25th Hour, Spike Lee’s latest film, is actually pretty good–despite the rumors of Lee’s decline as a filmmaker, and despite the fact that this is one of his films with a largely white cast, that doesn’t deal at all with African American issues (which is not to say that it ignores race)… (Warning: spoilers to follow)
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Jane Jacobs is best known for The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which revolutionized thought about urban planning in the 1960s. But in her 80s she is still very much alive, and intellectually vigorous. Her latest book, The Nature of Economies, is surprisingly fresh and provocative, if also deeply problematic….
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One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2003 was to write more in this blog than I did last year–even if the entries are less polished (& hence less good).
I’ll start by talking about Abel Ferrara’s R-Xmas–which I think is the greatest Christmas movie, ever….
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Hal Hartley’s No Such Thing got almost no favorable notice when it came out in 2001. But I found it deep and compelling, one of Hartley’s best films. It’s sort of his version of Beauty and the Beast, or maybe Songs of Innocence and Experience…
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As a great admirer of the films of Kathryn Bigelow, I went this weekend to see her new movie, K19:The Widowmaker“, starring Harrison Ford. While it is far from my favorite of her films, I wasn’t disappointed…
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I saw a number of fine films at the just-ended Seattle International Film Festival, but the one that has stuck in my mind the most, indeed haunted me, was Shunji Iwai’s All About Lily Chou-Chou….
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It’s hard to comment on Jean-Luc Godard’s 2001 film Eloge de l’amour(In Praise of Love) after only having seen it once (earlier today at the Seattle International Film Festival). But I’ll try…
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The Deep End, by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, is one of the finer independent films of 2001. Crossing noir and melodrama, the film is a fairly close remake of the last of Max Ophuls’ three Hollywood films, The Reckless Moment (1949).
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I just saw (on DVD) Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko, which is an extraordinarily beautiful film, certainly one of the best movies of 2001. It’s a delicate, creepy, and quite affecting portrait of male teenage alienation and angst, subtly bathed in the colors of what might be described either as schizophrenic hallucination, or as science fiction….
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Seeing Monster’s Ball made me wish that James Baldwin were still alive, because Baldwin wrote the book on the racial hypocrisy of Hollywood. Monster’s Ball continues the tradition of films like The Defiant Ones and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner–films that wear their ostensibly anti-racist messages on their sleeves, while actually continuing to perpetuate the worst racist stereotypes…
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