AltWeeklies Wire

Sautéed Chicken Breasts Over Fascism, From the Director of 'The White Ribbon'new

Dogmatic ideologies — religious, political and social — are central to Michael Haneke’s latest film, The White Ribbon, which unfolds in a rural German village during the year preceding the start of World War I.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  01-08-2010  |  Profiles & Interviews

From Industry Turmoil, Great Films Arosenew

And so another year comes to an end, and with it a decade (Gregorian contrarians notwithstanding) in which the answer to the question “What is cinema?” underwent more radical transmutations than in any comparable period since the dawn of moving images.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  01-04-2010  |  Movies

'It's Complicated': Nancy Meyers' New Movie is Really Annoyingnew

Does Nancy Meyers hate women? The thought ran through my head not very long into It’s Complicated, Meyers’ biennial stocking-stuffer about the romantic trials and tribulations of obscenely privileged and narcissistic Southern Californians.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  12-28-2009  |  Reviews

'Nine': Rob Marshall Tries to Connect the Dance Numbersnew

An assault on the senses from every conceivable direction—smash zooms, the earsplitting eruption of something like music, the spectacle of a creature called Kate Hudson—Nine thrashes about in search of “cinema” the way a child thrown into the deep end of a pool flails for a flotation device.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  12-18-2009  |  Reviews

'Avatar': On Top of a Distant Worldnew

As we sit in the darkened cinema (or, increasingly, in our living rooms), so much of what is clearly meant to dazzle us feels like a demonstration more than an application, an elaborate demo reel in search of meaning and purpose. James Cameron returns to bridge the gap.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  12-18-2009  |  Reviews

Eastwood on the Pitch: At 79, Clint tackles Mandela in 'Invictus'new

It’s the 24th day of filming on Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, the 30th film he has directed in a career that now spans more than a half-century — and, as usual on an Eastwood set, if you didn’t know they were shooting a major Hollywood movie here, you’d be none the wiser.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  12-11-2009  |  Profiles & Interviews

'Frog' of the South: Disney's Song and Dance About a Black Princess Croaksnew

Six decades after unleashing persistent NAACP bugaboo Song of the South, and two after firmly suppressing it, that peculiar cultural institution known as the Walt Disney Company has made a symbolic reparation by creating its first African-American princess -- and plunking her down in the middle of Jim Crow–era Louisiana!
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  11-30-2009  |  Reviews

'Precious': The Sad Education of Precious Jonesnew

Hothouse melodrama one moment, kitchen-sink (and frying-pan-to-the-head) realism the next, with eruptions of incongruous slapstick throughout, this may be Lee Daniels' stab at finding a cinematic analog for the novel's inventive, naïf-art language -- a film style, like Precious' writing, seemingly being made up as it goes along.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  11-09-2009  |  Reviews

Sebastian Silva Takes a Searing Look Inside the World of 'The Maid'new

Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but for the title character of the pitch-black Chilean comedy The Maid, it's closer to infernal torment.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  10-23-2009  |  Reviews

1960s Period Piece 'An Education' Gets Good Marks, as Does Star Carey Mulligannew

Danish director Lone Scherfig's movie is something of a deceptively packaged Oscar-season bonbon -- a seemingly benign, classily directed year-I-became-a-woman nostalgia trip that conceals a surprisingly tart, morally ambiguous center.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  10-09-2009  |  Reviews

'Crude' Dives into the Toxic Battle Between Big Oil and Dying Natives in Ecuadornew

Joe Berlinger's remarkable documentary recounts an infuriating litany of South American exploitation, backroom glad-handing and bureaucratic dead ends that has, among other collateral damages, created a Rhode Island-sized "death zone" of toxic pollution in the middle of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  09-18-2009  |  Reviews

It's a Battle of Thingamabob vs. Machine in '9'new

WALL-E would never get out alive in director Shane Acker's postapocalyptic hellscape.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  09-11-2009  |  Reviews

Chris Fuller on His Microbudget 'Loren Cass'new

An autodidact whose words tumble out in a slurry stream, Fuller carries himself with such intense conviction that, when he tells you Loren Cass is a project he's been working toward his entire life, you believe him.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  09-11-2009  |  Profiles & Interviews

'Inglourious Basterds' Brings Late-Career Glory to Christoph Waltznew

It's a familiar part of the Tarantino mythos -- the director plucks a faded star from the brink of obscurity and restores him or her to their former glory. Only, unlike John Travolta, Pam Grier and others before him, Waltz was never that kind of star in the first place.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  08-21-2009  |  Profiles & Interviews

'District 9' Uses Alien Invasion as Apartheid Metaphornew

With its corrugated tin sheds and abject poverty, District 9 stands in for the township settlements where more than a million South African blacks still live without basic human services, two decades after the end of apartheid.
L.A. Weekly  |  Scott Foundas  |  08-14-2009  |  Reviews

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