Director Martin Scorsese needs no introduction with his 52 films from Mean Streets (1973) to Raging Bull (1980) to Goodfellas (1990). But with Hugo Marty has added a surprising gem to his jewels, for Scorsese has channeled his encyclopedic knowledge of film history into an exhilarating, 3D love letter to special effects cinema pioneer Georges Méliès.
Film lovers applaud Spanish writer/director Pedro Almodóvar's entertaining playfulness uniquely combined with a social commentary. His newest film, The Skin I Live In/La Piel Que Habito, will reinforce his reputation for offbeat humor and inspired art direction in his strangest story yet. It combines the Frankenstenian, mad-scientist tradition with the Spanish telenovela-type melodrama complete with heightened emotional twists and turns.
In 1956 Sir Laurence Olivier decided to star in and direct The Prince and the Showgirl, with international icon Marilyn Monroe. Like oil and water, Olivier and Monroe had such different temperaments and approaches to acting that the production became a nightmare, one third assistant director Colin Clark documented daily, now masterfully presented in Simon Curtis' My Week with Marilyn.
With gorgeous images depicting a planetary impact, Melancholia imagines the end of the world as the title planet veers off its scientifically predicted fly-by course and collides with Earth. Danish director Lars Von Trier said he wanted no suspense regarding the film's ending, and so he begins with this visually arresting event in Melancholia's overture.
More than a decade after his forced exit from Apple, Steve Jobs sat down in 1995 for an extended, one-on-one interview with Robert X. Cringely, a blogger very knowledgeable about the computer world, a former Apple employee himself, and, clearly, respected by Steve Jobs.
Director Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar takes on the portrayal of that famous, if not infamous, F.B.I. director from its beginnings as the Bureau of Investigation in 1935 until Hoover's death. A fine director of Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Flags of Our Fathers, among other outstanding films, unfortunately Eastwood fails here to energize a largely sedentary Hoover.
The 20th annual St. Louis International Film Festival begins spectacularly Thursday, November 10th at the Tivoli with The Artist. Impressively executed and immensely entertaining, The Artist charts the fading career of silent film star George Valentin juxtaposed with the rise of Peppy Miller. St. Louisan John Goodman plays film director Zimmer in this gorgeous, masterful black-and-white homage to silent film.
The 20th St. Louis International Film Festival has a second five days as impressive as the first five. Among the dozens and dozens of short films, documentaries, and feature films from which to choose, several stand out. They represent many countries, complex and unusual topics, and a variety of genres from light comedies to serious stories.
Plunging into the centuries old debate concerning the authorship of Shakespeare's plays, Anonymous envisions its subject in ways that would delight the legendary bard. For this 16th century period piece mixes love and adultery, loyalty and betrayal in immensely entertaining and intricately complex ways. Explicitly arguing all art and artists are political, it ties Shakespeare's plays and world to bracing drama.
The film Martha Marcy May Marlene unfolds as awkwardly as its awful title. In other words, the identity confusion signaled by these four first names for one woman spills over into the disjointed plot. It begins with Martha's escape from a cult and her subsequent struggle to readjust with sister Lucy's help, intercut with flashbacks to her brainwashing experiences.