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Tag: Film

Genius

Genius

Genius is the kind of film literary buffs may like a lot more than we should. One reason for this, I’m guessing, is the rarity of the subject matter for a Hollywood production: literary lives. Specifically, the dynamic between editor and novelist. Maxwell Perkins and Thomas Wolfe are the central characters, with cameos from Fitgerald and Hemingway, two (more famous) authors Perkins also helped usher into world renown. Colin Firth plays Maxwell Perkins, with Jude Law as Wolfe, Laura Linney…

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Room

Room

We adapt. We create new fictions in order to adapt. The more things are beyond our control, the more fictions we create. This is the basic setup for one of the best films of 2015, “Room,” starring Brie Larson, who won an Oscar for her role as Joy, mother of five-year-old Jack. The room in question is a shed. It’s their entire world, mother and son’s. They are not allowed to leave. Joy invents games and stories and explanations for…

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Surprisingly good, fresh, funny and touching, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl tells the story of high school kids, coming of age, learning not just about life, but about death, and how we still keep discovering new things about people after they’re gone. Even the most important things. We still keep learning about ourselves in the process, and that how we treated them while they were on this planet is everything — well, except for realizing this should apply…

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Timbuktu

Timbuktu

One of the best films of the past year is Timbuktu, directed by Abderrahmene Sissako. Understated, beautifully shot and composed, it tells the story of a village, a people, caught in the arbitrary and repressive grip of a Jihadist takeover. The focus of the film, but never at the cost of the village’s story itself, is a small family on the outskirts of Timbuktu, making a life on the dunes. Kidane, the father, Satima, the mother, their daughter Toya, and…

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It’s Their Turn

It’s Their Turn

In the last several years, there has been a long over due spate of films with women as heroes. Two recent movies have told the tale of women, based on their memoirs, testing themselves against the harshest of elements, against nature, striving to go beyond their previously known levels of endurance. This has long been the staple of hero stories for men. But it seems that finally women are getting a chance to show what they can do, what they’ve…

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What Maisie Knew

What Maisie Knew

Based on the Henry James novel (1897), “What Daisy Knew” is a remarkable film about parental dysfunction, relationships gone bad, and a precocious, wonderful child who sees through it all. Trailer The directors, Scot McGehee and David Siegel, update and alter the novel somewhat and set it in present day New York. They change the vocations of the parents, played by Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan, respectively, and compress the time frame for the story. But it works. Its tight…

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Foundations

Foundations

We have new poetry, fiction and a screenplay this month at Spinozablue. Donal Mahoney brings us the first two, while Charles Tarlton brings us the last. *     *     * Speaking of film, Martin Scorcese pens a wonderful essay in the latest New York Review of Books, entitled The Persisting Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema.” A short excerpt: “Or consider the famous Stargate sequence from Stanley Kubrick’s monumental 2001: A Space Odyssey. Narrative, abstraction, speed, movement, stillness, life, death—they’re all…

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Charles Tarlton: The Cowboy and the Gambler

Charles Tarlton: The Cowboy and the Gambler

“THE COWBOY AND THE GAMBLER”   Getting Under the Skin of the Western Movie   The Western Movie per se arises from a matrix of malevolency as the villain’s actions reveal a bleak world beyond society’s normal structure of law and moral order. The villain’s actions are usually expressions of the sins of violence, betrayal, indifference, and greed that then throw everyone and everything into an anarchy unconstrained by guilt. The Western Movie story comes into focus amidst these conditions…

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