Michael Fassbender

REVIEW: Philosophy at the Border in ‘The Counselor’

Here’s a testament as to what a misfire full of promise Ridley Scott’s The Counselor is: I actually had a dream last night after seeing it that I was in the editing suite with the director working on another cut of the film. He already had a second version on hand that followed a proper thriller format, but I still insisted on twenty minutes being shaved. “Hurry!” I yelled. “It’s too late for North America, but we can still save it for Europe and the Rest of the World.”

Steve McQueen

REVIEW: ‘12 Years a Slave’ Turns Real Events Surreal

Midway through Steve McQueen’s masterpiece 12 Years a Slave, I began consoling myself that at least I am descended from the good whites in the north. I don’t have a drop of southern blood in me, unless you count my Australian mother, but in that case I too am descended from slaves, in a sense. What the founders of Australia endured just in the transportation from Britain to the colonies Down Under, often for the pettiest of crimes (if they were guilty of them in the first place), was as arduous as and far longer than the journey from Africa.

After seeing Peter Weir’s Gallipoli (1981) in London, my maternal grandmother stood up and shouted at the audience, “You see what you did, you pommy bastards?”

Mireille Enos

‘The Killing’ and the Unlikely Rise of Mireille Enos

I’m an even bigger anomaly than the actress who is the subject of this article: I had absolutely no problem with the pacing of seasons one and two of AMC’s The Killing, which ambled along a staggering twenty-four episodes just to solve a single murder. While other TV wonks around the Internet were huffing ‘Good riddance!’ when the show was cancelled, I whimpered a little inside;

Angelina Jolie

Gossip Is Content, Too

A couple of things happen to me when the Cannes Film Festival rolls around and I’m not attending that year. The first is I feel myself flushing pink with the sense memory of too much cheap rosé consumed, both in wine and champagne form. I get a flash hangover, too, and become groggy for the two-week duration of the Festival whenever I read the relentless updates streaming from industry press.

I’ve chronicled some of my adventures there before, and the upshot is I’m really more of a Berlinale type than a Cannes fan.

Keira Knightley Interview Magazine

Too Beautiful to Act?

I had a conversation with a young, exceedingly good-looking actor last night about a script of mine that is currently in development.  He’d read it at his own request—it’s still a few drafts away from being camera ready, so not in wide circulation—after he heard me talking about it at a dinner party and realized that the description of the male lead was perfect for him: it’s about a guy in his mid-twenties, of German descent, from the Midwest.  Even though I promised to have him read for the role when the time comes, in my mind I am pretty sure I’m not going to cast him.  I can’t: I just don’t see this particular character as being that beautiful—someone who looks like that would be unlikely to suffer the same way as my hero.

Luke Guldan shirtless

Always a Bridesmaid

TUTTLE MODE

by James Tuttle

Gentle reader,

I was just going through the arduous task of deleting today’s Facebook friend requests when I decided to flip on the TV to make the process less tedious and what should appear on the screen but a little gem called Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids.  The episode was about half over, but I already had a really clear idea of what was going on courtesy of the very descriptive title.  Anything that says “bridesmaids” is bound to be an overflowing bounty of estrogen and ego.

In one salon, a lovely African-American bride-to-be was having trouble achieving clarity on what she wanted her bridesmaids to wear and the bridesmaids in question weren’t really helping because they basically complained about everything.  I have to say that, when it came to a shiny burgundy number with a cape thing attached to a huge cluster of fabric flowers on the back that the bride just adored, I was on their side.

Goth Goes Milano

TUTTLE MODE | THE COLLECTIONS

by James Tuttle

Gentle reader,

The 84th Annual Academy Awards went down a few short blocks from here the other day, distracting me from important cultural happenings like Mob Wives and RuPaul’s Drag Race.  The Oscar experience is a bit different when one lives in Hollywood because, while you might get together with some friends over cocktails in Manhattan or watch it wrapped in a Snuggie (please don’t) in Iowa while snow falls silently outside your window, it becomes fucking Kosovo up in here!

Fitness model Eddie Griffin missed the Oscars. Maybe he was sleeping in. (Photo: Rick Day)

Police cars heavily patrol any streets that haven’t been barricaded, helicopters buzz buildings and tow trucks descend upon unsuspecting cars parked in the way of the limo routes that will be whisking celebrities to the Theatre Formerly Known As Kodak.  The constant hum of the Goodyear blimp hanging overhead makes even running to the local market for an onion into a surreal experience.

Fantasia Redux

THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES | REVIEW

by James Killough

It would not be wrong to describe Terrence Malick’s Cannes Palme D’Or-winner The Tree Of Life as a two-hour-fifteen-minute ad for a fictitious Calvin Klein “Existence” perfume, brought to you in part by the Museum of Natural History, the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and the Episcopal Diocese of Waco, Texas.

Tree is for lovers of films with no conventional plot like Baraka and Godfrey Reggio’s Qatsi series.  In other words, smoke a hefty spliff, stack up on the muchie rations and prepared to murmur “wow.”

The ubiquitous walking-into-the-sunlight shot that seems to have pleased the Cannes jury so much. Step away from the shrooms, Mr. De Niro.

I wasn’t in Cannes this year, and per my earlier post it is unlikely I would have seen the rest of the films in competition even if I had been, but I can understand why awarding the Palme D’Or to this caused so much controversy.  It’s beautiful, yes, but it is not great cinema by my standards.  And this is coming from a huge Terrence Malick fan.  It isn’t even intellectually stimulating from an esoteric spirituality point of view.  But, after all those years in India and with the Sufis, I’m really jaded that way.