The House


Bat for Lashes

Bat for Lashes, "Laura." An even softer version of the intimate "Daniel," "Laura" could be the song that wins Bat for Lashes the audience she deserves. This wintry masterpiece set lips trembling when Natasha Khan poured it out at Cambridge Junction last month. Gentle piano and pulsing horns accompany Khan's counsel of a friend (played by Terence Stamp in drag in the video), her voice cracking as she remembers that she's "the train that crashed my heart/The glitter in the dark." The song's message of support is made more poignant by a melody borrowed from "Working Class Hero." George Bass

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: bat for lashes, daniel fisher, drone on, harps, house playlist, jamie krasner, laura, natasha khan, need it, physical therapy, runner, safety net, splashh, terence stamp, the sea and cake


Gotye

The MTV Video Music Awards nominations have been announced and they're actually decent.

For a full list, click here.

Singer-actor Tony Martin dies at 98.

Democrats draft gay-marriage platform.

Can you beat Dave Eggers, Andrew Sean Greer, Michael Cunningham, and others in Esquire's 2012 Short Short Fiction Contest?

Colorado shooting victims wear Batman T-shirts to James Holmes court hearing.

Some lovely behind-the-scenes photos from the set of 3 Women.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: 3 women, amc, andrew sean greer, aurora shooting, batman, boardwalk empire, cloud atlas, dave eggers, democratic party, esquire, fred armisen, gay marriage, javier bardem, lana wachowski, madonna, marine le pen, michael cunningham, mtv video music awards, short short fiction contest, showtime, skyfall, the big c, the killing


Grand Illusion

[Editor's Note: In light of Sight & Sound's film poll, which, every decade, queries critics and directors the world over before arriving at a communal Top 10 list, we polled our own writers, who didn't partake in the project, but have bold, discerning, and provocative lists to share.]

Maybe it's just coincidence, but the most creative periods for the movies seem to occur about every 30 years, usually triggered by the advent of some new technology. First came that short burst of experimentation by people like Georges Méliès during the last few years of the 19th century, right after the medium was invented. The latest is the digital revolution that started around the turn of this century, making it possible for almost anyone to make a movie (and enabling a whole new level of intimacy between filmmaker and subject) by eliminating the need for expensive film processing and slashing the cost and size of professional-quality cameras. But my favorite golden age is the one that stretched from the late '20s to the early '40s in Hollywood. Old pros who'd cut their teeth on countless shorts showed us what could be done with silent film while upstarts like Howard Hawks and the Marx Brothers played with synchronous sound, that shiny new toy, in movies crammed to the brim with fast, funny talk. That probably explains why half of my 10 favorites were made during a 14-year period that ended as WWII began.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: agnès varda, akira kurosawa, alain resnais, andrei rublev, andrei tarkovsky, buster keaton, cary grant, duck soup, goodfellas, grand illusion, henry hill, his girl friday, howard hawks, i was born but..., jean cayrol, jean renoir, leo mccarey, martin scorsese, marx brothers, nicholas pileggi, night and fog, rosalind russell, seven samurai, sight & sound, the general, the gleaners and i, yasujirô ozu


Citizen Kane & Showgirls

We've stormed the gates and are now officially part of the canon-forming establishment...or (fingers crossed) the canon-altering anti-establishment. That's right, for its seventh installment, the venerable Sight & Sound poll to determine the 10 best films of all time is including among its ranks of voting members a whole slew of bloggers and new-media representatives, including a handful of writers from Slant.

Not, unfortunately, all of us. But, speaking on behalf of all of those who didn't get a ballot, I can say we're not jealous, but instead thrilled that the same critical profile that once placed Trash, Showgirls, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Lickerish Quartet alongside Jean Renoir, Orson Welles, John Ford, and Carl Theodor Dreyer will be making its mark in what nearly any card-carrying cinephile recognizes as the most authoritative word on the canon.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: carl theodor dreyer, citizen kane, jean renoir, john ford, lists, orson welles, showgirls, sight & sound, the godfather, the lickerish quartet, the texas chainsaw massacre, trash


Chris Marker

Legendary filmmaker Chris Marker has died. He was 91.

David Hudson gathers a few obits.

Controversy surrounds world-record 400 IM of China's 16-year-old Ye Shiwen

The biggest shock of the Olympics so far: Jordyn Wieber fails to advance to all-around finals.

A close second: Michael Phelps's "crappy" first swim raises the red flag.

This video of Aly Raisman's parents reacting to her bar routine is very funny, but shocking that it made it on the air, given what Mom clearly says at the end.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: alex cox, aly raisman, boys, chris marker, david hudson, dynasty, girls, hbo, jordyn wieber, matt zoller seitz, michael phelps, michał oleszczyk, olympic games, samuel l. jackson, scientology, the brave cowboy, the village voice, twitter, ye shiwen


Sorry Please Thank YouMost of the writing in the new short-story collection by Charles Yu, Sorry Please Thank You, is either narrated by or focuses on a lonesome, timid, self-conscious guy in his twenties or thirties who's working a lousy job—or one he can't accept the responsibility for. The catch of the book is that something science-fictionally surreal or fantastic is always going on within the worlds of these dithering, sentimental protagonists.

