped off the screen together, formed a group (The Swell
Season) and took their love affair on the road.
Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay has a thing for misery. Her memorable 1999 feature-length debut, Ratcatcher,
is set amid a Glasgow tenement block in 1973 and follows a 12-year-old
boy who, after his friend’s accidental drowning, increasingly retreats
into his own solitary world, a place where he befriends an abused girl
and spends time in a half-built housing project adjacent to a sprawling
In a small Tennessee town, Cody Hines
(Trevor St. John) — a happily married husband and teacher with a baby on
the way — loses his wife shortly after the birth of their son. He finds
solace and support in the arms of Joey Williams (Patrick Wang) and
endeavors to raise his son Chip (Sebastian Banes) in this newly
Stories about the Holocaust lead to
questions at the heart of our humanity. Beyond what it means to be human
— Dr. Cornel West’s assertion that the human urge is to engage in the
fierce struggle to live with the inevitability of death — what is it
that we, in any given moment or situation, would be willing to do to
survive or to protect the life of another?
Julie and Jason take notes as the arrival of children seems to rip the
romance out of the relationships of their coupled friends, the
ever-horny Ben and Missy and the humorously
rock-solid Leslie and Alex. The six are
lively and cultured New Yorkers enjoying their version of Sex and the City,
but all of them are vaguely aware, in theory, that kids will challenge
their ability to dine out in style and vacation with ease.
A Separation presents Simin (Leila
Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Maadi), a couple caught in a legal battle.
Simin wants a divorce, so she can take their daughter and flee the
social oppression of Iran, with its restrictions on women, education and
contemporary filmmakers can claim a career as interesting as Gus Van
Sant’s. The 59-year-old director studied painting at the Rhode Island
School of Design before shifting his studies to film. He tried his hand
at Hollywood after graduation, but soon moved his home base to Portland,
Ore., a place where his artier leanings would flourish.
The idea of “dance theater”
(“Tanztheater” in German) evolved from expressionist dance in 1920s
Vienna, with a new form developing and spreading throughout Central
Europe beginning in 1917. The term re-emerged during the 1980s and Pina
Bausch, a student of one of the leaders of this school of dance, became a
new school practioner of note.
To celebrate the Chinese New Year, this
Year of the Dragon, Bruce Lee, the legendary “Little Dragon” returns to
screens for a select two-night-only event in 60-plus cities across the
country. I Am Bruce Lee, the new documentary feature from Pete McCormack offers up the cultural icon as a mirror into the interwoven matrices of life, spirituality and
the games begin. For audiences tired or uninterested in the arcane
goings-on of the numerous guilds and critics organizations all
attempting to exert some power and influence over the hearts and minds
of Academy voters, Tuesday, Jan. 24, must have seemed like the arrival
of Christmas after a series of unimaginable postponements and botched
Danger has been a factor in the recent
films of David Cronenberg, but the tension and anxiety has been focused
on the physical, the threat of bodily harm and the need to determine
where said harm would originate.
Critical backlash and a groundswell of
negativity rises at this time of the year in the world of film. The
various creative guilds and the major critics groups have issued their
nominations for the best films and performances of the past year.
It seems fitting to note that Carnage, the new film from Roman Polanski, is an adaptation based on Yasmina Reza’s play Le Dieu du carnage, which translates in English to God of Carnage. Reza penned the screenplay, and much attention was paid to the omission of the “God of” as Carnage arrived in theaters.
Jonathan Demme gave audiences Rachel Getting Married,
with its melodramaitc depiction of the pre-wedding battle royale
between two sisters and complex relationship matrix that weaves among
the larger clan and nearly derails the celebration. There would be blood
drawn, but there would also be absolution and an inevitable resolution
for all parties. Dogmatic director Lars von Trier artfully proposes no