In Stoker, Director Park Chan-wook follows 18-year-old India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) as she carefully navigates the suspicious arrival of her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) at her father's funeral. The film nods to Hitchcock's classic Shadow of a Doubt; there's a mystery and a possible murder, but, like in Hitchock, the story is really about India's psycho-sexual awakening.
I had this awkward moment at the Paramount Theatre in Austin after the frenzied SXSW premiere of Harmony Korine's much-hyped Spring Breakers. I liked the film; I was beaming when washing my hands in the ladies room.
"Urgh, that was such an AWFUL movie," some girl in an expensive dress and platinum badge said behind me.
"It was so gross," her equally disgusted friend added. I wiped the smile off my face and quickly sidled out.
I love Stevie Nicks. Who doesn't? However, I came upon her music only within the last couple years—I'm by no means a Stevie expert. So I was excited to see In Your Dreams, the new film Nicks and collaborator Dave Stewart directed, at SXSW this month; the screening was a chance to learn more about Stevie from herself and an opportunity to wear a Stevie-approved ensemble (long flowing skirt obviously).
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in his directorial debut, Don Jon, which centers on the life of a "porn addict" Jersey guido named Jon Martello.Though plenty of people will likely flock to a film that centers on two sexy stars and a porn addiction, Don Jon attempts to deconstruct the ways in which rigid notions of masculinity and femininity are damaging.
Some Girl(s) is a movie about a "nice guy" who has trouble seeing beyond himself. Though the film revolves around the desires of the central guy, named Man (played by Adam Brody), the moments of emotional depth come from the strong cast of female characters that Man just can't understand.
TheLA Times called it illuminating. The Huffington Post hailed it as inspiring. I call it the nonprofit world's cinematic version of chivalry. New documentary Girl Rising is a problematic implementation of good intentions.
For Girl Rising, 10x10, The Documentary Group, Vulcan Productions, GATHR, CNNFilm, and Intel teamed up to bring us, well, precisely what we might expect from a philanthropic film financed by a subsidiary of the world's largest media conglomerate and a multi-billion dollar corporation.
In a strange expression of boredom, I spent the latter half of The Great & Powerful Oz's two-hour span counting James Franco's teeth. He shows them early, eagerly, and often—the healthy expanse of his gums counting for double if you keep score.
I can often gauge the quality of a film by the length of time I sit at its closure reading the credits. When a film is great, I want to make sure that every person with a hand in the film was rightfully recognized. After director Margarethe von Trotta's new release Hannah Arendt, I sat in the theater until there were no more names to read.
New German Cinema heavyweight director von Trotta turns a biographical lens toward the lauded German-American political theorist Hannah Arendt.
This informative, lively film manages to not stray into being too sentimental as it follows Arendt (Barbara Sukowa) through the Nazi trial that influenced her life's work. The film explores how this political theorist became the subject of both controversy and accolades in dark times.
'Tis the season of the perennial teenage supernatural romance. New film Beautiful Creatures is a chicken-and-dumplings plate with a heapin' helping of that angst-filled young love so common to tween fantasy, spiced with Flannery O'Conner-flavored Southern Gothic and topped off with a healthy side of Civil War history and folklore.