Why does Bob Marley — the man and his
music — still resonate more than 30 years after his death? That’s a
question director Kevin MacDonald tries to unpack in this
straightforwardly rendered, often fascinating documentary about the
Steven Soderbergh, despite threats of an
early retirement, continues his relentless pace with the entertaining,
sneakily incisive Magic Mike, the 49-year-old director’s 11th effort
since 2004 and his third in less than a year following the effective
thrillers Contagion and Haywire. (By comparison, his buddy David Fincher
has made nine movies since 1992.)
The Magician (originally released as The Face) is an unjustly overlooked Ingmar Bergman film, sandwiched between cinema monoliths The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries and early-’60s classics The Virgin Spring and Through a Glass Darkly. It’s as vibrant as any work in his oeuvre — an odd mix of drama, bedroom farce and horror deep with critical, religious and existential symbolisms.
Back when cable superstations were new in the early 1980s, USA Network used to play Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains seemingly every weekend. It was a good film with strong music, barely released to theaters, about an inexperienced, Runaways-like, teen-girl Punk band confronting the road’s and fame’s challenges.