When good Americans die they go to Paris

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast — Ernest Hemingway I have been lucky enough to have visited Paris twice in my life (so far) — once on a back-backing … Continue reading

You are born, you die, and in between you make a lot of mistakes

Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life is a difficult film. It speculates, but does not clearly state. It admires a mother’s warm smile, the smallness of a newborn in its father’s arms, and the cosmic ballet of the universe as one in the same. In short, it is a film about everything, and it is … Continue reading

The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her

Hawaii is a vacation spot. To most of us, it’s not a place where people live and certainly not where anyone dies. My wife even remarked during the opening minutes of Alexander Payne’s The Descendants that it was strange to see office buildings through Matt King’s (George Clooney) own office window. “I didn’t know they … Continue reading

The Great Oscar Race, 2012: Already out of breath

So the nominations have finally come out and I find myself even further behind than last year. I have seen a total of two of the Best Picture noms, one of the Best Actor, and an impressive ZIPPO of the Best Actress. The supporting categories are even worse. Even cinematography, a favorite category of mine, finds me at a pathetic … Continue reading

Little girl lost

I just missed your heart. Hanna (2011) begins and ends with that line, but it doesn’t feel the same way the second time. When Hanna first utters it she is standing over a deer she has just hit with an arrow.  Its breathing is panicked and frightened. She quickly (and somewhat coldly) puts it out … Continue reading

Wishlist: The Cinephiles

A new P.T. Anderson film So apparently The Master is back on! It looks like I got my Christmas wish from last year after all! I just had to be patient, which is a virtue I have in spades. WHAT?! It’s STILL in post?! Mother… Surround sound As a child I owned a tiny, red-and-white … Continue reading

Indie-pendence day

Believe it or not, Kevin Smith is complaining via Twitter again. I know, I know. It’s wildly out of character, but there it is: How the f**k did the @SpiritAwards NOT nominate Michael Parks? Nor John Goodman? Nor Melissa Leo? F**k your idiotic organization. #FakeIndie Smith is referring to his latest release, Red State (2011), about … Continue reading

The silence that says everything

I’ll begin by explaining the somewhat cumbersome, enigmatic title of T. Sean Durkin’s film debut, Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011). Martha is the name of a young woman, played by Elizabeth Olsen, who runs away from her life and joins a cult. Marcy May is a name the cult’s leader, Patrick (John Hawkes), feels suits … Continue reading

I almost lost Halloween, or, How AMC saved my Halloween…again

Here we are, just days away from my favorite holiday and I’ve barely even noticed that Halloween is upon us. Life has gotten in the way this year. There has been no time for my nightly veg sessions in front of AMC’s fear fest; no time for the myriad of horror countdowns on the Chiller … Continue reading

Family, the hard way

I have walked out of a film once in my life and sat through a great deal more that I probably shouldn’t have (Lady in the Water (2006) comes to mind). That one time occurred when a friend of mine, who was a fan of kung-fu films but lacked the healthy irony such fandom requires, … Continue reading