Eric Kohn

D.A. Pennebaker Discusses Richard Leacock and Leonard Bernstein.

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • March 25, 2011 2:57 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Yesterday's obituary for documentary icon Richard Leacock included quotes from some of the people he affected in his life who have since obtained influence roles in film culture, including Mira Nair, Albert Maysles and D.A. Pennebaker. That last source, the director of such cinema verité classics as "Don't Look Back," ran the production company Leacock-Pennebaker for several years, and shared a number of remarkable anecdotes about meeting and working with Leacock during the early stages of their careers. In the following excerpt, Pennebaker recalls his experience with Leacock during the production of "Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in Moscow" in 1958. Bernstein was a friend of Leacock's in Harvard, but that didn't keep the documentarian from applying a true hands-on approach to the shooting process.

Please Cast Christopher Dennis in "Superman."

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • February 28, 2011 5:24 AM
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Wandering around a hectic Hollywood Boulevard last night on my way to meet indieWIRE colleagues Peter Knegt and Dana Harris for an Oscar viewing party at the Egyptian, I ran into Superman himself. That would be Christopher Dennis, one of the compelling subjects from Matthew Ogens's disarmingly thoughtful 2007 documentary "Confessions of a Superhero," which I reviewed here.

Watch a Gory Scene from "Santa Sangre."

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • February 18, 2011 2:30 AM
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Meet the Mike Lacher, the Man Behind the Film School Thesis Generator.

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • February 10, 2011 1:22 AM
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  • 2 Comments
There's a difference between thinking long and hard about something and only thinking that you're thinking long and hard about something; therein lies the brilliance of the Film School Thesis Generator, a vastly amusing work of interactive satire that popped on the web a few weeks back. Matt Singer offers an eloquent rundown of its appeal.

Tura Satana, RIP. 1938 - 2011.

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • February 5, 2011 9:08 AM
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  • 24 Comments
Above: Shade Rupe and Tura Satana.

An Alternative Top Ten for 2010.

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • December 30, 2010 6:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Today indieWIRE announced a group of top ten lists submitted by industry friends and contributors to the site. Since I already listed my favorites from 2010, I decided to offer a separate list of titles that in another year could just as easily serve as my favorites. After the jump, the alternative list and trailers to accompany each entry.

Escapism as Art: Steven Spielberg's 'Duel.'

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • December 28, 2010 9:54 AM
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  • 2 Comments
This post is intended as part of the Spielberg Blogathon hosted by Adam Zanzie and Ryan Kelly, which ends today.

Three Critics: Talking Sequels.

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • December 15, 2010 8:18 AM
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Yesterday, Moviefone posted the second installment of Three Critics, a column in which I discuss various issues of the movie world, particularly those pertaining to new releases, with colleagues Anne Thompson and Leonard Maltin. I took the lead on this one and started a dialogue about sequels, a phenomenon that I hesitate to dismiss outright but consider worthy of scrutiny, particularly in light of the possibility that this might happen:

My Top Ten for '10.

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • December 7, 2010 2:34 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Winter is upon it, and with the blistering cold comes the inevitable avalanche of top ten lists. I always regret putting something on there or missing something else, and I'm sure I'll try to correct the record before the year is done. But since I just submitted my favorites to the indieWIRE and Village Voice/L.A. Weekly polls, I figured I'd post the main list here, too, with some links to elaborations on my choices when I've had the opportunity to write about them. Titles -- and photos shamelessly culled from Google Images -- follow after the jump.

Gyllenhaal's Strengths Evident in 'Source Code.'

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • November 23, 2010 9:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments
I wasn't too wild about the Jake Gyllenhaal-Anne Hathaway vehicle "Love and Other Drugs," which I wrote about in this new essay for indieWIRE, but let me clear: I have an affinity for both of those actors. Hathaway's bold willingness to play against her star persona with her icky rehab-bound character in "Rachel Getting Married" proved she can really inhabit the skin of a persona, no matter how unpleasant. And Gyllenhaal has always impressed me as the rare leading man to combine youthful vitality with a mysterious dark side, as he displayed in performances ranging from "Donnie Darko" to "Brokeback Mountain." Now comes "Source Code," director Duncan Jones's highly anticipated follow-up to the Sundance hit "Moon," which was the rare actor's movie that also managed to play well for the fanboy crowd. With "Moon," Jones gave Sam Rockwell one of his best roles by simply allowing to talk to himself for ninety minutes. The ambitious theatricality of the set-up merged with the coolness of the premise. A flashier, more expensive effort, "Source Code" looks like a tougher trick for Jones to pull off, as the trailer suggests a supreme high concept: "Run Lola Run" meets...I don't know, "The Matrix"? But the point is that Gyllenhaal looks pretty great in it -- frightened, confused, and hopelessly driven against impossible odds.

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