I Survived “Black Swan”

Black Swan is a dance production, a horror movie, and a psychological thriller, and a film that's almost certain to earn Natalie Portman a little golden statue.But is it worth seeing? … [Read more...]

What’s Your Favorite Stage-to-Screen Adaptation?

Casablanca? Henry IV? Ordet? … [Read more...]

Browser: Still Walking. Unforgivable Blackness. Joe Henry. Inglourious Basterds.

Hi ho, Jeffrey the Recovering Storyteller here.It's my first real day off since completing Raven's Ladder. I plan to rest. Write reviews. And see movies. 500 Days of Summer and District 9, to be specific. My friend, painter Laura Lasworth, loved the first one, and blogger Mark Shea, who I encountered in the grocery store parking lot yesterday, was very impressed by the second. Can't wait to see them both.But first, some notes... … [Read more...]

Today at Filmwell: Meet Lee Isaac Chung! A 2-Part Conversation

I'm thrilled to share my interview with Lee Isaac Chung, director of Munyurangabo, today at Filmwell.Part OnePart TwoChung also shared an essay, published at Filmwell, about his experiences and approach to filmmaking.You can bet his movie will be in my short list of favorites for 2009. It's easily my favorite so far.My review will be up at Image next week. … [Read more...]

When you watch Benjamin Button, can you forget about Brad Pitt?

During a roundtable interview with Michael Caine, I watched the actor make a tent of his fingers, furrow his brow, and ponder this question: “Is there something that you wish moviegoers and filmcritics would learn to understand about movies, something we just don’t get?”Caine's reply intrigues me. Come on over to Filmwell, and find out what he said in answer... and what that has to do with the title of this post.Also, check out these recent Filmwell entries:Mike Hertenstein, the brai … [Read more...]

Today at Filmwell: Mike Hertenstein Climbs “Treeless Mountain”

I'm back from The Netherlands, and I hope to cook up a good long journal entry for you about all of the exciting things that happened there.Meanwhile...Have I expressed how excited I am about Filmwell, and all that is is slowly becoming? We decided *not* to prescribe what the site would be. We made a list of places we wouldn't go, things we wanted to avoid, and then decided to let a mystery emerge. What would happen in the chemistry of relationships, the variations in perspective among a … [Read more...]

What is the Most Extraordinary Opening Minute of a Movie?

Read about two opening minutes that impressed me last year, and tell us about your own favorite opening minute... over at Filmwell. … [Read more...]

When Lightning Struck…

Ever been struck by lightning while watching a movie?That is to say, can you remember an occasion when a particular moment in a movie changed the way you watch movies?Was there a foreign film that opened the door to an appreciation of subtitled movies? Or a sequence that made you interested in something other than just The Story?In the last pages of Through a Screen Darkly, I wrote about Mike Hertenstein, the guy behind the Cornerstone festival's excellent film program Flickerings. I … [Read more...]

Introducing… Filmwell.org.

Hi,Michael Leary and I are happy to announce the release of Filmwell (www.filmwell.org), a new website that will be updated daily with essays, film and DVD reviews, and news on cinema off the beaten track. Founding Filmwell contributors include widely published authors and critics, as well as film festival programmers and educators. Filmwell content is dictated by the whims of its contributors, who frequent national festivals, scour DVD catalogs and screening schedules, and are otherwise … [Read more...]