Monthly Archives: February 2011


Oscar Preview

2011-02-27T12:54:21+00:00February 27th, 2011|Essays|

Having already given my pronouncements on the Best Picture race – for me, it should be Winter’s Bone over Black Swan, by a neck – it is time to look at the individual awards. The pundits are almost unanimous in predicting the actual winners, so I will instead give an analysis of whom I would [...]

Top Ten – 2010

2011-02-16T23:31:56+00:00February 16th, 2011|Essays|

This year for the first time I am offering three Top Ten movie lists, and the first, for reasons of pre-Oscar urgency, will merely be my capitulation of the ten nominees for best film. For detailed explanation of why I prefer one to another, go to the Alphabetical Listings for 2010 and click on the [...]

Zambezi – 1

2011-02-06T16:28:39+00:00February 6th, 2011|Film Festival, Reviews|

Two second-rate TV 'specials' covering the upper and lower halves of the river, but nothing distinguished one part of the river from another, or this river from any other. Shots of animals often had no connection to the river, in any case, and were nothing we didn't see in better films 20 years ago. A [...]

Troubadours – 1

2011-02-06T16:25:12+00:00February 6th, 2011|Film Festival, Reviews|

This was such an annoying film I'd give it a negative score if I could. Different rock eras were conflated and confused, and no legitimate story line emerged. The filmmaker took his access to the James Taylor/Carole King Reunion Tour and purported to base the story of the Troubadour nightclub in L.A. on it, but [...]

Nostalgia for Light – 3

2011-02-06T16:18:25+00:00February 6th, 2011|Film Festival, Reviews|

If there was a connection between Chilean astronomers searching out celestial bodies and Chilean widows digging nearby in the Atacama Desert for bones of the "disappeared," I slept through it, one story being told as slowly and undramatically as the other. The widows' quest struck me as particularly pointless, but that may just be me.

The Still Moment – 5.5

2011-02-06T16:13:53+00:00February 6th, 2011|Film Festival, Reviews|

This is the kiond of film a film festival is for: totally uncommercial, produced on a used shoestring, aimed at a mini-market - but made with such singleness of purpose that its message comes through pure and clear (unlike Nostalgia, Zambezi and Troubadours, below). The message: surfing is about oneness with nature, with commitment and [...]

Face to Face – 7.5

2011-02-06T16:09:16+00:00February 6th, 2011|Film Festival, Reviews|

 A dream cast of diverse individuals, who came alive in turn with each rationalizing monologue. Although se in an alternate resolution proceeding, rather than a jury room, the program's description of "an Australian 12 Angry Men" rang true. Our perception of the characters developed and changed as we learned more about them, and the act [...]

Just Between Us – 7.8

2011-02-06T16:02:49+00:00February 6th, 2011|Film Festival, Reviews|

A five-person roundelay of marital infidelity, Zagreb-style. The plainness, and in one case plumpness, of the actors augmented the realism, even if the lead's pickup line - "I'd like to cum on your tits" - didn't. I'm not sure if the story had a moral - eyes will rove but with compromise and understanding, marriage [...]

Pure – 7.9

2011-02-06T15:59:56+00:00February 6th, 2011|Film Festival, Reviews|

A Swedish Black Swan, with a Natalie Portmanesque performance by a young woman who reminded me of Emily Primps. There were other echoes of Carey Mulligan in An Education, a girl emerging from the teenage world into an adult milieu that simultaneously matures and devastates her. The other characters were stock, but fine; they, however, [...]

The Double Hour – 8.4

2011-02-06T15:54:33+00:00February 6th, 2011|Film Festival, Reviews|

A cleverly plottd, Christopher-Nolan-like romantic thriller, this rare Italian entry also featured two of the most appealing actors of the SBIFFestival. I knew NAME TK must be a major star when she was shown having explicit sex with her bra on, but I was not prepared for the haunting quality of her face, which, post-festival, [...]