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Posts tagged ‘American Indie Films’

13
Jul

DVD of the Week – Review of Greenberg (2010)

by HELEN GEIB

There are a lot of shots of people in cars in Greenberg. Director Noah Baumbach keeps the camera close to the characters in the car shots. Usually it’s an unseen passenger, shifting its gaze from person to person to follow the conversation. Sometimes it looks at them straight-on through the windshield or car door window, capturing the person and the distorted reflection of what they see. Read more »

22
May

Movie Review – Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

by NIR SHALEV

A great method for testing one’s love for cinema is to watch and suitably comprehend what makes Shadow of the Vampire a great film.  Read more »

4
May

DVD of the Week – Review of Tetro (2009)

by NIR SHALEV

Francis Ford Coppola is one of the most famous and greatest of living directors, but strangely he hasn’t written an original screenplay since his Oscar winning film The Conversation (1974). With Tetro, Coppola goes back to his roots of being an “original” director and, as expected the film is gorgeously shot. Read more »

21
Feb

Movie Review – Crazy Heart (2009)

by HELEN GEIB

Crazy Heart (2009)

Early in Crazy Heart, faded country music star Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is asked by neophyte reporter Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), destined to be the next in a long line of women loved and lost, to name today’s “real” country artists. Bad’s real country credentials are never in doubt: he is the embodiment of the popular culture image of Authentic Country Singer-Songwriter, an alchemical combination of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Steve Earle. Age, the cruel effects of decades of hard-living, and changing popular taste have reduced him to playing bars in small towns in the Southwest, backed by pickup bands and living in old highway motels as run-down as he is. Read more »

7
Feb

Movie Review – Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire (2009)

by HELEN GEIB

Precious (2009)

Precious (full title: the exceedingly unwieldy Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire) is one of the minor movie sensations of 2009. Produced on a lean $10 million budget, it has already grossed more than $45 million, making it a rare indie success story and earning profits that put many of the year’s big Hollywood productions to the blush. The subject matter has attracted praise – sometimes glowing, and criticism – sometimes virulent. It received the establishment seal of approval last week when it was announced the film had been nominated for six Academy Awards: picture, director, actress, supporting actress, editing, and adapted screenplay. All of which is to say that it is no longer possible to separate the film from its critical-commercial-cultural reception. Read more »

23
Jan

Movie Review – A Single Man (2009)

by HELEN GEIB

A Single Man (2009)

I haven’t been able to decide exactly what I think of A Single Man. It’s not often I get to this point- having given it quite a bit of thought, and about to write a review- and still feel uncertain about a movie. This time I’m working through my thoughts on the film as I write. Read more »

31
Dec

Movie Review – The Messenger (2009)

by NIR SHALEV

Serving in Iraq, Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery (Ben Foster) was hit by shrapnel while helping his fellow soldiers during a firefight.  His wounds were treated and he was shipped back to the U.S.  To serve out the last three months of his tour he is transferred to a Casualty Notification Team (CNT) where he must deliver grim messages to the next of kin (N.O.K.) of fallen soldiers.  Captain Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson) is assigned as his mentor and must tutor him in the protocols of the job. Read more »

10
Dec

Movie Review – The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans (2009)

by NIR SHALEV

Crazy auteur and part-time genius filmmaker Werner Herzog (Fitzcarraldo, Grizzly Man) got his kicks during the 1970s directing films that starred an even crazier man, Klaus Kinsky.  He and Kinsky made great films together in which Kinsky’s character was usually crazy.  The director and actor were also good friends.  Now Herzog has made friends with Nicolas Cage and it’s one of the best film-related happenings of the decade. Read more »

7
Nov

Movie Review – A Serious Man (2009)

by NIR SHALEV

a_serious_man

A Serious Man is directors Joel and Ethan Coen’s contemporary, black comedy re-telling of The Book of Job.  Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) is their Job. He lives in a 1967 Minneapolis suburb.  A physics professor, his blackboard is filled with ridiculously long and confusing equations and calculations.  His work life is fine, but his home life is a mess.  The Gropniks are the quintessential Jewish suburban family in an almost entirely Jewish neighborhood. His wife drifts apart from him and is suddenly having an affair with his next door neighbor, Sy Ableman (Fred Melamed); his son always gets into trouble in school and is growing fond of Jefferson Airplane; his daughter is secretly stealing money from him, little by little to support her future rhinoplasty operation; and his brother Arthur (Richard Kind) is sleeping on his living-room couch everyday and doesn’t bother trying to find a place of his own.  In short, Larry’s family and personal life are falling apart right before his eyes. Read more »

30
Jul

Movie Review – Moon (2009)

by NIR SHALEV

moon

In Moon, director Duncan “Zowie” Jones, who also has a screen credit for original story, has concocted an ingenious film about a man who has lived on the moon for three years. It’s been a long time since a science fiction film boggled my mind with ideas about isolation, routine, and the popular ideal of being human. Read more »