If you have ever read Vito Russo’s The Celluloid Closet or have seen the 1995 documentary based on the book, you would know quite well that Hollywood was full of closeted queer individuals working as actors, directors, producers and everything else; trying their hardest to live their truest lives, while also keeping the truth hidden. Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood tells another side of that story.
After nearly a decade of bad comedies starring Adam Sandler, it feels weird to call his recent vehicle “good”. It’s also funny, good-natured, and features Sandler at the top of his form. Somebody pinch me.
A new documentary titled Out of Print will undoubtably excite movie goers who are regulars at Los Angeles’ New Beverly Cinema, as well as cinephiles in general. Filmmaker (and long-time New Bev employee) Julia Marchese has basically created a glossy love letter to the precious repertory cinema known for its ingenious programming and its eclectic clientele (including support from high-profile filmmakers).
My Scientology Movie (DIR. John Dower) By: Addison Wylie My Scientology Movie had its sights set on portraying controversial religion with the involvement of the Church of Scientology, and without much of a bias. However, refusals to cooperate from the Church forced director John Dower and journalist Louis Theroux to think differently.
No Man Is an Island (DIR. Tim De Keersmaecker) By: Addison Wylie I imagine Tim De Keersmaecker’s outline for No Man Is an Island looked good on paper: make a first-hand view at how African refugees perceive life while living in the unknown territory of Lampedusa. Unfortunately, the documentary is another victim of poor fly-on-the-wall filmmaking.
Even long-time fans of Terrence Malick’s particular style of experimental filmmaking might find his latest effort Knight of Cups verging toward self-indulgence.
Stig Björkman has the right ingredients to chronicle a psychological side of acclaimed actress Ingrid Bergman in his award-winning documentary, Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words. But then, almost as if another director hijacked the project, the film chooses a generically trodden formula.
By: Shahbaz Khayambashi Hitchcock/Truffaut is a perfect example of a book-to-film adaptation that has been made to relieve viewers from having to read. It’s a SparkNotes version of the eponymous book, taking bits and pieces of the writing and spacing it out with interviews so movie goers will be distracted from the lack of attention in the production.
By: Mark Barber Jay Roach’s Trumbo resembles so many “awards season” films. It’s a mildly politicized, star-studded historical drama that wants you to think it’s more important than it is. Ultimately, Trumbo lacks ambition and relevance, and feels little more than a weak attempt to pander to Academy voters.
By: Shannon Page Directed by Jeffrey Schwarz (I am Divine, Vito) and based on the memoir Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, Tab Hunter Confidential explores the life and career of matinee idol Tab Hunter. After he was discovered by a movie agent, Hunter became, as fellow actor George Takei so aptly states in the film, the “embodiment of youthful American masculinity”. With his blond hair, blue eyes, and natural charm, Hunter…