Desperately Seeking Indie

Michael Pitt and Steve Buscemi in Tom DiCillo’s Delirious (2007)  I didn’t see Tom DiCillo’s new film Delirious, and the odds are neither did you. Starring Steve Buscemi as a paparazzo who takes Michael Pitt under his wing, it came out last August to good reviews from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, the New York Times, the New Yorker and (read…)

First Impressions: Charlie Wilson’s War

Charlie Wilson’s War, the new movie from Mike Nichols starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman, tells the true story of Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson (Hanks), a hard drinking womanizer who helps fund a covert war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the early 80s. Going into it, I had a bad (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 11/30/07

Laura Linney and Philip Bosco in Tamara Jenkins’ The Savages Kind of a weird week for movies. The fine citizens of New York and Los Angeles have a couple of interesting new releases to look forward to. If you live elsewhere, take this opportunity to go see No Country for Old Men (again or for (read…)

Into the Wild Strikes First Awards Gold

  Ok, there’s no denying it now. It really is Awards Season once again as the first prizes were handed out last night at the IFP’s 17th Annual Gotham Awards. Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a long season. Sean Penn’s terrific Into the Wild (which cost too much to be nominated for the (read…)

And the Spirit Award Nominees Are…

Glad to see Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There getting much Spirit Awards loving with four nominations plus the Robert Altman Award.  Also glad to see Tamara Jenkins recognized for The Savages even if that film didn’t get a Best Feature nomination. Congrats to Once and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days for the Foreign Film recognition. Not surprisingly, Juno got 5 (read…)

Syndromes and a Century: US DVD release

From Twitch by way of Karina at SpoutBlog I learned today that Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Syndromes and a Century is making its way to DVD in the United States on January 15, 2008. (sound of crickets chirping) Ok, so why am I telling you this? For starters, Syndromes was the best one hour and forty-five minutes I (read…)

2008 Spirit Award Nominations

Film Independent, the fine folks who bring you the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards would like you to know that the nominees for the 2008 Spirit Awards will be announced Tuesday, November 28 at 8:00am Pacific Standard Time. The press conference will be broadcast online at the Spirit Awards website. A word of (read…)

Review: Enchanted (2007) **

It’s fair to say I’m probably not the target audience for the new Disney family film Enchanted. It’s also a safe bet that it was a bad idea sneaking in to see it right after my third viewing of the Coens’ great No Country For Old Men. The thing is, there is plenty of good (read…)

Blog Maintenance

Living in Cinema is currently going through some server changes and design upgrades. Since I’m doing it myself and since I don’t know what I’m doing (a lethal combination), there will probably be glitches. Thank you in advance for your patience.

Thanksgiving Forecast

  In anticipation of the holiday, most new movies are opening on Wednesday this week. Once again we start off with the expansions: No Country for Old Men. The new Coen Brothers movie expands into 800 theaters just in time for the holiday. You really and truly have no excuse for not seeing it now. Step away (read…)

First Impressions: I’m Not There (2007) ****

“All I can do is be me. Whoever that is.” –Bob Dylan I’m Not There, the new film from Todd Haynes (Safe, Far From Heaven) is difficult to categorize. It’s the story of Bob Dylan, but instead of trying to integrate the enigmatic musician’s various personae into a standard narrative, Haynes has held him up (read…)

Review: No Country for Old Men (2007) *****

“You can’t stop what’s comin’.” Big money leads to big trouble. It turns innocent people bad and it makes bad people dangerous. In Joel and Ethan Coen’s new film No Country For Old Men, the $2 million that turns up in a quiet corner of southwest Texas brings with it a hell ordinary people are (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 11/16/07

Once again this week I’m cutting in front of the wide releases for something more important: No Country For Old Men. Expands into 130 theaters this weekend and if you don’t go see it, I’m crossing you off my Christmas card list. That’s all I can say about it right now. You’re just going to (read…)

WGA Strike Rolls On

As the WGA strike continues, here’s an amusing and informative response to the studio’s claims that there is no money in the ‘new media’ that the strikers want a piece of (brought to my attention by Christian Divine).

