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Fun With Adolf, Uplift With Spike

It’s my fate to see Tarantino premieres in the boondocks. On the Friday night of Jackie Brown’s national release, I sat in the back row of a mall megaplex in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City.

It’s People. District 9 is People!

It’s a South African Alien Nation, using aliens as a vehicle to transfer cultural anxieties about the Other onto the ultimate bugbear.

Joy of Cooking

By the time I finally got around to seeing Julie & Julia, the unanimous buzz held that the film’s double-biography format was seriously out of balance. Everyone hailed Meryl Streep’s depiction of Julia Child as dazzling, and there was broad agreement that Child’s ascent from bored embassy wife to world-renowned TV chef should have been the sole focus.

Ground Control to Major Sam

Moon, Duncan Jones’s aka “Zowie Bowie’s” (David Bowie’s firstborn) directorial debut is an impressive one. Impressive in talent, style, and plot, Moon proves perfectly minimalist, a compelling sci-fi story touching on not only the future of the earth’s energy supply, but also the moral issues concerning artificial intelligence.

In Conversation

10% True, 90% Lies: SION SONO with David Wilentz

Fifty-four Japanese schoolgirls leap en masse into the path of an oncoming subway train. This is just one of the indelible images from Sion Sono’s 2001 film Suicide Club. Sono has since proved himself one of the most daring filmmakers today, exemplifying the Japanese concept of “ero guro nansensu” (erotic grotesque nonsense).

A Mountain Where Less is More

An early scene in Treeless Mountain, the austere and elegant second feature by Korean-born director So Yong Kim, depicts six-year-old Jin nervously waiting at the dinner table after her worried mother answers a knock at the door.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2009

All Issues