Film Review

NewFest 2014: Rubber, Leather, Hookers, and Cupcakes

If you still have an affinity for books, there can be few more choice summer reads than Edmund White's 2005 autobiography, My Lives. Divided into nonlinear sections devoted to his relationships with his parents, his hustlers, and his female entanglements, there's also a chapter entitled "My Europe." Herein White notes how while in the Paris of the 1980s, he became aware that petite green beans are tastier than their larger cousins. He also recounts how the social theorist Michel Foucault, a pal of his, noted that while "'gay philosophy' and 'gay paintings' were meaningless notions...writing gay fiction was legitimate since it enabled us to imagine how gay men should live together."

Sex Tape or The World’s Longest iPad Commercial

Jake Kasdan is to directing comedy what Friedrich Nietzsche is to baking apple strudel. Not much.

As with his Bad Teacher (2011), which also stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal, Kasdan takes a promising concept and lays waste to it. The highly workable concept is a simple one: a sexually active couple, Jay (Segal) and Annie (Diaz), copulate like bunnies on ecstasy until they wed. Two precocious children later, the O in orgasms has moved on to the O on Cheerios boxes. He now is a music producer, I believe, and she blogs a column entitled "Who’s Yo Mommy?" Yes, copulation is no longer a spontaneous act for this duo. Instead, it has to be planned for ahead of time.

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.