This week, we’ve got a unique take on the world’s oldest profession, an archetypical story of a lovable curmudgeon who learns even as he teaches, and the directorial debut of one of the most popular comedic actors of our time. Catch it all over the next seven days on Sundance Channel.
The Los Angeles Times just posted a massive investigation into the demographics of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the 5,765 largely anonymous voters who every year decide who will receive the highly coveted and ultra-influential Oscars. Their findings, which will come as a shock to no one who has watched the Oscars at any point in the last 25 years, revealed a membership that is very old and very uncool. 94% of Academy voters are white; 77% are male. 54% are over the age of 60; just 2% are under the age of 40.
BEGINNERS is a fitting and exciting followup to Mike Mills’ feature debut THUMBSUCKER (2005), the story of Justin, a teenage boy struggling to make sense of the relationship between his mother and father, between his parents and himself and between himself and that confounding group, the other sex. Though it’s well known by now that BEGINNERS is largely autobiographical of the time in 2003 when Mills’ own mother died and his father revealed that he was gay, Oliver (Ewan McGregor) could very well be the grown up version of frustrated young Justin, if all his angsty teenage fire had died out by the time he was 38, that is.
Anton Chekhov’s novella “My Life” reads like the first half of Leo Tolstoy’s life. A socially rebellious youth from a wealthy family who rejects the privileges of his class, denounces his education and sets out to make a life for himself amongst the working people. THE LAST STATION, however, is concerned only with the great man’s final days, more concerned, perhaps, than the great man himself. The film, like the ardent young Tolstoyans who hang on his every word, seeks to preserve his legacy even when Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer) isn’t so sure what that is. Like Christians who follow the Bible to the letter, he is disappointed, it seems, or perhaps bewildered that his friends and believers obey ideals he once advocated for like abstinence, for example, when he himself doesn’t hesitate to make love to his wife.
Up close and fantastical: An interview with director Terry Gilliam on THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS
For 35 years, critically acclaimed director Terry Gilliam has introduced audiences to the fantastic and the bizarre with films such as BRAZIL, THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN, THE FISHER KING, and 12 MONKEYS. His latest film, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, follows its characters through a new world of dreams and desire, but was not…
Terry Gilliam next fantastical foray comes in the form of THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS starring Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, and Christopher Plummer as the titular character. Doctor Parnassus, the leader of a traveling theater troupe that offers audience members a chance to go beyond reality through a magical mirror in…