Film Review

Fritz Lang and Metropolis

Metropolis (entire movie, above), the 1927 silent film directed by Fritz Lang, is regarded as one of the most important and influential films of all time. The world’s first epic science fiction movie, it continues to serve as  inspiration for countless films, and forced humanity to look critically at it’s increasingly complex relationship to industrial and technological growth. In cinematic terms, evidence of its influence can be seen everywhere from to Soylent Green to Snowpiercer.

Tammy: Where’s Debbie Reynolds When You Need Her?

Every woman I know who is even slightly skinny-disabled adores Melissa McCarthy, and why not? She comes off as warm, joyful, and totally comfortable with her poundage in all of her print and TV interviews.  Off-screen she’s a role model and an inspiration. And on-screen, she has perfect comic timing, a puppy dog’s smile that emerges now and then from her gruffest characters, plus a huge dose of self-respect. Hollywood probably hasn’t had a box office star like her since Marie Dressler in the Thirties, one who has so upended what a star should be. McCarthy might just be the anti-Julia Roberts.

By Grace Alone: Warhol Superstar ULTRA VIOLET, 1936-2014

Very few of Andy Warhol's anointed "superstars" managed a long shelf-life. They simply were too wild, too beautiful, and too damned. There were the poor little rich girl Edie Sedgwick, the transgender icon Candy Darling, and the husky, glacial, heroin-swamped charm of Nico. All gone, along with a cavalcade of others; too soon and in the 20th century. Ultra Violet survived into this one, and originally arrived as a somebody already in the anybody everybody world of The Factory.

Interstellar Overdrive

Few are the low budget sci-fi films that inspire deep thinking, but writer/director James Ward Byrkit's metaphysical psychological sci-fi thriller Coherence is one of the exceptions. Certainly this reviewer was reminded of The Twilight Zones' ability to introduce a simple concept that would extrapolate when the human element was left to ponder and react to a dilemma. There are clever explanations, like Siberia's Tunguska Event of 1908, to try explain the reality of the situation, but, like life, there is always more than meets the eye.

2nd Annual Israel Film Center Festival: Patrick Stewart, Cranes, and Surviving the Holocaust

Thanks to Manhattan’s favorite cultural philanthropist, Carole Zabar  -- you know her rugelach -- a second year of the Israel Film Center Festival will be unspooling at various venues around the city, but mainly at The Jewish Community Center on the Upper West Side from June 12th through June 19th.