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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Twilight of the superheroes

Is it arrogant or ignorant to film a book deemed unfilmable by its author, who spits on your movie sight unseen, refuses to allow his name in the credits and famously refuses to accept money for your efforts? Director Zach Snyder (300) knew what he was getting into. Alan Moore, the comic book visionary behind League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and V for Vendetta, has never looked kindly...
Monday, March 2, 2009

Last of the great silent films

By the time sound was heard in the movies, silent film had outgrown its awkward childhood to become a mature medium, an expressive art form in its own right. One of the last silent films deserves to be ranked with the great movies of its kind. The Wind (1928) was also the Hollywood finale for Swedish director Victor Seastrom (or Sjöström, as he was known in his homeland). Irked by having to add a happy ending to The Wind, which...
Monday, Feb. 9, 2009

The Panther returns (again)

Since Steve Martin is one of the smartest men in show business, he must have been hard up for money when he agreed to star in the Pink Panther remake as Inspector Clouseau. Why else do it? In the original movie series the bumbling French detective was one of the funniest film characters ever, played by one of cinema's funniest actors, Peter Sellers. Surely Martin knew he could never top the best.Mediocrity often sells, however. Martin's 2006 remake made enough money to induce a sequel. Oddly, The PinkPanther 2...
Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009

Tonight @ The UWM Union Theatre, 7 p.m.

The UWM Union Theatre’s free Experimental Tuesdays series tonight asks us what we think about a region of the country that, frankly, few of us ever think about. The program compiles films depicting Norway, Finland and other frozen climates from filmmakers like Patrick Beveridge, Peter Hutton and Rebecca Baron, a documentarian with an eye for still photography. She contributes stunning historical photographs taken on a 1897 expedition...
Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009

Brendan Fraser’s Silvertongue

The imaginary world of books, those labyrinths of the printed page, comes dangerously to life in Inkheart. A best-selling young-adult novel by German author Cornelia Funke, Inkheart concerns a "silvertongue" who possesses the rare, wild gift of conjuring the characters and situations of books into the physical world. In the film adaptation by director Iain Softley (The Wings of the Dove), Brendan Fraser plays Mo, a silvertongue unaware of his power until the night he read aloud from a novel called Inkheart to his wife and daughter. Out from...
Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009

Tonight @ the Alchemist Theatre - 8 p.m.

This weekend sees the introduction of Transmutative Cinema, a free film series with a fondness for outsider independent movies that provide more questions than answers. The series, which runs most Saturday and Sunday nights at the Alchemist Theatre and Lounge, hosts tonight an 8 p.m. screening of the 2006 drama Apart From That, which charts a seemingly unrelated ensemble of characters, including an exhibitionist who finds her audience...
Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009

Tonight @ the Alchemist Theatre - 10 p.m.

This weekend sees the introduction of Transmutative Cinema, a free film series with a fondness for outsider independent movies that provide more questions than answers. The series, which runs most Saturday and Sunday nights at the Alchemist Theatre and Lounge, debuts tonight with a 10 p.m. screening of the 2006 drama Apart From That, which charts a seemingly unrelated ensemble of characters, including an...
Monday, Dec. 29, 2008
In 1964, the time of Doubt, no one spoke of pedophile priests, even if the Roman Catholic Church was already riddled with them. Directed by John Patrick Shanley from his own play, one of the most provocative recent productions on a Broadway that has surrendered to the tourist trade, Doubt is true to its title. Neither an exercise in moral certainty nor an easy story for armchair ethicists, Doubt investigates the blurry line between perception and reality...
12.12.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Russ Bickerstaff
I and a number of other people recently received an email from local actor Cesar Gamino. There wasn’t much in it. He’d mentioned recently completing work on the following short promo for the United Adworkers 208—the local end of a marketing communications union: Clever. Evidently, he’s also recently finished work on a short film called The Violinist,which apparently filmed ...
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008

The Duchess of Devonshire

Was it Orson Welles who introduced the long, dining-room table with husband and wife at opposite ends as visual shorthand for marital discord? In The Duchess, the device is used repeatedly. At first, the Duke (Ralph Fiennes) and Duchess (Keira Knightley) of Devonshire are seated across from each other, separated by a long, polished surface sparingly set with a few china serving dishes.

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