CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – Life is chaos. We in the human race can all agree on that. The new film “Chinese Puzzle” allows that chaos to happen, and the results are funny, affecting and warm. Writer/director Cédric Klapisch completes his “Spanish apartment trilogy,” bringing back the characters from “L’Auberge Espagnole” and “Russian Dolls,” to place them squarely in middle age.
CHICAGO – It’s that wonderful time of year when we look back on the 11 months that just sped by and try to capture what was best, worst, overlooked, and more. While most of these pieces will just make people disagree, our annual cavalcade of year-end features starts with a piece that you can use to do your holiday shopping!
CHICAGO – There are a few movies that I absolutely adore — the ones that come to mind when people ask me what I think are the best films ever made. More often than not, they are the films that first shaped the way I look at cinema when I first moved past the New Releases section at the video store to the classics of the medium. One such film is Roman Polanski’s stunning “Chinatown,” a film that has lost absolutely none of its timeless power in its recently-released Blu-ray restoration complete with new special features and interviews. It may sound cliched, but “Chinatown,” especially in HD, really looks like it could have come out last year. And it would have been the year’s best movie.
CHICAGO – Whatever you may think about Roman Polanski as a human being (or a criminal for that matter), it is simply undeniable that he is one of our best living filmmakers. From “Repulsion” to “Chinatown” to “The Pianist” to “The Ghost Writer” — he’s a master of the form, one of my absolute favorite directors of all time. One of his lesser-known works (that would be the best film of many other director’s entire careers but arguably doesn’t even rank top ten for Polanski) is the tense, taut “Cul-de-sac,” given the special edition treatment this week by The Criterion Collection.
In an interview with MTV News, Josh Horowitz talks to Jack Nicholson about the new DVD releases of his directed films and the heretofore unheard-of plot details for a prospective third “Chinatown”.