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by Jason Gargano 06.10.2011
at 10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Friday Movie Roundup: Woody Allen Returns to Form

Who knew it would take a 75-year-old to make the best movie of the summer (so far)?

Woody Allen's 41st feature is his most engaging effort in years,a whimsical comedy that seamlessly melds moments of dreamy, nostalgic delight —its protagonist, played by Allen surrogate Owen Wilson, is somehow, each midnight, transported back to Paris' 1920s bohemian heyday where he hangs out with Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and F. Scott Fitzgerald, among others — with the filmmaker's longstanding themes of acute self-loathing, romantic longing and the role of the artist in society.

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by Jason Gargano 05.21.2010
at 01:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Friday Movie Roundup: Devaluation of a 'Star'

Peter Biskind — a former Premiere magazine editor and longtime journalist who wrote the fascinating, endlessly entertaining book about the 1970s American movie scene, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls — recently published a biography called Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America.

I’ve yet to read the book, which, among other things, apparently tells us that Beatty might have slept with more than 12,775 woman — a number that doesn’t include “daytime quickies, drive-by blowjobs, casual gropings, stolen kisses and so on.”

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by Jason Gargano 10.06.2008
at 01:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Bush Wacks Cinema

Longtime film critic/historian Jonathan Rosenbaum has been staying busy since his departure/retirement from the Chicago Reader. In addition to his ongoing DVD column for CinemaScope, Rosenbaum recently wrote a lengthy piece on 100-year-old Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira (yes, he’s still making movies!) for Film Comment, he took part in a “Criticism in Crisis” panel at the New York Film Festival and unveiled his new Web site, JonathanRosenbaum.com.

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Presented essentially in blog format, the site features many of his archived Reader reviews (with more coming every week) as well as new musings on myriad film topics, including an essay on cinema trends during the George W. Bush years entitled “Bushwacked.” Incisive on a number of the levels, the piece — originally written for the latest edition of the Time Out Film Guide — discusses how our rapidly fracturing cultural sphere has impacted movies (and moviegoing) before moving into an investigation of how this development parallels President Bush’s own bubble mentality. (It’s a dismaying turn of events I like to call the Death of Context.)

Of course, Rosenbaum’s diagnosis is often dire, effectively linking Bush’s blissfully ignorant governing techniques with the rapidly changing landscape of serious film culture. Fittingly, he also writes about the various Iraq War-based films that have sprung up in recent years, most of which have garnered disinterest from the public at large while nevertheless providing a vital history the mainstream media has either glossed over or ignored altogether.

And, ever the contrarian, Rosenbaum couldn't help but get in another dig at No Country for Old Men, which he considers the most overrated film of 2007.

That last opinion aside, “Bushwacked” is essential reading.

 
 
by Jason Gargano 05.18.2011
at 04:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Film Schooled Debuts Thursday

Film Schooled, a Cincinnati-based reality TV show that follows two teens through the filmmaking process, screens its pilot episode 7 p.m. tomorrow. Think of it as a head-to-head, meta version of the 48 Hour Film Project.

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by Jason Gargano 04.14.2011
at 05:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Do Something Reel Film Festival

Just in time to align nicely with our annual Green Issue comes the Do Something Reel Film Festival, which is described as a “collection of six provocative, character-driven films focused on passionate people making a world of difference.” Presented by Whole Foods Market in conjunction with and in celebration of Earth Month, the traveling festival will hit more than 70 cities through April, including our own Esquire Theatre tomorrow through April 21.

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by Jason Gargano 04.15.2011
at 03:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Scream 4 Edition

We're already back to reality: One week after 10 films found their way into local movie houses we have only four new offerings, one of which is Scream 4.

It's been 15 years since the original Scream bewitched audiences who grew up with decades of B-movie horror films on late-night TV, at drive-ins and via the then-still-burgeoning home-video market.

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by Jason Gargano 03.29.2011
at 05:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

French Film Festival Stops at NKU

The Tournees Festival of New French Films returns to Northern Kentucky University each Wednesday (at 3:30 p.m.) and Thursday (at 7 p.m.) through April 28. Sponsored by the French American Cultural Exchange and nurtured to the area by Dr. John Alberti, director of NKU's cinema studies program, the fest opens this week with Philippe Lioret's Welcome, which is described as “both a study of budding friendship and a compassionate look at the perils faced by illegal immigrants.”

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by Jason Gargano 11.13.2009
at 05:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Dig Deeper

I know we’re in the midst of an economic recession not seen since before The Wizard of Oz — but we only have one Hollywood studio release this week? And the one is 2012, the latest effects-driven, apocalyptic nonsense from Roland Emmerich?

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by Jason Gargano 10.02.2010
at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: The Flowering of David Fincher

What's up with David Fincher? After giving us only one film (2002's Panic Room) in the eight years following 1999's gleefully subversive, zeitgeist-capturing Fight Club, the notoriously meticulous filmmaker is back with The Social Network, his third effort in four years following 2007's excellent Zodiac and 2008's out-of-character — it's essentially a straight-up love story — The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And he's not done yet: Fincher's American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is currently in production and will be out by the end of 2011.

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by Jason Gargano 04.01.2011
at 03:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Ohio Gangsters Edition

I've yet to see any of the four opening films this week, which makes evaluating their merits kind of tough. But I can say that after three months of largely uninspiring fare we're finally beginning to get some intriguing movie-house options.

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