Category Archive: Uncategorized

Breaking So-so: Sex with Strangers

It’s appropriate that the image above—the publicity shot for Sex with Strangers—is so heavily Photoshopped. That’s about as real as the play gets. As for the chemistry between the two very good actors in it, well, that’s also about what you get: Posed, pretty, and less compelling than your average perfume ad. The actors are of course […]

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Punks and Prayers: #Cinetopia14

Anyone who came of age in the late 70s and early 80s should appreciate the neo-punk prowess on view in Buzzard, the second feature from the very talented West Michigan Joel Potrykus. The glorious rubber face above belongs to Joshua Burge, who dominates this minimalist jaunt through the life of an inept con artist. I […]

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Bad Hair Is Beautiful #Cinteopia14

The best movie I saw at Cinetopia 13 was 180 Seconds from Colombia. The best one so far (and in 1982, it had some stiff competition) is Pelo malo (Bad Hair) from Venezuela. That preternaturally beautiful kid is Samuel Lange Zambrano; his mom calls him variously “the black kid” and “the fag” (the subtitles politely […]

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Rich Hill #Cinetopia14

That’s Tim (I think), the cute one among the three kids followed in Rich Hill, the first feature-length doc from Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos; their imdb bio info is fairly slim, so I’m not sure how the Droz links them. They’ve teamed to make a powerful movie with some gorgeous, lyrical sequences right […]

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Review: Tommy Oliver’s 1982 at #Cinetopia14

I don’t typically see coming-of-age stories; I don’t wanna see another kid get all wistful because he gets his heart broken while he works some crappy job or his parents divorce or he goes away to summer camp to become A MAN. Tommy Oliver’s first feature, 1982, didn’t threaten to do any of those things, […]

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Cinetopia Opening Night at the DIA

Cinetopia’s come a long way in two years. Exhibit A: last night’s opening party at the DIA. The atrium downstairs was jammed with film geeks like myself, with lots of director/producer mingling. I got to shake hands with John Sayles and Maggie Renzi and practically needed a fainting couch. Mr. Sayles had been kind enough […]

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Three Beauties: Tilda, Belle, and Gloria

Even from the trailer, it was clear that Only Lovers Left Alive was going to move at what used to be called a glacial pace. (Now that glaciers are disappearing like ice cubes on a hot sidewalk, someone will have to come up with another metaphor.) No problem in my book; after all, Terence Malick […]

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Does She Really Need the Extra T? Tartt and The Goldfinch

I’ve been in a bit of a pother looking for a good novel to read. I’ve tried a good half dozen from bright young things, but too often, after a promising chapter or so, I’m eye-rolling, I give up. That rule about “start a book, finish a book” is lame. Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch finally […]

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No Knives, Needles, or Rubber Cement. Weird Stuff OK.

While divvying up the Sunday paper (Steve likes the biz/sports/front page/week in review, and I like the fun parts), this horrifying image pierced through my pleasant morning fog: A not-pretty drag queen playing a Byzantine saint who’s had a particularly rough night? No. This is Dr. Frederick Brandt, photographed by Danny Ghitis in an article […]

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2/20: Peter Brook’s The Suit

In Simon Brook’s movie The Tightrope, his father Peter demonstrates a gesture to a group of actors with whom he’s working. “I can’t do it,” he says. “I’m not an actor.” What Peter Brook is, of course, is a superb director, on display in The Tightrope and also, for lucky folks in Ann Arbor, the […]

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