Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

At some point, I imagine it will get old to keep watching sardonic dark satires about life in the Communist days made in the countries that used to be part of the Soviet Bloc; they’ve been all but a cliché on the film festival circuit for as long as I’ve been going to film festivals. […]

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: because we were apparently all very bad, Disney has seen fit to punish us with Alice Through the Looking […]

Advertised as a “fairy tale for grown-ups”, which isn’t precisely inaccurate, Who’s Afraid of the Wolf is the story of a little girl, Terezka (Dorota Dedková) who is a little bit too young, or at least much too Romantic, to figure out that there’s a difference between reality and her very well-developed fantasy world, in […]

Those Eastern Europeans and their black comedies! Would anyone else think to open a film as Jiří Menzel’s 1966 Closely Watched Trains opens, with a slacker protagonist recalling how his forebears all spent their lives doing the least work possible, and how their violent deaths came about? I guarantee you have never laughed so hard […]

What’s great about film festivals: I Served the King of England started late and I had to leave without waiting to attend director Jiří Menzel’s Q&A (not that Q&A’s are ever really worthwhile), but I as I snuck out of the theater, I got to see him, from a distance of about 8 inches as […]