You don't have to be an Anglophile or even a history buff to appreciate "The Audience." You don't have to know the politics of England since 1952 or be able to name the dozen prime ministers who served at the pleasure of the Queen since she ascended the throne. You just have to know a brilliant play when you see one.
Lore, the nickname for Hannelore, is the title character of this most arresting film about a family. The year is 1945, the season is spring; the family comprises Mutti, Vati, two sisters, Lore and Liesel; twin brothers, Jurgen and Gunther, and an infant son named Peter for the father.
Spending 24 hours in an emergency room is not anyone's idea of fun. It's a place where dignity and self-sufficiency become humiliation and dependency. That's common knowledge. What "The Waiting Room" shows is much more than that.
With a little time to spare before the 6:15 p.m. showing of "Charles Bradley: Soul of America" at the St. Louis International Film Festival at the Tivoli, I sauntered over to Meshuggah Café and ordered a hot chocolate.
After standing in a line that extended around the side of the Tivoli Theater in the U-City loop clear to the back of the adjacent parking lot and into the alley Tuesday evening, we finally took our seats for the sold-out, one-night-only theatrical premiere of the highly anticipated Cameron Crowe documentary "Pearl Jam Twenty."
From as young as I can recall I have loved going to the pictures. Thus it is no surprise that in the course of a year I end up seeing a lot of movies. In this age of Netflix and movie channels I still love seeing films in theaters with an audience who is experiencing the same sensory adventure that I am. Call me old fashioned but I think that is the way the medium works best.
The documentary Only When I Dance is content thin but emotionally rich. Director Beadie Finzi, who also shot some of the footage, drops into the lives of two Rio de Janeiro ballet hopefuls in their teenage years, training at the Centro de Danca. Most unusual and immediately earning our sympathy, both Irlan and Isabela come from favelas, Rio's poorest areas. We intercept their lives as they train with discipline and determination for prestigious competitions in Switzerland and New York. For as beautifully as both dance, they know they'll encounter equally talented competitors. Both benefit from completely supportive parents and relatives.
Incredible as it sounds, this year marks the 50 year anniversary of the iconic French New Wave film A Bout de Souffle, known here as Breathless. With a story by Francois Truffaut and a screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard, the film shows the thorough film knowledge of both men who also wrote theory articles for Cahiers du Cinema, that is, Cinema Notebooks. Breathless made a star of Jean-Paul Belmondo who plays Michel Poiccard, enamored of Patricia Franchini, an irresistibly wonderful Iowa native, Jean Seberg who hawks the New York Herald Tribune on the Champs-Elysées.
The documentary American Grindhouse recounts the history of low-budget cinematic fare that exploits the taboo subjects of our culture, especially sex and nudity as well as violence and drugs. From the landmark 1913 Traffic in Souls to the present day incarnations of such fare, producers and directors have profitably cashed in on repressed desires and the allure of the forbidden. With narration by Robert Forster, American Grindhouse proceeds through the 20th century's decades describing the catalysts for cunning filmmakers who discern an audience and provide the products to gratify desire.
Many Americans recognize the name Pat Tillman as the man who walked away from his multi-million dollar contract, #42, playing safety for the Arizona football Cardinals to enlist in June 2002 for a three-year commitment to the U.S. Army. After a tour of duty in Iraq, he refused to take an early out that was offered him and deployed in 2004 with his brother Kevin to Afghanistan. There, April 22, 2004, he was killed by friendly fire, and almost immediately the Army began a cover-up that reached to highest echelons.