Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Playlist

Review: 'Farewell, My Queen' Introduces Lesbianism Into The Marie Antoinette Story To No Great Effect

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • July 10, 2012 3:56 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
In the land of the costume drama, truly, films about Marie Antoinette are Queen, promising lavish sets, romantic intrigue and shocking decadence -- but they don't always deliver. Director Benoît Jacquot's uninspiring take on the period opened the Berlin Film Festival days ago, but something about the film's lack of urgency must be contagious, and we're only getting around to reviewing it now. While "Farewell, My Queen" does boast admirable elements (more on those below) overall, despite some showy trappings it is a frustratingly empty experience, built around a character whose blankness is supposed to be a virtue, but ends up costing the film dearly in terms of identification and interest.

NYAFF Reviews: 'Warriors of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale,' 'Monsters Club' & 'Nasi Lemak 2.0'

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • July 9, 2012 5:34 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Earlier this year, audiences experienced “Warriors Of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale,” a pulse-pounding, action-heavy epic that told the story of tensions between rural Taiwanese and invading Japanese soldiers. What some audience members didn’t know is that the two-and-a-half hour epic wasn’t even close to the full story, and now NY Asian Film Festival-goers have had a chance to experience the full four and a half hour version of director Wei Te-Sheng’s sprawling epic.
More: NYAFF, Review

New York Asian Film Festival Reviews: 'Couples,' 'You Are The Apple Of My Eye,' and 'Honey Pupu'

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • July 6, 2012 1:04 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Based on the 2005 Japanese hit “A Stranger of Mine” (directed by Kenji Uchida), “Couples” is kind of like those Rube Goldberg sequences from Jean-Pierre Jeunet (or maybe the “how Cate Blanchett got injured” sequence from “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), except for an entire feature-length running time. The results are both exhilarating and (at 110 minutes) exhausting.
More: NYAFF, Review

New York Asian Film Fest Reviews: 'Vulgaria,' 'The King Of Pigs' & 'Dead Bite'

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • July 5, 2012 5:04 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Usually the New York Asian Film Festival opens with a film that carries name recognition in the West, either by those involved, or by a familiar genre or trope. In the case of this year’s opener, “Vulgaria,” it’s an increasingly familiar genre, that being the hyper-indulgent, semi-improvisational, low budget indie. From the filmmakers behind China’s mega-hit “Sex And Zen 3D” comes this show business satire that shares DNA less with French New Wave auteurist pictures, and more with Steven Soderbergh’s bizarre, sexually ersatz “Full Frontal” in its views on the small cogs in a big filmmaking machine.
More: NYAFF, Review

Review: 'Collaborator' Milks That Old New York-Intellectual-In-LA-Suburb Conflict

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • July 5, 2012 4:13 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Playwright Robert Longfellow, the lead character in “Collaborator,” is a familiar New York intellectual struggling to produce honest work. Despite notably lucrative side gigs as a Hollywood screenwriter for hire, he hasn’t lived up to what the (fake) Times loudly boasted as a once-hypothetical “the voice of a generation.” His latest play, “American Excursion,” was a flop, and if you really need to know more about that play beyond the title, they you probably don’t recognize the sweater-vest frou-frou type here personified by writer, director and star Martin Donovan.

Review: 'Katy Perry: Part Of Me' Pulls You Into The Performer's DayGlo World

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • July 5, 2012 9:56 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Katy Perry is a pop sensation like few others in the cultural landscape of 2012 – less arty and pretentious than Lady Gaga, more wholesome and sweet than Rihanna – she is the wayward daughter of a pair of Pentecostal preachers, one who has succeeded with a sugar-sexy shtick that teases just enough to get your blood up, but never enough to be tacky or obscene. And "Katy Perry: Part of Me," is a movie like few others. It's ostensibly a concert movie about her 2011 world tour that digs surprisingly deep into biographical material and comes up with the portrait of an artist as a young, heartsick woman. It's not exactly "Madonna: Truth or Dare." No, this is much more colorful, in every sense of the word.

Review: Oliver Stone's Hard-Boiled Crime Saga 'Savages' A Muddled & Messy Disappointment

  • By Benjamin Wright
  • |
  • July 3, 2012 1:04 PM
  • |
  • 35 Comments
It’s always unfortunate to watch a filmmaker slip further away from his better work with age – but even more so when it’s one who exhibited the sort of storytelling craft that could both frustrate and engage his audience all at once. Director Oliver Stone has always been one to challenge his viewers. From his days of illustrating with his pen the brutal confines of a Turkish prison in “Midnight Express” to the conspiracy-minded reels of “JFK,” Stone has honed an ability to tell seemingly documentary-ready material in a more compelling cinematic narrative – treating fiction like reality (and occasionally blurring the line between the two).

Karlovy Vary Film Fest Review: Fascinating Subject Almost Trumps Staid Format In ‘Brian Eno: The Man Who Fell To Earth 1971-1977’

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • July 2, 2012 10:04 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
A documentary about just 6 years out of a 42-odd year career, that runs two-and-a-half hours long and rarely strays from bog-standard talking head/rote archive footage format? Yes, it sounds unbearable, and probably would be were its subject anyone but Brian Eno, a definite, no-joke candidate for The Most Interesting Man In The World (sorry, Senor Dos Equis), at a period in his life which was arguably his most creative. (Very arguably, and we’d probably be the ones to argue, having had some exposure to the Eno of the ‘80s, ‘90s and today).

Review: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' Is A Good Teen Romance Struggling To Escape A Mediocre Superhero Movie

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • June 29, 2012 3:34 PM
  • |
  • 10 Comments
We're likely reaching something of a tipping point with the superhero movies. The first wave is ending: "X-Men" has already been reinvented, Superman is getting his second relaunch in a decade, "The Hulk" has already had its third iteration, and Christopher Nolan's Batman-trilogy, which more than anything else brought a new level of respectability to the genre, is coming to a close. We're entering the second phase of the modern superhero movie era, and it's leading to some interesting possibilities. So far, these films have essentially been a genre in and of themselves, but as new filmmakers inevitably try out fresh ideas within its confines, we're likely to see other styles brought into the mix.

L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Beauty Is Embarrassing' Is A Laugh Out Loud Portrait Of The Wild & Wacky Wayne White

  • By Katie Walsh
  • |
  • June 28, 2012 5:00 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
“Beauty is Embarrassing” is such a warm, laugh out loud charmer of a documentary thanks entirely to its subject, the wild and wonderful Wayne White, that it leaves you wondering, just where has this delightful man been all this time? And that’s the question “Beauty is Embarrassing” posits too -- serving as an opportunity to bring attention to this artist who has been more influential than we, or even he, knows.

Email Updates

Recent Comments