The unconventional thinkers over at 24LiesASecond have published two must-read articles: Robert C. Cumbow's thorough, respectful appraisal of Jonathan Glazer's Birth, a favorite of mine that a lot of people thought I was nuts for taking seriously; and David Greven's thinkpiece on Mexican horror/sci-fi ace Guillermo del Toro, a smashing pop artist who hasn't been admitted to the pantheon of notable contemporary auteurs yet because (a) he works in disreputable genres, and (b) with precious few exceptions, American criticism's current bunch of gatekeepers insists on restricting membership to Baby Boomers. (Oops, did I write that out loud?) For my 2001 rave review of Del Toro's The Devil's Backbone (pictured above), click here.
Over at Philadelphia Weekly, critical pugilist Sean Burns bashes Caché ("dumb but chilling") but says The Time of the Wolf was the movie Spielberg's War of the Worlds didn't have the nerve to be.
My friend Alonso Duralde, arts editor for The Advocate, has been keeping a compulsively readable Sundance Diary. Watch this space for an interview with Alonso about his book 101 Must-See Movies for Gay Men. (No, you wiseasses, Top Gun is not in there; and yes, everyone he knows has asked why not.)
In New York Press, I pop Steven Soderbergh's Bubble, and Armond White surveys The New World revision and deems it pleasing (but gently disses the first cut along the way). Jennifer Merin speaks to Lars von Trier and asks him if he hates America.
Read, reflect, argue. And while you're at it, lift a glass or two or three in honor of Chris Penn, on whose career I will ruminate shortly.