By Pamela Zoslov We bid farewell now to 2017, that most terrible, awful, Trump-cursed year. As always, the movie theater proved a good escape from the frenzied chaos, and the year brought us some excellent films, and not too many terrible ones. My list of favorites includes two titles starting with “I,” the first-person pronoun, […]Read more "Annual Obligatory Year-End List of 2017 Movies That Didn’t Suck"
By Pamela Zoslov Joshua Weinstein didn’t have an easy time making his movie Menashe. The filmmaker drew his cast of nonprofessional actors from members of the Hasidic Jewish community in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Many had never even seen a movie before. Some signed on and then dropped out, fearing the disapproval of their synagogues and […]Read more "Menashe: A Yiddisher Kop"
By Pamela Zoslov Gillian Robespierre’s new comedy, Landline, has many traits in common with her debut feature, Obvious Child, which got a lot of attention due to its abortion story line. Both films focus on the romantic/sexual misadventures of a young woman played by comedienne Jenny Slate, and are sprinkled with copious amounts of scatological […]Read more "Landline: Kickin’ It Old School"
By Pamela Zoslov Daniel Blake, a 59-year-old carpenter in Newcastle in northeast England, has had a major heart attack, and his doctor has advised him not to return to work. “I nearly fell off the scaffolding,” he tells the Jobcentre worker performing an assessment of his “work capability.” Daniel’s nightmare descent into Kafkaesque government bureaucracy […]Read more "Labour Pains: I, Daniel Blake"
By Pamela Zoslov Dan Clowes’ Wilson is the kind of character that has long excited the imaginations of novelists, indie filmmakers and cartoonists like Clowes: a misanthropic loser who nonetheless feels superior to everyone else, and who spouts his cynical existential philosophy everywhere he goes. The type appeared in examples as diverse as John Kennedy […]Read more "Wilson: Drawn That Way"
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 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 Manchester by the Sea, the new film written and directed by the playwright Kenneth Lonergan, has much common with Lonergan’s well-regarded 2000 film You Can Count on Me. Both address complicated relationships between adult siblings, one responsible and the other reprobate; a history of tragic accidental death; and issues surrounding surrogate parenting […]Read more "Lee Shore: Manchester by the Sea"
By Pamela Zoslov “Tell the judge I love my wife.” That was the plain request of Richard Loving, a white man, to the lawyer who was about to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967 for Loving’s right to be married to his wife Mildred, a black woman, in 1967. Loving’s simple words are […]Read more "Love Has No Color: Loving"
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"