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Reel Talk

Top 10 films of the year — from two perspectives

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Summing up a year’s worth of movies can be tricky. Top 10 lists often yield more questions than answers. The subjective nature of the endeavor inevitably reveals personal interests, quirks and prejudices, all of which can be either intriguing or infuriating depending on whether you agree with a given compiler’s cinematic worldview.
  

Judd Apatow’s Brand Of Raunchy Comedy Ages Gracefully

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 19, 2012
This Is 40 is only the fourth feature film directed by Apatow (following The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Funny People), but he has tickled our funny bones onscreen as a producer (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Superbad, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Bridesmaids) and a writer (Fun with Dick and Jane, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Pineapple Express).  

Framing 2013: How to Look at the New Year in Film

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Consider this a mission or statement of purpose for next year’s film coverage. The seed of the idea began at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, where I decided to go, as I stated, where the frames took me.  

Film Books That Go Deep Behind the Scenes

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 28, 2012
I’ve long had a soft spot for books about the movies. My space-challenged loft features a shelving unit, embarrassingly overstuffed from floor to ceiling, dedicated to the topic — from collections of critical essays and reviews to interviews with or biographies on filmmakers to wide-ranging histories of an art form that’s still in its relative infancy.  

The Missing Hitch in 'Hitchcock'

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Director Sacha Gervasi attempts to frame Hitchcock as a love story between the director and his wife Alma, a rekindling of their passion for one another without actually presenting evidence of the initial spark or the carefully laid foundation between them.  

Lincoln: The Sentimental Man and The Icon

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Right off the bat in Lincoln, director Steven Spielberg gives us one of his signature moments, a framing device in the story that is supposed to be based on historic facts that smacks of pure invention and threatens to derail our investment in, not just the individual moment, but the film as a whole.  

Sessions of Discovery

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Slowing down, in the Buddhist way, is all about opening oneself up to the cacophony of life. Audiences should keep this notion in mind during screenings of The Sessions, the new film from writer-director Ben Lewin, featuring John Hawkes in one of those quietly human performances.  

A Daringly Dark 'Flight'

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 31, 2012
I’m not certain when the feeling set in for me, but at some point during the Flight screening I attended, I was overcome with the sense of observing the dark days of Stevie Ray Vaughan, the virtuoso Texas guitarist who died in the early 1990s after years of working as a sideman (most notably with David Bowie on his 1980s classic Let’s Dance) and taking center stage with his own band.  

The World In This 'Cloud'

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 24, 2012
I had to catch myself in Toronto during the festival press screening of Cloud Atlas, the new film from Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis (Andy and Lana), and carefully consider what it would mean to define their adaptation of David Mitchell’s book as “novelistic.”   

One-Sided Speculative Political Pandering

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The year 2012 bears the burden of apocalyptic Mayan calendar predictions and a curious onscreen fascination with speculative science fiction dramas but, apparently seeking to top things off, writer Dinesh D’Souza teams up with John Sullivan to speculate about the true intentions of President Barack Obama in 2016: Obama’s America.  

Searching for The Heart and Soul, So Long Ignored

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 10, 2012
In what should be an iconic image, we see Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, a Folk singer who recorded his first single “I’ll Slip Away” back in 1967, strolling along with his guitar case strapped across his back. His long dark hair billows in halo-like fashion around his head; his eyes hidden behind dark shades.
  

DVD Spotlight: 'Sleepless Night'

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 3, 2012
For the couch-bound adrenaline seekers, the American Express/Tribeca Film series offers up Sleepless Night, a French production from Frederic Jardin (of the 2002 comic drama Cravate club) that mines similar territory.  

Downtown Dayton LGBT Film Festival in Seventh Heaven

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 26, 2012
This year’s seventh annual Downtown Dayton LGBT Film Festival lineup definitely addresses a new honest reality, this striving for a sense of urgent authenticity, both through the films and the celebratory events.  

Paul Thomas Anderson Offers Ode to Passing of an Old God

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Our first few moments in the presence of Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) capture the extraordinary power and the isolation of the character. What Paul Thomas Anderson, the director of The Master, and the mercurial Phoenix have created here is a portrait of an old god, maybe the last of his kind to walk the Earth.  

Where The Frames Take Me

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
This year marks my fourth sojourn to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and I have been able to add a few extra days to my usual long weekend mad dash through an impossibly overbooked itinerary that leaves me feeling like a camera-toting tourist snapping pictures of all the officially sanctioned hotspots.