When most folks hear the words Film and NYU mentioned in tandem, the personality they’d most likely summon to mind would be Spike Lee, or Martin Scorsese. But if the term Independent Film truly means anything, then without question the person who has most embodied its credo in association with NYU is George Stoney, The Paulette Goddard Professor in Film at the Tisch School of the Arts.
FOUR LIONS Akbar (if you have a subversive sense of humor). Al Qaeda meets Mr. Bean in this delightfully funny look at a group of bumbling UK wannabe jihadis who talk the talk but walk with two left feet that they trip over constantly.
Some actors will give their right arm for a showy role, James Franco figuratively does so. Danny Boyle, Fox Searchlight’s golden boy director (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, 28 DAYS LATER), misfires once again (see SUNSHINE) as he attempts to make interesting the true life story of a narcissistic engineer/weekend outdoorsman whose arrogance costs him more than his pride on a weekend jaunt through Blue John Canyon in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park.
We all want to eat healthier, but time constraints and the alluring temptations of fast food outlets prevent many of us from joining the Slow Food Movement (www.slowfood.com, www.slowfoodusa.org, www.slowmovement.com). Thankfully, there are enough widely distributed products in the marketplace for everyone to have a delicious meal, done quick (I’m not talking microwave) all the while keeping the bad cholesterol away. Some of the companies below are able to fulfill mail orders for bulk purchases so stock up now for use today, tomorrow and for future camping trips and emergencies.
Torture and desire combine in Chinese history with the practice of binding feet. Considered by some to be erotic, bound feet was another way of instilling patriarchal law of obedience to family first, husband second and children third upon females, long considered to be, at best, second class citizens.
You could visit California a thousand times and still miss many of its charms. What is notable about Napa, Pismo Beach, and Ojai is that they are places that California residents like to escape to for long weekends.
Mark Twain famously wrote that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. Based on my recent experience, Twain was only slightly exaggerating. Of course given the recent sweltering weather in New York City, I wasn’t complaining.
Congratulations to Gen. David Petraeus on his recent appointment to head up our efforts in Afghanistan. That it is essentially a mission impossible should not be taken lightly by anyone, especially the forces that will be required to maintain this new position and the obscene waste of money that will accompany another hideously bad decision by the powers that be in Washington. It is a totally naïve and foolish declaration of insouciance again being perpetrated on the American people in the name of what has become a universal joke: democracy as defined by the United States. To quote Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, “It’s a one- way ticket to Palookaville.”
Another cult comic book comes to the big screen that should have been left under the bed. JONAH HEX makes Will Smith’s horrendous feature version of the classic tv series, WILD WILD WEST look like an Academy Award winner. The film seems to last longer than the Civil War. The director (a Pixar animator attempting to upgrade his job description) is trying very hard to emulate the hackneyed directing career of Uwe Boll.
Almost every historical movie is mostly movie and very little history. The fault of LA CONJURA DE EL ESCORIAL is that for once it might be too much history. The action takes place in the court of Spain’s King Philip ll. The year is 1578 and the crisis is about the war against the rebels, Protestant supporters of William of Orange in the Netherlands. There are two views at the court. The aging Duke of Alba, a blunt military man, would go to all out war, and the young and progressive Prime Minister, Antonio Perez (Jason Isaacs), objects to the expense of the war and argues for a negotiated settlement.