For instance, the narrator of the opening story, "Standard Loneliness Package," works at a dystopian call center in India where the employees have to—via some sort of unspecified, consciousness-carrying technology—endure for the customers the fear, the embarrassment, the shame, among other things, of funerals, dentist appointments, plane rides, and other uncomfortable experiences. Or in "First Person Shooter," the lovesick leading character works the graveyard shift at WorldMart, a store that's open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. One night, while working alongside the girl he has a crush on, a female zombie comes into the store and, instead of wanting to maul the humans and devour their brains, looks for some lipstick to get ready for a date (a date with whom is never quite made clear).

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: adult contemporary, charles yu, david foster wallace, first person shooter, hero absorbs major damage, how to live safely in a science fictional universe, inventory, j. l. borges, note to self, pantheon, sorry please thank you, standard loneliness package, third class superhero


Masters of the UniverseI wonder what a He-Man tentpole film would look like in our current comic book-obsessed, event picture landscape we call modern-day Hollywood? Whatever direction the project would take (origin story; psychologically dark; epic CGI), there's no way in hell it could resemble Gary Goddard's jarring mix of corny screwball comedy and choppy action heroics, 1987's Masters of the Universe. While time has not been kind to this blatantly ridiculous superhero film, it's still refreshing to know that a "big budget" sci-fi saga based on a popular 1980s cartoon is this manic and strange, even going as far as making its ox of a star, bulging bicep titan He-Man (Dolph Lundgren), the lone voice of reason in a sea of obliviousness. Immediately after a crippling laser shootout occurs between the forces of Grayskull and the dark hooded stormtroopers employed by the evil dictator Skeletor (a masked Frank Langella), the sweaty He-Man tells his loyal brood Man-at-Arms (Jon Cypher) and Teela (Chelsea Field) that "we're all in this together." I'm not sure what's more hilarious, Lundgren's wonderfully sincere line delivery or the fact that all of the other actors seem on the precipice of explosive laughter.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: billy barty, chelsea field, courteney cox, dolph lundgren, frank langella, gary goddard, he-man, james tolkan, jon cypher, masters of the universe, robert duncan mcneill, summer of 87


Jaws: The Revenge"This time, it's personal." So reads the tagline for the ill-fated Jaws: The Revenge. Never mind that in each of the three previous films the sharks died. Jaws 2 and Jaws 3-D may have foisted hopelessly contrived plots on viewers, but neither went as far as to imply that their respective sharks were exacting revenge on Chief Brody and his family for past crimes. We weren't led to think that the sharks were in the same family or part of a hive-mind network. But here is a premise that—while no more implausible than the other films in the series—actually seems to acknowledge the folly of a franchise chronicling one family's long saga of encounters with great whites. That's why I give the writers (or the marketing team?) of Jaws: The Revenge credit for understanding at least one thing: If you're going to serve up the absurd, don't hold back. In fact, pour it on. Both the title and tagline of Joseph Sargent's film more than meet this standard. The movie itself is another story.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: jaws the revenge, lance guest, lorraine gary, mario van peebles, michael caine, mitchell anderson, roy scheider, steven spielberg, summer of 87


Step Up Revolution

This weekend, the Step Up franchise returns with Step Up Revolution, an installment that takes the action to Miami, but likely can't trump the heat of its irresistible predecessor, Step Up 3D. Still, its release presents the perfect opportunity to glance back at famous movie dance numbers, whose smooth moves paved the way for the flash-mob spectacle the new film boasts. Before there was Channing Tatum (and his lineage of avatar successors), there were Gene Kelly, Ann Miller, Moira Shearer, and, yes, Sarah Jessica Parker. Before you get a load of the latest hotties and hardbodies to stomp the yard, check out the 15 films we've shortlisted for their unforgettable steps.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: 10 things i hate about you, 15 famous, 500 days of summer, ann miller, applause, easter parade, elizabeth berkeley, gene kelly, gentlemen prefer blondes, gilda, girls just want to have fun, gold diggers of 1933, house of flying daggers, lists, marilyn monroe, mary poppins, national lampoons animal house, pulp fiction, quentin tarantino, rita hayworth, showgirls, step up revolution, the red shoes


Tom Cruise

Scientology's heartbreaking double standard.

Erica Jong and others discuss what women really want from Fifty Shades of Grey.

Frank Rich mourns the passing of Mayberry.

How to eat like your favorite authors.

Lady Gaga to make film debut in Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: alex ross perry, call me maybe, carly rae jepsen, erica jong, fifty shades of grey, frank rich, gwyneth paltrow, katie holmes, lady gaga, machete kills, newfest, olympic games, robert rodriguez, scientology, stephen holden, the dark knight rises, tom cruise







The HouseCategories



The HouseThe Attic

More »



Site by  Docent Solutions