A character we've yet to meet flies through the air in slow motion, above a busy New York street, arms and legs splayed. He's wearing a bike helmet, which is a good thing — because as The Who's "Baba O'Riley" pulses in the background and numbers come up on the screen telling us it's 6:33 p.m., he lands with a thud on the pavement.
For a second or two, he lies there staring — at a car careering toward him, a woman mouthing his name, a bike that lies crumpled at his side. You might want to take those moments to catch your breath. You won't be offered many other chances.
Friends Antoine (Laurent Lafitte), Eric (Gilles Lellouche) and Marie (Marion Cotillard) are among the troubled group that makes an annual retreat to a home in Cap Ferret.
Credit MPI Media Group
It's summer in France, time for stressed urbanites to head to the beach and forget their problems. For the circle of friends featured in Little White Lies, however, this year's problems are a little more memorable than most.
Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:31 pm
A bank robber, played by Bradley Cooper, is in hot pursuit of the runaway protagonists in <em>Hit and Run</em>.
Credit Open Road Films
The backbone of a good comedy is always, supposedly, the script. But in the case of Dax Shepard and David Palmer's marvelous road-trip comedy Hit and Run, maybe not. The key to the picture isn't so much the what as the how: Instead of handing over every joke right on the beat, Hit and Run lures you in with its jackalope rhythms. There's nothing else like it on the current landscape.
Bart (David Anders) returns from his tour in Iraq as a fallen soldier, but he doesn't stay dead long — he rises as the titular revenant.
Credit Paladin Film
Back in 2005, for the Showtime anthology series Masters of Horror, director Joe Dante and writer Sam Hamm were given carte blanche to make whatever they wanted, so long as it came in under an hour and could be classified as "horror."
They delivered, in Homecoming, one of the sharpest and angriest films about the Iraq war to date — a blunt allegory about U.S. soldiers who rise from the dead not to feast on the living but to vote the president out of office. It's an anti-war satire that only technically functioned as a zombie movie.
Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:29 pm
Matt Pandamiglio (Mike Birbiglia) faces elaborate sleepwalking hallucinations while he struggles to accomplish anything substantial in his waking life.
Credit Adam Beckman / IFC Films
Mike Birbiglia's autobiographical comedy Sleepwalk with Me is about at least three things, in ascending order of significance: the lead character's fear of commitment, his wayward efforts to launch a career as a standup comedian, and his strange proclivity for getting out of bed in the middle of the night and making loud, nonsensical proclamations like, "There's a jackal in the room!"
Fang "Jenni" Lee, raised in Berkeley, Calif., returns to China to help broker the adoption of another little girl.
Credit Linda Goldstein Knowlton / Long Shot Factory
Of the roughly 80,000 Chinese children adopted in the United States since 1979, almost all are girls, abandoned at birth by their parents because of China's one-child policy, coupled with inheritance laws that favor boys.
Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:09 pm
Frank (Frank Langella) develops a strong bond with his new caretaker robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard), whom he teaches to pick locks.
Credit Samuel Goldwyn Films/Stage 6 Films
Many science-fiction storytellers worry about robots becoming self-aware and destroying us. The moment the artificial beings attain real intelligence, these tales posit, they'll realize we made them too smart and too strong for our own good, and they'll wonder why the superior beings should be relegated to working assembly lines and doing mundane repetitive tasks when they could be ruling the planet.
We're gonna take a global look stroll now, looking at street art, everything from a mural of creepy pink bunnies in San Francisco to a sculpture of a brick train engine stuck in the ground in New Zealand to a street light covered with knitting in Bristol, England. It's all collected on a website and a mobile app that will launch at the end of the month. It's called Big Art Mob and it's the creation of Alfie Dennen, who joins me from London to talk about it.
During the next two weeks, the major political parties will assemble their faithful in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., to officially nominate their presidential tickets. These conventions were once places of high political drama. But over the decades, as the primary system has determined the candidates well in advance, conventions have become political theater. With that in mind, there's much to be said on staging in politics — not substance, but style.
Paul Auster doesn't take living for granted. At 65, the author has had several "near misses," from sliding face-first into a jutting nail as a child to a traumatic car accident that almost killed him, his wife and his daughter.
Auster's new memoir, Winter Journal, is a series of meditations on his life, aging and mortality — including his mother's death.