As some of us still ponder the results of the presidential election of 2016, and view the approach of the 2020 election with trepidation, there is no more timely nor illuminating film than Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss’ cinema verité documentary, BOY’S STATE.
a thoughtful, anarchically lively, film about the obligations of the candidate and the responsibilities of the press that force us to question both
Click here to listen to the interview. he family Thanksgiving dinner can be a tricky time as many, and not necessarily, compatible personalities and opinions converge over a table groaning with too much food. In the current, and fraught, political climate, that is even more true. Ike Barniholtz, writer/director/co-star of THE OATH, took that idea… Read More »
Click here to listen to the interview. Ziad Doueiri made one of my favorite films of the 2010s, THE ATTACK (2011), about an apolitical Arab doctor in Israel who finds himself suddenly the object of suspicion by his friends and colleagues when his wife becomes a suicide bomber. His new film, THE INSULT, the… Read More »
Mickey Lemle made his first documentary about the Dalai Lama in 1991. Entitled COMPASSION IN EXILE, it recounted his discovery as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, his training since childhood to be the spiritual leader of Tibet, and the consequences for him and his country of the Chinese invasion of Tibet, and his… Read More »
Is ignorance a sin? John Sayles ponders that in MEN WITH GUNS.
Robert H. Lieberman’s ANGKOR AWAKENS: A PORTRAIT OF CAMBODIA asks difficult questions and provides answers that are as illuminating as they are troubling. His portrait of Cambodia is refracted through the genocide that was inflicted on it by Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, a genocide that reduced the number of doctors in in a once prosperous… Read More »
NERUDA is a rhapsody of juxtaposition and conundrum. Pablo Larraín’s film takes historical episodes from a contentious time in the life of Chile’s beloved poet, fervent Communist, elected senator, and creates a fable of suitably Olympian proportions. And, yes, poetry. This is not, however, the sun-dappled poetry of pastoral idylls nor of chivalric love. And… Read More »
Ewan McGregor had just spent the previous 24 hours flying in from London and then hosting a Q&A for his film, AMERICAN PASTORAL, at the Mill Valley Film Festival, but adrenalin got the better of fatigue when I spoke with him on October 10, 2016. The film charts the life of a Jewish-American golden boy… Read More »
Xu Haofeng wanted to revitalize the martial arts genre, and by bringing knives into the action he has certainly done that. He’s also thrown in a love story as sharp and as steely as any of those weapons. Both approaches are refreshing, and both were topics of conversation when I spoke with the filmmaker about… Read More »