In typical Tim Burton style, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (3D) dips its toe into borderline madness. But that’s to be expected from a film based on the famous Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. And “based” is the correct term. Anyone who has read the classic will recognise the characters and the settings, but the story itself, whilst anchored in the book, diverges and follows its own path. The more astute viewer may notice that Wonderland is a darker place than you might think, and that some of the famous scenes, The Mad Hatter’s tea party for instance, have a more solemn and... Read More
Kudos again to Fox Searchlight Pictures for tackling a subject the American movie makers have stayed away from. That subject would be racial profiling and the plight of Muslims in America.
Khan challenges himself in this role by playing Rizvan Khan, a Muslim Indian man living in the United States in the aftermath of 9/11. To make matters worse, he suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, a disease related to autism.
After a tragic death stemming from discrimination tears the family apart, Kahn's wife, played by Kajol, blames his namesake for this tragedy. His wife in the film is Hindu,... Read More
The empty cloth body of a doll is placed on a sewing table. Sawdust pours into the doll's body, giving her form. Then, yarn hair is attached, button-eyes are sewn in and suddenly a little girl in a yellow raincoat we come to know as Coraline falls into the next frame. It is with this same attention-to-detail that a costume designer approaches the challenge of dressing characters for a film.I've always been in awe of costume and fashion designs. My mother taught me to sew by hand. All it took was a needle and thread, some cloth, and a vision. Simple, yet complicated. Enriching... Read More
PAFF-Soul of African Diaspora in Cinema
Los Angeles-The 18th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival was held on February 10-17, 2010 at the Culver Plaza Theatres in Culver City. This is an official City of Los Angeles African American Heritage Month Celebration.
Once again, the festival presented over 135 films, representing over 35 countries. This is by far the most prestigious Black Film Festival in the nation. The festival showcases compelling and interesting films that can rival many Hollywood blockbuster movies. Several movies have debuted at the festival and went on... Read More
I saw a movie last night and it’s sticking with me like warm chewing gum. As hard as I’ve tried to put this documentary out of my mind, I can’t do it. It may sound corny and melodramatic, but I’m crying as I’m writing this. My keyboard is damp and my mind is racing, trying to tell people about this amazing, troubling, surprising and yet hopeful film.
It’s called Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008, 1 hr. 33 minutes and available on DVD). This is the kind of story I can’t describe too much without giving away a bunch of important information. So let's put it this way—it... Read More
Last week I heard lots said about James Cameron’s new film, Avatar. In several publicity spots, on TV and in the printed press, members of the cast and crew as well as Mr. Cameron himself have been talking at length about the film’s use of 3D technology and how important this event is for the media of film. I wasn’t convinced. I had seen some advertisements for the film and I couldn’t escape the billboards everywhere with 20-foot high blue faces, but something about the publicity drive made me suspect that I would be disappointed if and when I went to see it.
On Friday night I took... Read More
20th Century Fox/Lightstorm Entertainment
Written and Directed by James Cameron
Produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau
I have to be honest and confess that I’m biased when it comes to James Cameron because he hasn’t yet made a movie I haven’t liked. Which compared to a lot of other filmmakers isn’t a lot. I mean, counting AVATAR he’s directed eight movies in thirty years. We’ve got directors who have made thirty movies in eight years. But James Cameron’s movies are all ‘event’ movies and he’s such a meticulous director/writer that he’s in... Read More
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