John Sayles – Passion Fish (1992)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Character and dialogue are the driving forces in writer-director John Sayles’ movies. In Passion Fish, Sayles delivers a quality screenplay, and Mary McDonnell and Alfre Woodard do his script justice with some of the most accomplished work of their careers. McDonnell — who also stood out in the director’s Matewan — brings surprising originality to the role of the haggard, self-pitying accident victim, and Woodard never becomes a stereotypical provider of “tough love.” Vondie Curtis-Hall and Sayles regular David Strathairn offer colorful supporting turns. Passion Fish was the director’s simplest, most elegant work since his second feature, 1983’s Lianna. McDonnell and Sayles would be nominated for Academy Awards, and Sayles would also be nominated for his screenplay. ~ Brendon Hanley, All Movie Guide Continue reading

Peter Weir – The Mosquito Coast (1986)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

From Reel Film Reviews:
The Mosquito Coast, based on the novel by Paul Theroux, manages to do the impossible: It makes Harrison Ford come off as a jerk. But despite this (or maybe because of this), The Mosquito Coast is a compelling little movie.

Ford stars as Allie, a brilliant inventor who’s never really put his talents to good use. He spends much of his time lamenting the current state of America, which is chock full of fast food joints and welfare leeches. Along with his wife and three kids, he lives a fairly comfortable life – taking odd jobs repairing things. In his spare time, he just happens to invent things like a machine that can instantly make ice using fire as fuel. But one day, he gets sick of the American way of life and convinces his family to move to a place called the Mosquito Coast somewhere in South America. He’s actually purchased a small area of land in that vicinity, which basically makes him mayor with a constituency of around 20 people. Allie and family proceed to turn the villagers lives upside down, initially for the better (they build quite an impressive little town, complete with a gigantic ice-making machine), but eventually, Allie begins to relish the power a bit too much and it’s all downhill from there. Continue reading

James L. Brooks – Broadcast News (1987)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Review (Sarah Goodman, DVD Bits)
Writer, director and producer James L. Brooks, notably best known as a producer of The Simpsons, provides a satirical look at the world of television news, coupled with an absorbing character-driven romantic comedy in his 1987 feature Broadcast News. Focusing on the operations of a national network news program, the film follows the intercrossing paths of handsome anchorman Tom Grunick (William Hurt), passionate genius producer Jane Craig (Holly Hunter), and undervalued star reporter Aaron Altman (Albert Brooks) as they navigate their way through the treacherous journalistic jungle that is prime-time news. Continue reading

Jim Jarmusch – Paterson (2016)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
The new movie written and directed by Jim Jarmusch is a total fantasy. This in spite of being shot on the streets of the New Jersey city in which it is set, and for which the movie itself and its lead character are named. It’s as much of a fantasy as Jean Cocteau’s “Orpheus,” another great film about a poet that was at least partially set in the “real” contemporary world. It’s maybe not as much of a fantasy as the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Continue reading

Ian Hugo – Bells of Atlantis (1952)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

+ BELLS OF ATLANTIS (Ian Hugo 1952 16mm 10 mins)
A perfect fusion of poetry and film, with dense layered imagery and music from electro pioneers Louise and Bebe Barron. The writer Anais Nin provides dialogue from her novella ‘House of Incest’ and appears adrift in the undersea realm of Atlantis before ascending to dry land. Continue reading