By Pamela Zoslov A group of schoolboys are a blur as they chase a classmate, taunting and tormenting him through a Miami neighborhood filled with abandoned houses. The boy, Chiron (Alex Hibbert), takes refuge in a boarded-up apartment, weeping silently as his persecutors bang loudly on the doors and windows. The opening scene of Moonlight, […]Read more "Moonlight: Little Boy Blues"
By Pamela Zoslov “I don’t wanna belong to the glam people, the hip-hop people, the TV people, the alternative people. I don’t wanna be a punk. I just wanna be.” That is as close to a manifesto as you will get from Iggy Pop, the incomparable frontman of the proto-punk band The Stooges. The plain-spoken, […]Read more "Gimme Danger: Raw Stooge Power"
By Pamela Zoslov “I don’t see any reason to be tasteful about Auschwitz. It’s baloney. It’s a legend…more women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz.” With incendiary words like these, in a 1991 speech before far-rightists and neo-Nazis, David Irving established […]Read more "Denial: A Fight for History"
By Pamela Zoslov The indie comedy-drama The Hollars belongs to a familiar category, the homecoming film, in which a person is plucked out of adulthood and forced to return to the family homestead, there to deal with all manner of dysfunction. Graced by a superior ensemble and flecked with humor and tenderness, it has the […]Read more "Home Truths: The Hollars"
By Pamela Zoslov Louis, the nine-year-old protagonist of The 9th Life of Louis Drax, introduces himself as “the amazing accident-prone boy.” In his short life, he’s been bitten by spiders, hit in his crib by a falling chandelier, electrocuted by a wall outlet, suffered food poisoning and meningitis. Even his birth was violent, claims Louis, […]Read more "Boy, Interrupted: The 9th Life of Louis Drax"
By Pamela Zoslov It’s tempting to analogize the new Wall Street drama Equity to the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. Both boast of being “firsts” — first woman major-party presidential candidate, first movie about high finance produced, written, directed by and starring women. What both narratives demonstrate is that women can be just as bad as, […]Read more "She Likes Money: Equity"
By Pamela Zoslov The Japanese film Our Little Sister is based on Umimachi Diary (“Seaside Town Diary”), a Josei manga series by Akimi Yoshida. (Josei manga means “comics for women,” and is aimed at older teenage girls and young women.) The highly regarded director Hirozaku Koreeda adapted the series, transforming Yoshida’s serial and its painterly […]Read more "Our Little Sister: Cherry Blossom Time"
By Mark Satola In the nearly 23 years since Frank Zappa died a few weeks shy of his 53rd birthday, the iconoclastic musician’s legacy has been the foremost product of the Zappa Family Trust, in essence a cottage industry devoted to the preservation and propagation, under tightly controlled circumstances, of Zappa’s music. The death in […]Read more "Zappa Unbound: Eat That Question"
By Pamela Zoslov The narrator’s voice is familiar, if a bit thin, because the man, Woody Allen, is now 80. Cafe Society is his forty-seventh feature film, and as usual with this director, it recapitulates settings and themes of his earlier works. But as with the aging voice of the narrator, echoes of more vigorous […]Read more "Gone Hollywood: Cafe Society"
By Pamela Zoslov Matt Ross, the 46-year-old writer and director of Captain Fantastic, is a memorable character actor with a flair for eccentric roles. On HBO’s “Big Love,” he played Alby Grant, the murderous, closeted gay son of a Mormon cult patriarch. Ross’s childhood gave him a natural affinity for stories about nontraditional sects. He […]Read more "Captain Fantastic: Noble Savages"