Reluctant Habits

NYFF: The Social Network Press Conference

Posted by in Film, New York Film Festival, Uncategorized

[This is the sixth in a series of dispatches relating to the 2010 New York Film Festival.] “It’s fundamentally the same application for myself. It became clear to me after my first reading of the script that, uh, there was going to be, uh, the version of this person, my character in the film, that he wasn’t sort of the hero, so to speak. And, but, no one sits behind a – you know, I obviously, I’m not, you never play anything sitting behind a laptop, you know, twirling your…read more

NYFF: The Social Network

Posted by in Film, New York Film Festival

One of David Fincher’s best movies also includes some of the sharpest material that Aaron Sorkin has ever written for film or television. It’s a highly entertaining movie possessed of stones.

Review: Enter the Void (2009)

Posted by in Film

The Void, in Gaspar Noe’s third feature film, is a Tokyo nightclub. This being a Gapar Noe film, the Void is somewhat dicey. It isn’t nearly as bad as the Rectum, that sleazy nightclub with the annoying audio pulse and the vengeful men running in with the fire extinguisher, which appeared at the beginning (the end!) of Irreversible, or even another strip club down the street from the Void. But this does leave one to naturally wonder if Noe’s second film was originally titled Enter the Rectum. Does Noe considers…read more

Some Annoucements

Posted by in Technical

This is a brief overview of present journalistic developments. Do check out the Wold Newton series this Sunday!

NYFF: Le Quattro Volte

Posted by in Film

[This is the fourth in a series of dispatches relating to the 2010 New York Film Festival.] Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte is probably my favorite NYFF film so far. Its commitment to capturing animals on film (and the men who herd them) is reminiscent of last year’s excellent documentary, Sweet Grass. But its scope, which involves a church, an understated examination of the relationship between man and nature, and some intriguing glimpses into a local wood coal industry, is slightly broader and richer. With its soundtrack denuded of intrusive…read more

NYFF: Oki’s Movie

Posted by in Film, New York Film Festival

[This is the third in a series of dispatches relating to the 2010 New York Film Festival.] It’s often a wise move to distrust any movie featuring a moviemaker as the protagonist, even the ones offered by interesting directors – just as one avoids reading novels involving novelists. It’s the easiest and most cannibalistic creative decision imaginable, akin to a fresh father barraging you with buckets of baby photos. You smile politely, but after the sixth hour flicking through photo albums, you courteously explain that there’s a little more to…read more

NYFF: The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu

Posted by in Film, New York Film Festival

[This is the second in a series of dispatches relating to the 2010 New York Film Festival.] “The film we just saw,” muttered a nameless tastemaker just after the screening. “Who is it for? Romanians? Political junkies?” “Humorless film geeks? Cultural masochists? Those who view watching paint dry as too adventurous?” I was tempted to rejoin. Some random canvassing revealed I wasn’t alone in my assessment. Even so, who was I to judge this film when my own grasp of Eastern European history was so tenuous? My knowledge of Ceauşescu…read more

NYFF: Nuremberg / Holocaust Survivor Ernest Michel

Posted by in Film, New York Film Festival

At the Nuremberg press conference, Ernest Michel describes being the first Holocaust survivor to cover the war trials.

Review: Never Let Me Go (2010)

Posted by in Film, Uncategorized

In 2005, Kazuo Ishiguro wrote a nifty science fiction novel named Never Let Me Go. Despite the fact that Ishiguro’s narrative was steeped in speculative fiction cliches (organ harvesting, parallel universes, extended human lifespan creating an underclass, the belabored philosophical inquiry over whether an artificial creation has as much of a soul as its creator, et al.), the novel was inexplicably categorized in the fiction section, leading to many uncounted stoned conversations among frustrated geeks over the question of whether twenty dollar bills had been slipped into the hands of…read more

Video: Bat Segundo Visits the 2010 Brooklyn Book Festival

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Brooklyn Book Festival

Bat Segundo (or some man claiming to be him) conducts video interviews at the 2010 Brooklyn Book Festival.

Review: Heartbreaker (2010)

Posted by in Film

The Lavender Hill Gang, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Fish Called Wanda, just to name a handful. These films, balancing crime with comedy, work so well because they contained the telltale results of a very specific talent: namely, a peculiar attention to behavioral rhythm. It’s the same skill that can be observed in a mystery master like Donald E. Westlake, who could oscillate between his Dortmunder novels (light comedy) and his Parker novels (wonderfully callous and crisp page-turners!) precisely because he was so committed to portraying every motivation, every nuance, every…read more

Review: Bran Nue Dae (2009)

Posted by in Film

Bran Nue Dae ain’t quite the Aussie answer to Tommy – even if Jimmy Chi’s bouncing baby has discarded similar placentae in its nearly three decades of development. Chi, one of several Aborigines sowing his wild oats in Broome and asked to insulate his roots with Catholicism’s electrical inflexibility (see any number of texts for historical confirmation), wrote several fun and punchy tunes about living and resisting these conditions in the early 1980s. He performed the songs with his band, Knuckles. (Regrettably, VH1 still lacks the creative vision, much less…read more

The Bat Segundo Show: Scarlett Thomas II

Posted by in Bat Segundo, interview, thomas-scarlett

In this one hour interview, Scarlett Thomas discusses her most recent novel, Our Tragic Universe.

The Bat Segundo Show: Mary Robinette Kowal

Posted by in Bat Segundo, interview, kowal-mary-robinette

In this 45 minute radio interview, Mary Robinette Kowal discusses her novel, Shades of Milk and Honey.

The Bat Segudo Show: Allegra Goodman

Posted by in Bat Segundo, goodman-allegra

In this 25 minute radio interview, Allegra Goodman discusses her latest novel, The Cookbook Collector.

The Bat Segundo Show: Prince of Broadway & Adam Langer II

Posted by in baker-sean, Bat Segundo, dean-darren, interview, langer-adam

In this one hour radio interview, we talk with Prince of Broadway filmmakers Sean Baker and Darren Dean and Thieves of Manhattan author Adam Langer.