This Friday, just like the first weekend of every May since 2007, a new movie based on a Marvel comic book will open in thousands of theaters across the country, will make all the money, and will serve as the official starter pistol for summer movie season. And for many a seasoned moviegoer, that’s a cue for despair; after all, summer has become synonymous with big, bloated, stupid blockbusters of the Transformers school. And make no mistake, there’s plenty of those on the runway this season (how ya doin’, Terminator Genisys, it’s pretty funny that you’re actually going with that spelling). But don’t go into cinematic hibernation just yet; there’s also a steady stream of first-rate indie-flick counterprogramming on the runway, and some of the big movies actually sound pretty good. So, as a public service to you, the discerning moviegoer, we’ve assembled a month-by-month look at what might actually be worth your time and …Read More
David Byrne was pretty bummed to be out of town a couple weeks ago when Katy Perry brought her emoji-laden live spectacle to New York arenas. “I would never want to do all that, but it might spark an idea,” the former Talking Heads leader told the crowd at Lincoln Center Friday night. How he got from Stop Making Sense, the Talking Heads’ influential concert film that’s currently celebrating its 30th anniversary with a digital release and theatrical run, to the queen of the “California Gurls” is a testament to Byrne’s unique creative wiring. Following a screening of Stop Making Sense at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Sound + Vision series, Byrne gave a glimpse into his mind, including his intended second meaning behind the rock doc: the “Psycho Killer” trying to heal through human connection and art. …Read More
It’s mid-October, and with Halloween around the corner, ‘tis the season for scary movies. (We’ve got a few suggestions, as you may have noticed.) But wait, you might be saying. (It’s possible.) I like to be scared at movies, but I don’t like all the blood and guts that seem unavoidable in modern horror. What about me? Well, it would seem that you don’t like gore of horror, but you like the tension and suspense. Never fear; we’ve collected the 25 most suspenseful movies of all time, guaranteed to creep you out without grossing you …Read More
Argo, Ben Affleck’s third feature film, is looking more and more like a lock for the Best Picture prize at Sunday’s Oscars, and even if the man himself didn’t get a Best Director nomination, it’s still a remarkable culmination of one of the most fascinating second acts in Hollywood. The actor-turned-director seemed shockingly confident and assured in his first feature, 2007’s marvelous Gone Baby Gone, but as The Playlist reminded us this week, his first film (pre-Good Will Hunting, even) was a 1993 short inventively titled I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Ηung Ηer on a Μeathook & Νow I Have a Three-Picture Deal with Disney. It is, as is often the case with these things, not very good, and (to his credit) Affleck is the first one to admit it: “It’s horrible. It’s atrocious. I knew I wanted to be a director, and I did a couple of short films, and this is the only one that haunts me. I’m not proud of it. It looks like it was made by someone who has no prospects, no promise.” But Affleck can take comfort in the fact that he’s not the only filmmaker with a cinematic skeleton in his closet: we found eight auteurs who rose to the Best Director Oscar from rather humble cinematic beginnings.