Looking Elsewhere: Starring… American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Sundance, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, Fairy Tales, Global Warming, Bob Dylan, Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, Marilynne Robinson, and More

I'll conclude with a few words about the American Sniper hubbub.But first, here are some of the things that caught my attention on the Wild Wild Web in the last couple of weeks... … [Read more...]

Filmwell’s Michael Leary: Things I Learned About Parenting Daughters From “Gilmore Girls”

My longtime friend, colleague, and Filmwell co-founder Michael Leary, a writer I admire, a man of impeccable taste in cinema, and — above all — a big-hearted father, has something to say about Gilmore Girls. The whole series is now streaming on Netflix. I won't hesitate to admit that I'm watching it again... ...and not just because my favorite songwriter, Sam Phillips, does the music. How did television get me to make time for a comedy about a mother, a daughter, and boy problems? Writing. I … [Read more...]

Fellini’s 8 1/2, Revisited

Today at Filmwell, a film blog (?) that lives at The Other Journal, Michael Leary and I begin an epic journey, playing Siskel and Ebert all the way through what the Sight and Sound 2012 critics poll has voted the top ten films of all time.We begin with #10... Federico Fellini's 8 1/2.In it, Leary writes... … [Read more...]

Epistemartha, Epistemarcy, Epistemay, Epistemology

What did you think of that discomforting final moment in Martha Marcy May Marlene?Michael Leary is talking about it at Filmwell...  … [Read more...]

“Enough with the shaky-cam already!”

What's a handheld-camera movie where the shaky-cam technique was a good idea?What's a movie where you found yourself shouting, "Enough with the handheld camera already!" … [Read more...]

Filmwell Returns!

Over the last week, I've been thrilled to see Filmwell - the collaborative and strange film blog for adventurous cinephiles that I started with Michael Leary a couple of years ago - transplanted to a new home base at The Other Journal, an online magazine I've admired and enjoyed for a long time.I kicked things off with a "We're Back!" post, and a few notes on the new Kelly Reichardt film Meek's Cutoff.But I'm very excited about what happened at Filmwell today... … [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...]

Browser: Conan vs. Colbert. Peterson and Leary on “The Wrestler”

1.Stephen Colbert and Conan O'Brien have a dance off!2.At The Rabbit Room, Pete Peterson praises The Wrestler.Earlier: Michael Leary has a problem with The Wrestler. … [Read more...]

Michael Leary on “Redeeming Films”

Michael Leary of film-think links to CT Movies' 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2008. And then he responds: As a matter of fact, I also consider "redemption" to be a controlling critical factor in what I think of as "good" or "bad" cinema. But I would want to expand it, even redeem the term "redemptive" from the way it is so easily tossed about in evangelical cultural criticism. By now it is subject to Walker Percy's condemnation of how generic Christian vocabulary has become: "The old words of … [Read more...]

Browser, 10/23

I'm a big fan of Todd Field, who directed In the Bedroom and Little Children.And I can't believe what I just read: Paramount Vantage has bought its first project of the Guy Stodel era, signing on for the crime drama "Buried," with Todd Field attached to direct.Brad Ingelsby will write the screenplay, which centers on a couple who, in a bid for cash, bury a wealthy man alive only to be caught and then forced to cope with the fallout on their relationship. Alexandra Milchan is on board to … [Read more...]