Culture war erupts over cellphone useage @ AFI Fest

Language & ideas
It was the aggrieved versus the entitled in an unsurprising yet noteworthy altercation that broke out at AFI Fest, as the shared public viewing experience ratchets down. The depressing incident (ironically occuring at a screening of a new biopic on British painter William Turner) perhaps serves as a cautionary tale for those of us aggrevated ...

AFI: Los Angeles’ best film festival 1

Film
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Los Angeles is blessed—or burdened—with over four dozen film festivals of various shapes, sizes and makes, but there are three that dominate. Outfest, the country’s most successful LGBT festival, is consistently the biggest grossing event. Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) has the best title since the city is in its name. AFI Festival Los Angeles ...

Koehler on Cinema: Clips

Film
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A new James Benning movie is enough news in itself and enough for a simple request: Just stop everything and see it. Now, Benning’s “Nightfall” (Los Angeles Filmforum, Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, Sun. 7:30 p.m.) isn’t exactly new. It was digitally shot in 2011 in the Sierras, near his property where he built exact ...

Wim Wenders in-person at Aero Theatre retrospective

Film
Director Wim Wenders began his career as a member of the new German cinema movement of the 1970s; along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog, he brought German culture and film to an international audience. Throughout his career, Wenders has been interested in identity and landscape, coupled with a deep sense of observation and ...

Aronofsky’s BLACK SWAN: Raw deal for Odile 6

Dance · Film
Seconds into Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller BLACK SWAN, the hyperkinetic camera zooms in on a pink pointe shoe. A woman is dancing, but we don’t see her. We see only the impeccable chop-chop of her shoes. It’s a smart directorial move. Cinephiles and foot fetishists are primed for a good time, but dance lovers’ hearts ...

Frederick Wiseman’s love letter to ballet 5

Dance · Film · Reviews
“I love ballet,” admits 79-year-old documentarian Frederick Wiseman, whose rigorous films on hospital management, meat processing, and public housing have given way to late-life examinations of art and the artistic process. “Dance is the creation of something absolutely beautiful,” he says. “Yet it’s not a fixed form. It’s ephemeral. It’s evanescent.” “I’m no expert,” he ...