By Pamela Zoslov Old people — what is to be done about them? In Washington, House Speaker Paul Ryan and company want to throw them off the public dole (“entitlements,” in the ruthless Republican argot). In Hollywood, seniors are either ignored or cast in formulaic comedies. In these vehicles, the old stars play problem people: […]Read more "The Last Word: Twilight Saga"
By Pamela Zoslov The British film director Amma Asante, a former child actress, has a special interest in issues of race in Great Britain. Her 2013 Belle told the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral in 18th-century England. Her new film, A United Kingdom, tells another based-on-truth racial […]Read more "Out of Africa: A United Kingdom"
By Pamela Zoslov I have never had a real movie fan’s interest in the Academy Awards, the 89th edition of which takes place Sunday, February 26. The awards often have little to do with quality, and the legendary “Academy” — consisting of a motley group of of entertainment luminaries, non-luminaries, has-beens and hangers-on, many of […]Read more "Uncle Oscar’s Annual Visit: Some Predictions"
By Pamela Zoslov “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time,” said the writer James Baldwin (1924-1987) an eloquent commentator on race relations in the United States, even though he spent a large portion of his life abroad. He was the […]Read more "The Fire This Time: I Am Not Your Negro"
By Pamela Zoslov I have come to think of certain Hollywood comedies as being like big, dumb, eager-to-please dogs (Golden Retrievers come to mind, no offense to that friendly breed). The Comedian, starring Robert De Niro as an aging insult comic, is one such dog. Unlike many of my film-critic colleagues, I don’t deplore these […]Read more "Last Comic Standing: The Comedian"
By Pamela Zoslov …[A] man himself is a city, beginning, seeking, achieving and concluding his life in ways which the various aspects of a city may imbody — if imaginatively conceived — any city, all the details of which may be made to voice his most intimate convictions. — William Carlos Williams, introduction to Paterson […]Read more "Beauty in Things: Paterson"
By Pamela Zoslov In his 2010 film Beginners, writer-director Mike Mills reflected on the life of his father, who came out as gay at the age of 75. With 20th Century Women, he turns his attention to his mother, Jan, a strong, independent woman with a pilot’s license and a bohemian sense of style. In […]Read more "Mama Said: 20th Century Women"
By Pamela Zoslov The name I.F. (“Izzy”) Stone is spoken of in reverent tones among left-leaning journalists. The investigative reporter and publisher of his own four-page newsletter, I.F. Stone’s Weekly, from 1953 to 1971, Stone was a model of fearless, crusading reporting. Basing his reporting on his analyses of government documents, Stone wrote about World […]Read more "Media Fail: All Governments Lie"
By Pamela Zoslov The multi-strand British drama 100 Streets (alternatively titled A Hundred Streets), starring Idris Elba, has received some tepid reviews, but don’t allow them to discourage you from seeing this nicely understated film. Based on a short film by the screenwriter, Leon Butler, it tells three very loosely linked stories about people living within […]Read more "Times of London: 100 Streets"
By Pamela Zoslov Elle, a French-language film directed by Paul Verhoeven, arrives here at a strange moment, when the “normalization” — a leading candidate for 2016 word of the year — of sexual assault grew out of a vitriolic presidential election. So now we might expect that some people, in defiance of “political correctness,” might […]Read more "Elle and The New Normal"