Showing posts from 2023

Linda Haynes and Rolling Thunder - an actress worth a retrospective

By Moira Sullivan Quentin Tarantino likes to revitalise actors from film classics. His time working in a video shop gave him the opportunity to see films that are otherwise not very well known to today's Netflix and other popular streaming outlets. He not only knows cult films well but his sets often pay homage to the 70s and 80s. Today's pop streaming culture caters to a whole generation of young film fans do not have the opportunity to enrich their knowledge of film with cult classics. Tarantino can't rediscover everyone. Two actors he has helped are not my favorites - John Travolta ( Saturday Night Fever 1977 to Pulp Fiction 2004) and Christophe Walz (nothing comes to mind from before - to Inglorious Basterds (2009). They will always have Tarantino to thank for their rebooted careers. When it comes to female actors Tarantino brought Pam Grier to the forefront in Jackie Brown (1997) who was a vital presence in B films such as Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon new 4K release for Silver Anniversary

By Moira Sullivan It has been 25 years since Ang Lee’s epic 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' was released.  The stunning aerial cinematography and martial arts kinesis choreographed by Yuen Wo-Ping with cinematography by Peter Pau were sensational on its release and still hold magic. The film won Best Foreign Language Film, Best Cinematography, Best Original Music Score, and Best Set Decoration at the 2001 Academy Awards. Now a new 4K restoration of the film is out in the Bay Area.  The film stars Michelle Yeoh (Yu Shu Lien), Zhang Ziyi (Jen Yu), Chow Yun Fat (Li Mu Bai) Cheng Pei Pei (Jade Fox) and Chang Chen ('Dark Cloud' Lo). However this story comes across in broad strokes on the screen the subtleties show that it is actually about three skilled female warriors Yu Shu Lien, Jen Yu and Jade Fox whose talents have been eclipsed by their teachers, fathers and brothers. It is exciting to reintroduce this background with the new restoration. It is as powerful as know

Florian Zeller's 'The Son' tackles youth depression

By Moira Sullivan Florian Zeller is an exciting director who has made two relevant and meaningful films about difficult subjects. He explores a daughter's relationship with her father who has Alzheimer's in The Father (2020), and in The Son (2022)a father's relationship with his chronically depressed young son. His latest film provides a painful look at a tortured young man. The seemingly bottomless pain is seldom so openly revealed. Even if Hugh Jackman as Peter is excellent, the stellar performance is Zen McGrath as Nicholas, Peter’s son. The film debuted at Venice in September. While it seems to be Peter’s new marriage to Beth (Vanessa Kirby)and their new infant that has made Nicholas majorly depressed it could also be the bust up of Peter and Kate (Laura Deren) Nicholas’ parents. The film script sets up plenty of draconian evidence for why Nicholas is depressed with flashbacks to when the original nuclear family was harmonious such as on idyllic holidays. But, Nic

Oliver Hermanus' 'Living' in San Francisco Landmark Theatres

By Moira Jean Sullivan  © Sony Pictures Classics Living is a finely crafted film set in England in the 1950s by South African director Oliver Hermanus based on  Ikiru (To Live),  a film made in 1952 by Akira Kurosawa inspired by a novella by Leo Tolstoy The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886). The British version of Living in full regalia is now in San Francisco Landmark Theatres written by Nobel prize winning author Kazuo Ishiguro with rights granted by the Kurosawa estate. Ishiguro who has seen Ikiru many times before fused his own memories of Britain’s pre-and post-War culture in this latest production. The setting is an England being rebuilt after the war and focuses on the efforts of the government planning department to renew the fa├žade and structures of London. Aimee Lee Wood and Bill Nighy   © Sony Pictures Classics Bill Nighy plays veteran civil servant Williams, a bureaucrat in a city department. He is head of a small team commuting to London by train on weekdays