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About Schmidt (2002)
Schmidt Happens.
Director: Alexander Payne
Drama
Comedy

A recently retired man embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding, only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.

Which Film? Brando invented the modern acting technique of giving you two films: the one in which the characters exist, and another in which the actors exist. Nicholson has developed that into something rather clever. The basic job is the same, to inhabit a character and...


Published February 12, 2023
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25th Hour (2002)
Can you change your whole life in one day?
Director: Spike Lee
Crime
Drama

In New York City in the days following the events of 9/11, Monty Brogan is a convicted drug dealer about to start a seven-year prison sentence, and his final hours of freedom are devoted to hanging out with his closest buddies and trying to prepare his girlfriend for his extended absence.

Figure Skating There are two ways to look at figure skating. You can judge it as a matter of difficulty or a matter of grace. It used to be the grace that trumped. I watch figure skating and films because of how they enrich my lives....


Published December 6, 2022
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10 Tiny Love Stories (2002)
Sex, love, loss and men
Director: Rodrigo García
Drama
Romance

Rodrigo Garcia's Ten Tiny Love Stories follows the stories of ten women with very different emotional and psychological experiences across ten scripted monologues.

One Multi-expressed Love Story This has been termed an experiment because it is unusual, but it is more of an adventure into the space of the written word. Garcia is a writer. Writers use words as knives to open spaces to inhabit. With this particular kind of...


Published December 5, 2022
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13 Moons (2002)
Ever have one of those nights?
Director: Alexandre Rockwell
Comedy
Drama

Things aren't looking so good for television clown Banana's career, and the fact that his estranged wife, Suzi, has just been arrested for assaulting his girlfriend, Lily, just serves to compound Banana's despair.

Lost Characters You have a few choices when sitting down to write a story. One of these is to decide what sort of agency your characters have. To my mind, the best storytellers start with a world, a notion of sweeps within that world that creates...


Published December 3, 2022
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Juwanna Mann (2002)
The only way he can stay pro, is to play (like) a girl.
Director: Jesse Vaughan
Comedy

A basketball star is booted out of the NBA when his on-court antics go too far, so he poses as a woman and joins the WUBA.

Tootsie Got Game One of the most disturbing trends in film is how we have started manufacturing “special audience” films. They used to have their own lives, their own autheticity. Here we have a mindless copy: “Tootsie” plays basketball. This goes beyond dumb and stereotypical —...


Published December 1, 2022
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By Any Means Necessary: The Making of ‘Jason X’ (2002)

Cronenberg Chronicles This little feature was made to promote the movie and is included on the DVD. It shows a real problem in filmmaking. The actual movie was dumb, made for dummies. The dynamics behind how it was designed and to some extent executed is a matter...


Published December 1, 2022
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Auto Focus (2002)
A day without sex is a day wasted.
Director: Paul Schrader
Crime
Drama

A successful TV star during the 1960s, former "Hogan's Heroes" actor Bob Crane projects a wholesome family-man image, but this front masks his persona as a sex addict who records and photographs his many encounters with women, often with the help of his seedy friend, John Henry Carpenter. This biographical drama reveals how Crane's double life takes its toll on him and his family, and ultimately contributes to his death.

Soldiering, Winking, Filming Paul Schrader simultaneously fascinates and repels me. That’s because he has such intelligent ideas for films, and then makes then in such a pedestrian fashion the inspiration is all but trod away. And his ideas are so very clever in addition to being intelligently...


Published November 26, 2022
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8 Women (2002)
Living in a house full of women can be murder.
Director: François Ozon
Comedy
Thriller
Mystery

Eight women gather to celebrate Christmas in a snowbound cottage, only to find the family patriarch dead with a knife in his back. Trapped in the house, every woman becomes a suspect, each having her own motive and secret.

3 Women Really I had a lot of trouble with this film. I get what it is trying to do and particularly appreciate the notion. The distance between the story and the music is like that great bowling alley scene in “Buffalo 66” (and the similar...


Published November 22, 2022
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Irreversible (2002)
Time destroys everything.
Director: Gaspar Noé
Drama
Thriller
Crime

A woman’s lover and her ex-boyfriend take justice into their own hands after she becomes the victim of a rapist. Because some acts can’t be undone. Because man is an animal. Because the desire for vengeance is a natural impulse. Because most crimes remain unpunished.

Kubrick for Dummies One of the giants of film, Kubrick's contribution was an exploration of plastic narrative within the story. A simple story just happens and the narrative stance is one of simple observance. Kubrick looked at competing perspectives, for instance ‘2001' shifts among three perspectives...


Published October 30, 2022
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Insomnia (2002)
A tough cop. A brilliant killer. An unspeakable crime.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Thriller
Crime

Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.

Waking Life The element that makes cinema unique is the ability to fold: to shuffle time and narrative both by the mind and eye. Nolan showed great promise with ‘Following’, built around a very ambitious narrative structure. It moved the notion of narration way in front of...


Published October 27, 2022
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