Posts Tagged ‘Noah Baumbach’

The Slate: White vs. Hoberman, The Addams Family, The Runaways

March 19, 2010

The high point of Armond White’s Greenberg-iad is also the one statement that approaches actual criticism: “I liked Harris Savides’ image of Stiller barely swimming across a pool—possibly an homage to my joke that Baumbach was the rat at the bottom of Margot at the Wedding’s pool.” This man walks among us. (NY Press)

… and J. Hoberman shrugs the whole tirade off. Is this still fun? (VV)

In related news: “The abiding joy [of writing film criticism] comes of saying what you’ve experienced so truthfully and so well that strangers get your meaning whether they agree or not.” It’s an elusive joy, trust us. (Scanners)

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The Slate: Twilight, Jean-Luc Godard and Mountain Goats

March 17, 2010

Gus van Sant, Sofia Coppola, Bill Condon … are any of them crazy enough to say “yes” to directing an installment of Twilight: Breaking Dawn? Probably not. Y’know, van Sant just might do it. (EW)

The line-up of this year’s 32nd Cinema du Reel Film Festival in Paris will include Godard/Mieville’s The Old Place and Reportage Amateur, as well as Richard Dindo’s promising Gaugin in Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands. Fest kicks off on March 18. (Cineuropa)

Speaking of Godard: “His devotion to the concept of the archive—including archival footage—is based in a sense of the object’s relic-like, totemic power that transcends evocation and memory to achieve a quasi-metaphysical incarnation of the past that restores its force through mythopoetic power, through the fact of its iconic contact with the past.” Right. (The Front Row)

Rian Johnson’s Life of the World to Come, starring the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle, is released on DVD on Record Store Day, sounds a lot like that Jonsi doc, Go Quiet. (Pitchfork)

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Must See Movies: March

March 1, 2010

Spring is busting out all over, even if Squally is currently looking out at several inches of snow at this writing. While the past few months have offered slim pickings for cineastes on a budget, March comes in with returning masters and new discoveries. So many, in fact, that we’ve extended our usual handful to a mighty six. Among the delights in store: Zoe Kazan, fascist mistresses, Lolitas in platforms, and Ben Stiller turning his neuroses up to 11. Sorry funseekers, no Hot Tub Time Machine. Click on the titles for trailers and more.

The Exploding Girl
Release date: March 12
The pitch: Ivy (Zoe Kazan) juggles a distant boyfriend and a close pal while taking a break from college.
Fun fact: Writer-director Bradley Rust Gray is married to Treeless Mountain helmer So Yong Kim!
Why it could be great: Zoe Kazan’s had us since her delicate turn in Me and Orson Welles. And who doesn’t like a summer-set mood piece released in the middle of March?
Why it could suck: Oh.

Green Zone
Release date: March 12
The pitch: Matt Damon reunites with director Paul Greengrass to fight the war in Iraq. Based on the acclaimed book Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran.
Fun fact: Greengrass collaborated with onetime M15 agent Peter Wright on Spycatcher, a 1987 bestseller which lifted the lid on Britain’s Secret Service.
Why it could be great: Damon and Greengrass’s Bourne films made palm’s sweat glands work overtime.
Why it could suck: Iraq? Again?

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Berlin 2010 Preview: Competition, Part 1

February 3, 2010

The Berlin Film Festival is often overshadowed by Cannes Film Festival as it’s very difficult to dock a yacht in Berlin. It’s endured for 60 years, though, as an early warning system for the best of the year’s international art house fare. The Competition strand features those films vying for the Golden Bear, which in past years has gone to Jose Padilha’s The Elite Squad and Claudia Llosa’s The Milk of Sorrow. The field’s first half features Japanese war stories, the making of one of the worst films ever made, criminals old and young and the returns of Polanski, Baumbach and Popogrebsky.

Bal (Honey)

Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu’s fifth film is a father/son story set in the remote mountains. Young Yusuf is ostracized at school for his stammer, but worships his beekeeper dad, who tends to a network of precarious treetop hives. When his father is called away on business, Yusuf follows him into the forest.

Kyatapira (Caterpillar)

Lieutenant Kurokawa returns from the front of the second Sino-Japanese War. He’s had his arms and legs blown off. Shigeko is expected to dutifully attend to her immobile war hero husband. Director Koji Wakamatsu’s previous film, the acclaimed United Red Army, still awaits release in the U.S. Based on the story by Edogawa Rampo, which was censored by the Japanese authorities in 1939.

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Trailerama: Greenberg

December 1, 2009

Slacker malcontent played by Ben Stiller in code: yellow dimwit mode romances Greta Gerwig. It’s Noah Baumbah, so the real question will be if the characters are utterly unlikeable as in Margot at the Wedding or somewhat bearable as in The Squid and the Whale.

Away We Go … to the Edinburgh Film Festival!

April 15, 2009

Away We Go has a trailer, and the 2009 Edinburgh International Film Festival has an opening film. In a happy coincidence, that opening film is Away We Go.

Sam Mendes‘ follow-up to Revolutionary Road has been attracting plenty of notice because a) it won’t be as heavy going as Revolutionary Road and b) it’s written by husband and wife Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. The film is a road movie, with couple John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph trying to find some place to raise their first-born, and discovering a little bit of America on the way.

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Jesse Eisenberg Has Seen the Best Minds of His Generation Destroyed By Madness

March 19, 2009

kill-your-darlings1When Allen Ginsberg is remembered, it’s as the chanting dervish at the center of many cultural events of the 1960s. As one of the original “Beat” artists, he represented a nexus of drugs and sexuality. He let some of his poetics rub off on Bob Dylan, faced down the Hell’s Angels at an anti-Vietnam War demonstration in 1965, and chanted at the 1968 DNC demonstrations in Chicago. But it wasn’t always thus. A famed campaigner for gay rights, Ginsberg for a while tried to mingle with the “straights” as a reporter for the World-Telegram with girlfriends and everything. As a poet, he struggled to escape the influence of his mentor William Carlos Williams before blossoming with “Howl,” one of the most famous poems of the 20th century.

Which is why the news that Jesse Eisenberg is to play the young Ginsberg in the horribly titled Kill Your Darlings is kinda intriguing. As the oldest son in Noah Baumbach‘s The Squid and the Whale, he created an indelible portrait of an awkward adolescent who, not unlike Ginsberg, wasn’t afraid to be off-putting. Eisenberg is poised to become the next Michael Cera with this spring’s Adventureland, but let’s not hold that against him. This could be some very exciting casting.
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