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Home » Articles »   By Greg Beacham
 

Film & TV

Pure Nirvana

Van Sant demythologizes the death of a rock icon in the brilliant Last Days.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - In the first decade after Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994, not one of the umpteen media postmortems got the story right. I think it started with Kurt Loder’s comically solemn MTV commentary outside the house where the Nirvana frontman made his...

Film & TV

Piece Meal

Jim Jarmusch serves up another intriguing puzzle in Broken Flowers.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - If you’ve seen a movie directed by Jim Jarmusch, you know that all the pieces of his jigsaw puzzles generally don’t get used by the final credits. Some of the elements of his slow-moving, quick-thinking pictures just don’t fit anywhere;...

Film & TV

Brothers and Arms

War inspires sibling role reversal in the Danish drama Brothers.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Danish director Suzanne Bier is a devotee of Lars Von Trier’s Dogme ethos and its constraints'natural lighting, naturalistic storytelling and the like'but she doesn’t use Dogme as a crutch. Her two films would work in any circumstances with...

Film & TV

Behind the Mask

The metaphors aren’t subtle, but cultural and romantic complications are sweet in Saving Face.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - In the opening scene of Saving Face, a brilliant Chinese-American surgeon named Wilhelmina is wearing a mask. It’s one of those pore-opening concoctions designed to maintain eternal youth'and it’s also the first in a series of metaphors and...

Film & TV

Ursa Major

Werner Herzog fashions a masterpiece out of real-life madness in Grizzly Man.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - If Timothy Treadwell hadn’t appeared on Letterman, if he hadn’t gained a measure of notoriety for his reckless conservationism before he was eaten by one of the Alaskan bears he dedicated his life to protecting, we might be tempted to believe...

Film & TV

Baffle Royale

Be prepared to be dazzled'and perplexed'by Wong Kar-wai’s 2046.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Be prepared to be baffled when you go to a Wong Kar-wai movie. Metaphors and similes seem woefully inadequate, but here goes: Nothing in the Hong Kong director’s films is packaged and segregated into the emotional TV dinner trays we’ve come...

Film & TV

Southern Crossed

Filmmaking goofs get in the way of Junebug’s great performances.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - The most memorable thing about Junebug’s baroque portrait of the Deep South isn’t the emotionally stunted family at its core, or the awkward interactions between that family and their worldly new in-law, or even the freaky racist paintings...

Film & TV

Martyr Dim

Paradise Now leaves the motives for terrorism unclear.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - If you’ve never taken a few moments to contemplate the motives of suicide bombers, hijackers and other pawns of terrorism, you’re missing out on one of our age’s most fascinating parlor games. I’ve played it while looking across...

Film & TV

Broken Home Journal

A filmmaker’s adolescent travails prove hard to watch in The Squid and the Whale.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - We must at least give Noah Baumbach credit for trying to make a film like a big boy. Wes Anderson, his sometime collaborator, seems content to while away a promising career in a neverland of adolescent curios and middle-school creative-writing-class stories...

Film & TV

Cold Blooded

Capote tells the story of an author’s scheming triumph with icy precision.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - I Cold Blood, Truman Capote’s seminal nonfiction novel about a quadruple murder in 1959 Kansas, is one of those rare cultural touchstones that acquires new meanings as it rolls through time. When its blend of lurid pulp-novel storytelling and sharp...
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