Making a mythology for a horror film is a complex concept. Filmmakers have to take into account narrative, visual and paratextual elements in order to create an iconic creature that can stand the test of time. The filmmaker may not realize this, but they are inherently forced into this routine when they make a film which involves the creation of an urban legend.
Producer/writer Michael Sparaga has seemingly laid low since 2011’s Servitude, but he’s been very busy working on The Missing Ingredient: What is the Recipe for Success? – a documentary that has the filmmaker testing the waters in another culinary scene. This time, Sparaga hits the director’s chair for this duel story of creative minds within the food industry.
Though it certainly has its charms, Captain Fantastic’s sweet moments and eccentricity fails to mask the serious flaws that begin to surface in the film’s second half.
From cocky waiters in Servitude to sophisticated restauranteurs in his latest project The Missing Ingredient: What is the Recipe for Success?, you would think Michael Sparaga is determined to cover every aspect of the food and hospitality industry. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sparaga’s next movie was about napkin origami.
Illumination Entertainment’s featherlight The Secret Life of Pets will surely entertain families. The vibrant animals and the large-scale chases will delight youngsters, and adults – who may already be prepared to count down the minutes – will find strange gratification from hearing R-rated comedians lend their vocals to cute animals.
I approach this review with an unenthused sigh, knowing that my opinions on The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble will sound pompous, crusty, and blasé.
Contemporary cinephilia places – at times – undue emphasis on the auteur in relation to their work and in relation to the works of others. Intertwined authorship and intertextuality are the two most recurrent approaches in film criticism. As such, it’s easy to rationalize the existence of the Hitchcock/Truffaut: Magnificent Obsessions retrospective at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, given the sheer amount of discourse written on the famous relationship of Alfred Hitchcock and François Truffaut.
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).
The Debt is a multi-narrative award-winning feature from writer/director Barney Elliott. It’s a reputable drama, and when The Debt is on a roll, it’s on par with Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic.