Author: Don Willmott Page 5

Stolen Life

Stolen Life

How does the Chinese government choose what to censor? If they read scripts ahead of time, one would expect that they'd never let Stolen Life be made. If there's a more bleak depiction of the...

Movie Review posted on 10th September 2007

Bam Bam And Celeste

Bam Bam And Celeste

Bam Bam and Celeste strains to be funny. Even the title: Bam Bam? Celeste? That's a title that's trying to be amusing but isn't. You can tell writer/star Margaret Cho is working hard to generate...

Movie Review posted on 10th September 2007

The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros

The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros

The teeming slums of Manila are one part delightful and one part dark in The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, a fascinating slice of third-world life that focuses on a family of petty thieves, including one...

Movie Review posted on 15th August 2007

Time

Time

For his 13th film (in 10 years), Korean It-director Kim Ki-duk takes on quite a few themes: the battle between the sexes, plastic surgery, identity, loneliness, and, as the title suggests, Time itself, building a...

Movie Review posted on 23rd July 2007

The Face of Another

The Face of Another

Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara didn't make many films before his death in 2001, but he left behind quite the cinematic reputation, most notably with the weird and unforgettable Woman in the Dunes (1964) and The...

Movie Review posted on 19th July 2007

The Bow

The Bow

Why am I always throwing bouquets at Korean filmmakers? I guess because they keep thrilling me. Sure, Korea produces more than its fair share of teen sex romps and ghost stories (most of which are...

Movie Review posted on 19th July 2007

Out of Hand

Out of Hand

Here's a nasty little German story of teens gone bad. Adolescent hijinks spin out of control in Out of Hand when two boys bored with shoplifting liquor bottles from a convenience store decide to shoplift...

Movie Review posted on 19th July 2007

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

More than a decade later, I'm still recovering from the emotional devastation I suffered while watching Once Were Warriors, a film about the downtrodden underclass of New Zealand's native Maori and how domestic abuse, poverty,...

Movie Review posted on 18th July 2007

Waiting for Happiness

Waiting for Happiness

Waiting for Happiness feels like festival bait, the kind of lyrical ethnographic exercise that makes the people who watch it feel important. It's an interesting journey to a faraway place -- can you find Mauritania...

Movie Review posted on 18th July 2007

Wild Tigers I Have Known

Wild Tigers I Have Known

It's no surprise at all that Gus Van Sant's name pops up as an executive producer of Wild Tigers I Have Known. Cam Archer may be the writer/producer/director, but this tale of a sexually confused...

Movie Review posted on 18th July 2007

Flashdance

Flashdance

1983 was a sleepy year in the midst of the first Reagan administration, but it was also the year of Flashdance. What America needed was a healthy dose of off-the-shoulder sweatshirts, leg warmers, and tight...

Movie Review posted on 28th June 2007

Mame

Mame

Reviewing Mame, Lucille Ball's late-in-life stab at starring in an enormous movie musical, gives me the opportunity to pull out one of my favorite SAT words: execrable. I mean, I love Lucy, but...One of Hollywood's...

Movie Review posted on 19th June 2007

Tokyo Twilight

Tokyo Twilight

The title Tokyo Twilight gives a subtle hint that this story is one Yasujiro's darker efforts. Once again focusing on the crumbling of a middle-class Tokyo family, this time around Ozu goes farther than he...

Movie Review posted on 15th June 2007

The End of Summer

The End of Summer

Yasujiro Ozu clearly had a lot on his mind as he wrote The End of Summer, his penultimate film: the old vs. the new, generational shifts, family loyalty, death. It's all in there in this...

Movie Review posted on 15th June 2007

Late Autumn

Late Autumn

Yasujiro Ozu has fun with a group of old friends who bumble through some ridiculous attempts at matchmaking in Late Autumn, a lighthearted yet poignant look at how people with the best intentions can sometimes...

Movie Review posted on 15th June 2007

Equinox Flower

Equinox Flower

Equinox Flower is notable for being the first of Yasujiro Ozu's films to be shot in color, quite a departure for this master of black and white imagery. His reds are gorgeous, but sadly, that's...

Movie Review posted on 15th June 2007

Early Spring

Early Spring

If you want to know who Yasujiro Ozu was and what he was all about, this is a great place to start. Early Spring is a beautifully crafted distillation of all of Ozu's themes and...

Movie Review posted on 15th June 2007

Train Man

Train Man

The back story behind Train Man is as entertaining as the film itself. Based on an allegedly true and utterly inconsequential encounter on a Tokyo subway that occurred in 1999, the film follows behind newspaper...

Movie Review posted on 8th June 2007

Dorm

Dorm

An innocent young boy is dumped by his cruel parents at a spooky Thai boarding school where dogs howl at night and rumors of ghouls abound. Sounds like a perfect setup for a typical flesh-flaying...

Movie Review posted on 8th June 2007

Brooklyn Rules

Brooklyn Rules

Oh, brother. Or, as they say it in Brooklyn, oh, brudda. You've seen Brooklyn Rules before. Many times before. A cliché-clogged and utterly unsurprising mash-up of A Bronx Tale, Goodfellas, and even Saturday Night Fever...

Movie Review posted on 18th May 2007

I Don't Want to Sleep Alone

I Don't Want to Sleep Alone

He's back. Tsai Ming-liang, master of slow-moving image-laden tales of urban disconnection, returns to all his favorite themes (and his favorite leading man) for the tenth time with I Don't Want to Sleep Alone. The...

Movie Review posted on 14th May 2007

Flirting with Anthony

Flirting with Anthony

If the title Flirting with Anthony has you expecting a romantic comedy about Italian-Americans, you'd better brace yourself. A better title might be Gay Bondage Porn Road Trip Freakout. Actually, if done right, a movie...

Movie Review posted on 14th May 2007

El Calentito

El Calentito

During Spain's tumultuous post-Franco years, the late '70s and early '80s, the ultraconservative and uptight Catholic society began to crack open, and young people, most notably director Pedro Almodovar, came out to have fun. It...

Movie Review posted on 14th May 2007

50 Ways Of Saying Fabulous

50 Ways Of Saying Fabulous

50 Ways of Saying Fabulous, an odd and somewhat whimsical period piece set in rural New Zealand in the hot summer of 1975, ponders the confusing sexual awakenings of effete Billy (Andrew Patterson) and his...

Movie Review posted on 14th May 2007

Shirley Valentine

Shirley Valentine

As a one-woman play, Shirley Valentine wowed them on both sides of the Atlantic, with star Pauline Collins picking up awards and accolades. The film version strives for the same kind of theater-style intimacy, with...

Movie Review posted on 4th May 2007

Flannel Pajamas

Flannel Pajamas

Sheesh. If this is what marriage is like then I'll just stay single. Flannel Pajamas is the badly-named chronicle of an intense courtship that results in a fatally flawed marriage, its two protagonists falling insanely...

Movie Review posted on 4th May 2007

Election (2005)

Election (2005)

Election plunges us so deep into the tangled world of powerful Hong Kong triads that it takes a second film, Triad Election (made a year later), to fully untangle all the intrigue. Fear not, however....

Movie Review posted on 28th April 2007

Baby Face

Baby Face

Recent DVD releases have given movie buffs the wonderful opportunity to see what Hollywood was up to in the short period between the advent of the talkies and the imposition of the Hays Code, which...

Movie Review posted on 28th April 2007

3 Needles

3 Needles

It's exceedingly strange that 3 Needles, a lavish and dramatic film shot on three continents and starring a huge cast of A-listers has garnered almost no attention since it was first shown in 2005 and...

Movie Review posted on 17th April 2007

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

Serious film buffs are familiar with Britain's so-called "kitchen-sink" dramas, unpleasant little slices of lower-class life shot quickly and on small budgets in the 1950s and '60s. Often starring young actors who would go on...

Movie Review posted on 6th April 2007

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