Film

Where Is Our Modern Katharine Hepburn?

03.29.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Film | 11 Comments
If American women want to know where all that sober husband material they once sought has gone, maybe they should ask themselves if they've adequately sought for and respected it. Likewise, if women resent being reduced in male eyes to the position of tarts like Britney Spears, then maybe they need to learn to root again for stars with dignity and smarts like Kate the Great. What we herald and applaud, we become.

"Choke on 'em! Choke... on... 'em!"

03.17.2004 | Richard O'Keeffe | Film
1978's "Dawn of the Dead," set in a mall, is an anti-consumerist screed, as even in death the zombies continue to shop in as unconscious a manner as when they were alive. The New York Times critic assigned to the flick walked out after a few minutes and filed a two graf review noting "I have a pet peeve about flesh eating zombies who never stop snacking." The Italian Communist Party, more hip to the joke, gave the flick a rave review.

Movie Night


It’s a big night for New Partisan, as we hold our first movie screening at 8:00 sharp this evening at the Bowery Poetry Club, on Bowery just south of Bleecker. We’ll be premiering three beautifully shot films that delve into America’s history and culture:

Our own A.R. Brook Lynn is presenting This Has Been a Moment In History, which features just about the most wonderful FDR cameo imaginable. The multi-talented team of Sal Interlandi and Till Neumann are offering The Bakery, set in 1950s Brooklyn, which, as this trailer makes clear, more than lives up to its name. And Eric Weigel’s WWII film, Gravity,
about a German and American soldier stuck, quite literally, in the woods for the night, is, dare I say it, a worthy companion to Hell in the Pacific.

That’s three movies for three dollars in a comfortable venue with a well-stocked and fairly priced bar… We hope to see you there.

Is The Deer Hunter Anti-Asian?

03.15.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Film
There's no credible evidence that Russian Roulette was ever played in public spectacles in South Vietnam. And this horrible slander was set forward by a man, Michael Cimino, who has been shown in the book "Final Cut" and essays in magazines like Esquire to be a pathological liar. Moreover, contrary to his claims in defense of the film, Cimino did not serve in combat in Vietnam.

Ariel Ahram On Gibson's Hubris

03.12.2004 | Ariel Ahram | Film
Imam Husayn died in a hopeless battle, starved of water, and betrayed by his friends. He was captured, beheaded, and his head carried on a pike into Yazid's camp. The Shi'a commemorate this martyrdom with passion plays about Imam Husayn's last days and public displays of asceticism, men flailing their bloody backs with leather whips and swords. Yet this physical punishment is mostly metaphorical -- religious authorities forbid participants to do any bodily damage. Mr. Gibson would accept no such limit to violence.

Our Man Watches "The Passion of the Cypher"

03.3.2004 | Richard O'Keeffe | Film
Bible literalists have quite a bit of explaining to do in order to justify the depiction of Herod as a frivolous queer with a court of male concubines at his lascivious disposal. Frankly, I went to Catholic school for over twelve years and never once did they mention that little detail (though in Luke, Herod does gift the Christ with a "gorgeous robe" before sending him back to Pilate). Nor did they teach me that the crucified thief who mocks Jesus immediately has a crow peck at his eye in an apparent instance of divine retribution, Hollywood style.

A.R. Brook Lynn on The Oscars -- Druggy Comics, Rat Finks & Hollywood Nazis

03.1.2004 | A.R. Brook Lynn | Film
After an introduction from Jim Carrey, who seemed to be doing a menacing, drug induced revisit of his portrayal of Andy Kaufman, Blake Edwards crashed through a fake wall in a wheel chair in the sort of zany stunt everyone still conscious expected.

An Enviable Perch: Kael and Lane at the Movies

09.4.2002 | Jonathan Leaf | Film
After film critic Pauline Kael was done critiquing Andrew Sarris in her 1963 essay "Circles and Squares," her rival's means of reply was to refer to her as a "woman critic from San Francisco." By showing that Sarris's auteur theory paid so little attention to depth or substance that using its tenets one might regard a Saturday Evening Post writer more highly than Dostoyevsky, she had eviscerated the man. He could only appeal to sexism and provincial loyalties as a way of holding on to a bare remnant of his reputation.

Our Man on Ingmar Bergman

11.27.2000 | Jonathan Leaf | Film
To be fair, few men could have failed to be seduced by the reaction to The Seventh Seal. Told that he was both a poet and prophet in his self-conscious obscurity and nihilism, Bergman was persuaded by its critical and commercial success to make three films on the theme of the purported death or silence of God, a subject which could not have been more perfectly selected to appeal to the international liberal intelligentsia.

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