A whale bit my legs off and all I got was sex with a musclebound Belgian
By Devin D. O’Leary
It’s possible the ailments afflicting the French drama Rust and Bone are not the result of anything culturally specific. They could simply be the the sole artistic bias of writer-director Jacques Audiard, with no reflection on his fellow, Sorbonne-educated countrymen. But damned if—in their dark, existential, ennui-riddled self-importance—they don’t feel oh-so-French.
Visually quirky French drama finds love, humor and drama in a child’s battle for life
By Devin D. O’Leary
A young mother holds her son’s hand as he’s fed into an MRI machine. The camera zooms in on her eye. As the mournful orb begins to fill the screen, the image is intercut with shots of a loud house party. The mother, even younger, hangs out in a crowded living room—a beer in her hand, raucous punk rock blaring around her. You wouldn’t think a despondent drama about a terminally ill child would be an excuse to make with the visual razzle-dazzle. But writer-director-actress Valérie Donzelli takes a number of unexpected paths with her involving feature, Declaration of War.
"Military sexual trauma" is a government-imposed term used to convey rape and sexual assault inflicted upon members of the armed forces by other U.S. soldiers. It's also the subject of Donna Fiumano-Farley's A Shot Away: Personal Accounts of Military Sexual Trauma. The writer interviewed soldiers and used their words—verbatim—to create a narrative of the widespread but hush-hush injustices that affect women and men in uniform. It's not a traditional play, and it's not just a series of monologues. The stories of seven soldiers—one speaking from the grave—are woven together. The end result is a portrait of the horrific practices and strange military regulations that enable ongoing sexual misconduct in the military. This is the third staging of the piece, after shows in NYC and St. Louis. Final shows Friday, Jan. 27 through Sunday, Jan. 29. $16, $12 students and seniors. auxdog.com.
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, Lawrence Tierney, Edward Bunker, Quentin Tarantino, Randy Brooks, Kirk Baltz
Quentin Tarantino's directorial debut is a one-of-a-kind violent, profane, macho epic. When a discreetly-planned robbery gets botched, newcomer Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), professional Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), stern Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen), dying Mr. Orange (Tim Roth), and vice-mastermind Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn) agree that there is a mole in the group, and start a bloody guessing game to unveil who it might be. Reservoir Dogs, in all its filthy glory, is cleverly and humorously written. The cast, despite being a sausage-fest of an ensemble, delivers tough, believable, solid performances. The story, despite being slightly complicated, is unique, smart and innovative. And Tarantino, despite being renowned for having a fetish for brutality, brings a plentitude of class and thrill to the film—from the stylistic opening to the jaw-dropping ending. An almost—if not completely—perfect masterpiece. HD Available.
Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Jean-Pierre Melville, Henri-Jacques Huet, Van Doude, Claude Mansard, Jean-Luc Godard, Richard Balducci, Roger Hanin
Jean-Luc Godard shook the film world with this New Wave masterpiece from 1959. Jean-Paul Belmondo plays an existential hood involved in a carefree "along for the ride" relationship with sexy Jean Seberg. Forget about the Richard Gere remake and dig on the icy cool original. In French with English subtitles.
It's like the entire Internet exploded in the last few days. Sunday's New York Times magazine published this piece about pop star M.I.A., who responded by tweeting the writer's cell phone number. Childish? Hell yes. Hilarious? Depends. As a journalist, no. As a vengeful bitch? Uh-huh. (Dear God, I hope no one ever does this to me.) Of course, prior to that little numerical outburst, no one really had much to say about the article. But now, there's a whole smattering of commentary. This New York Observer interview with Hirschberg gives a pretty good impression of the writer. New York Magazine also got into it with a hilarious piece-by-piece deconstruction of the smack-down. Jezebel has a pretty extensive story about the whole drama and an interview with the singer from another magazine. Finally, the Village Voice points out the ridiculousness of the whole thing, via the much debated truffle oil. While the smack talk between the two women might seem catty it's going to help them both. M.I.A. has a new album coming out and Hirschberg is leaving the New York Times to take over managing-editor duties of W Magazine, a publication not exactly known for its provocative words. Got any other great links? Comment below. This blow-up is the most interesting (and somewhat based in reality) celebrity feud in a long, long time. Oh, and on a final note. Someone (I wish I could remember who or find it, but I can't, sorry) tweeted that Hirschberg's whole problem stems from her red hair. Yup, the twitter-verse conspiracy theory is the article is retaliation for the "Born Free" video.