First Impressions: There Will Be Blood

It’s too early for a full review of Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood and I don’t think I could possibly do this movie justice after one time through, but I wanted to get a few quick impressions on the record. Spoiler free and shrink wrapped for your protection. First of all, I can’t (read…)

AFI Fest 2007: Final

And that, as they say, is that. AFI Fest 2007 is over. All that’s left is to write up the last two movies I saw, announce the winners and sum the experience up in some way. The Savages USA 2007 Ahh..another film mining family dysfunction and emerging from the dark recesses with humor. Because I (read…)

AFI Fest 2007: Day 10

Margot at the Wedding USA 2007 “I haven’t had that thing yet where you realize you’re not the most important person in the world.” – Jack Black in Margot at the Wedding. Margot (Nicole Kidman) comes from a snooty, east coast, literary type family. When she returns to her family home for the wedding of (read…)

AFI Fest 2007: Day 9

Tonight was the big tribute to Laura Linney followed by The Savages. This post would be 37% more interesting if I was there and had something to say about it, but I was napping. I’ll catch it Sunday afternoon minus the hubbub I think. The Living Wake USA 2007 Mike O’Connell is a funny guy. (read…)

AFI Fest 2007: Day 8

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le Scaphandre et le papillon) France/USA 2007 Told almost entirely from the perspective of a man whose movements are confined to blinking one eyelid, the miracle of Julian Schnabel’s new film is that it works at all. That it is also a stirring testament to the human capacity to (read…)

AFI Fest 2007: Day 7

The Duchess of Langeais (Ne touchez pas la hache) France 2007 Jacques Rivette is considered among the more experimental of the French New Wave filmmakers so I was a little surprised at how ordinary The Duchess of Langeais seemed on the surface. Based on a Balzac novella, it begins with an obviously distraught Napoleonic era (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 11/9/07

Ethan & Joel: The Brothers Coen  This week, the only movie that really matters: No Country for Old Men. Ok, I know I usually put the wide releases first, but tough shit. For me, the Coen Brothers movie is the movie of the year. It’s the movie of the last several years actually. Here’s supposedly how the release (read…)

AFI Fest 2007: Day 6

The Tracey Fragments Canada 2007 Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald’s The Tracey Fragments is an experimental film based upon Maureen Medved’s novel of the same name. It’s a pretty simple story about a lonely, disaffected 15-year-old searching the barren winter streets of Winnipeg for her lost brother. She’s abused at home and mocked at school and (read…)

AFI Fest 2007: Day 5

This film festival is beginning to feel like I’m speed dating, going from one movie to the next with each one getting 5 or 10 minutes to impress me. If it fails, I’m ready to move on to the next one. The pace may have had something to do with my reaction to the first (read…)

AFI Fest 2007: Day 4

I caught four more films at AFI Fest on Sunday. Here are some more capsule reviews: Blind Mountain (Mang Shan) China 2007 Li Yang follows up his 2003 crime drama Blind Shaft set in the coal mines of China with this drama about the practice of kidnapping women and then selling them off as wives. (read…)


Good luck WGA. (LA Times photo)

AFI Fest 2007: Day 3

Plan A for my first movie Saturday afternoon at AFI Fest was to catch the 2nd screening of Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales, but I’d already changed my mind by the time I arrived at the theater. There were just too many intriguing prospects to waste a slot on a movie that will be easy to find (read…)

AFI Fest 2007: Day 2

The hard thing for me about festivals is that at any given moment, there are many other movies playing. There is no way to see everything and I always worry that I’ve made the right choice. I fear I’m missing out on something. Then again, that’s part of the fun. It’s a gamble. You take blind (read…)

Strike to Begin Monday, 11/5

Contrary to their initial speculation of a one week delay, Variety is reporting that the WGA strike will begin Monday, November 5. Best of luck to the guild members. I hope you’re able to resolve things quickly.

AFI Fest 2007: Day 1

Meryl Streep and Robert Redford arrive at the Arclight Cinerama Dome for the 11/ 1 North American premiere of their movie Lions for Lambs on opening night of AFI Fest 2007 (AP Photo/Matt Sayles) The cornerstone attention grabbers of AFI Fest this year are all preferable to last Summer’s LA Film Festival centerpiece offering of Transformers. (read…)

LA’s Silent Movie Theatre Reopens

Its silent program has been reduced to one day a week (Wednesdays), but the Silent Movie Theatre on N. Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles is back in the business of regularly showing movies. The theatre was recently purchased by Cinefamily, a partnership between Cinefile owner Hadrian Belove and Family Bookstore owners Sammy and Dan Harkham. In an (read…)

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