Author: Scott Foundas

  • Ryan Gosling Is Your Trailer Park Prince Valiant in The Place Beyond the Pines

    The Place Beyond the Pines opens with a close-up of Ryan Gosling’s chiseled abdomen—surely one of the more salable quantities in movies today—and heavy breathing on the soundtrack (or was that just the person next to me in the screening room?). Then, in a single, five-minute tracking shot, we follow Gosling’s character, Luke, across a […]

  • The Return of John Sayles and Other Observations from SXSW

    They say everything’s bigger in Texas — a sentiment that apparently extends to wait lines for airport taxis, the noise level of hotel air conditioners and, in the case of Austin’s South by Southwest Film Festival, that much sought, unquantifiable thing called “buzz.” Zeitgeist value isn’t the only thing that’s big about SXSW. The Austin […]

  • James Salter on Writing, Women, and Being Not-Quite-Famous

    It’s March, but a zigzag of skiers still winds its way down Corkscrew, Aspen Mountain’s double-black-diamond run. This is the view from Justice Snow’s, an unpretentious restaurant and bar tucked into the Sheridan Opera House, where James Salter is telling me about Billy Keating. When Salter first started coming to Aspen in 1959, Keating was […]

  • Jacques Rivette’s 1981 Le Pont du Nord Gets A U.S. Debut

    Shot quickly and cheaply in 16mm on the streets of Paris in 1981, Jacques Rivette’s Le Pont du Nord was a “comeback” film of sorts for its director at a moment when the lions of the Nouvelle Vague—Godard, Rohmer, et al.—were collectively readying their second acts. The result was a Rivette film with the free-form […]

  • Come Out and Play Moves with Astonishing Stupidity

    Possibly the least deserving film ever to bear in its full title a possessive director’s credit, Makinov’s Come Out and Play offers a wan reworking of the 1976 Spanish grindhouse shocker Who Can Kill a Child? (released in the U.S. under the less evocative title Island of the Damned), here transposed to Mexico and cast […]

  • Olympus Has Fallen Gets All America! Fuck Yeah!

    The first of this year’s dueling Die Hard in the White House opuses (to be followed in June by Roland “Independence Day” Emmerich’s White House Down) begins with a slo-mo Old Glory and the first horns and snare drums of composer Trevor Morris’s John-Williams-on-steroids score—and, well, things get a lot more “America! Fuck yeah!” from […]

  • Michael Cimino Revisits His Notorious Flop Heaven’s Gate, Which Maybe Was a Masterpiece All Along

    “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” So goes the adage from John Ford’s 1962 classic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and so it has gone for Heaven’s Gate, the class-war Western written and directed by one of Ford’s truest disciples among contemporary American filmmakers: Michael Cimino. Released […]

  • The World’s Riches: New Directors/New Films Is the Year’s Best Local/Global Movie Celebration

    It’s been a season of change for two of New York’s august film institutions, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art. Both saw the retirement of longtime senior curators (Richard Peña and Laurence Kardish, respectively), followed by the abrupt resignation earlier this month of Peña’s successor, Robert Koehler. Fortunately, none […]

  • Beauty and Controversy in Godard’s Le Petit Soldat

    A scandal in 1960, banned by French authorities for its depiction of 
government-sanctioned torture and references to that country’s clandestine guerre sans nom in Algeria, Jean-Luc Godard’s Le Petit Soldat might have been the Zero Dark Thirty of its day—if only more people had actually seen it. Yet despite following Breathless and featuring the first […]

  • If Only Oz the Great and Powerful Had A Wizard

    It’s a bad omen when, early on in Oz the Great and Powerful, we learn that the full given name of its wizard is Oscar, also the ceremony that star James Franco once presided over as calamitously as he does this sagging Disney tentpole, a gargantuan attempt to turn L. Frank Baum’s children’s novels and […]

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