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Home » Articles »   By Greg Beacham
 

Film & TV

Peak Performance

Documentary and reenactment blend brilliantly in Touching the Void.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Docudrama. It’s one of those synthetic compound words that inspires visions of advertising executives and People magazine writers in white lab coats, operating levers and pulleys and electric current in a dark laboratory, creating unholy new methods...

Film & TV

Blame it on Rio

The sad story of a true Brazilian crime comes vividly to life in Bus 174.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Thanks to the shockingly perceptive Oscar nominations given to City of God, the plight of Brazilian street kids is getting an unprecedented amount of international attention. Fernando Meirelles’ brilliant little film is a barely fictionalized story...

Film & TV

Vocal Chords

There’s a little sweet music in the talky characters of The Barbarian Invasions.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - The libertine socialists in the films of Quebecois director Denys Arcand inhabit a world where their beliefs were something revolutionary, which makes the believers something special. For instance, a professor who sleeps with everything on legs and parties...

Film & TV

Making a Pointe

Only Robert Altman could make something interesting out of the ballet drama The Company.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - At first, Robert Altman didn’t want to make The Company, his new picture set during a season with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. Even Altman, whose career has been based on rethinking cinematic narration, didn’t know what to make of Neve Campbell’s...

Film & TV

Winning Ugly

Charlize Theron makes an amazing Oscar-slumming transformation to become a Monster.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Aileen “Lee” Wuornos’ descent into the psychopathic rut that turned her into America’s first female serial killer has been argued and examined in books, articles, a made-for-TV movie and two documentaries by British loudmouth Nick...

Film & TV

Pit Boss

Alec Baldwin shows his movie star chops in the Vegasndrama The Cooler.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - On the short list of actors who should be bigger stars than they are, Alec Baldwin is right at the top. Few people have ever commanded a screen the way he does, from the rolling-thunder voice to his sharp-edged eyes to the slight menace in his every gesture....

Film & TV

S.W.A.T. Flies

Familiar devices still make for a fun cinematic ride.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - After a terrific year for powerful documentaries—think Spellbound, Capturing the Friedmans, The Fog of War—the Slamdance Film Festival is expanding its doc roster substantially. “It really had to do with the documentary film submissions...

Film & TV

Mincemeat Pie

The subversive thrill is gone in the strained, desperate American Wedding.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - American Wedding, the second sequel in the American Pie series, is a crushing disappointment in almost every aspect: crude without poetry, mawkish without reason, and utterly detached from its wonderful pedigree. I left the theater disheartened, saddened,...

Film & TV

Anime Magnetism

Miyazaki’s Spirited Away pulls you into a completely unique animated world.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Casual American moviegoers have been under the giant mouse thumb for so long that they could forget animation comes from other places besides the unblinking maw of the corporate Disney smile machine. An occasional non-Disney cartoon feature has reached...

Film & TV

Lack of Lambs

Red Dragon tries to re-create classic Hannibal Lecter, but merely recycles it.

By Greg Beacham
POSTED // Jun 11,2007 - Francis Dolarhyde, a harelipped psychopath who murders entire families in concert with the lunar cycle in Red Dragon, frequently writes letters to imprisoned anthropophagite Hannibal Lecter, whom you may remember from such films as The Silence of the...
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