CHICAGO – One potential theater-goer loves the “The Book of Mormon.” The other would rather stay home and watch old Ethel Merman YouTube videos. Pride Films & Theater offers the ultimate solution by combining both in a campy musical, “The Book of Merman.” Yep, two Elder characters from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meets foghorn singer Ethel Merman.
CHICAGO – Madonna’s “W.E.” completes a trilogy of lackluster Oscar bait released last year by the Weinstein Company. Each film squandered potentially fascinating subject matter by upstaging it with pointless framing devices. Imagine if the majority of “Titanic” followed Bill Paxton on his self-centered quest for the diamond. That would surely have amounted to the most boring three-hour epic in history.
CHICAGO – It’s easy sport to disregard a director when the name attached to that title is Madonna, the famous pop star. “W.E.” is a story about fame in another era, and Madonna’s understanding about fame in general – and its dark underside – actually made her the right choice to handle such a story.
CHICAGO – I love IFC Films. They release such a diverse, interesting slate of films every year that one never quite knows what they’re going to get with each individual offering. Five recent IFC titles are the subject of the latest DVD Round-Up, our regular column drawing attention to titles that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
CHICAGO – The wonder of a filmmaker’s art and perspective is the ability to challenge and reflect the absurdity of our own nature back to us. Few filmmakers have done more to add provocation to that sensibility than Harmony Korine.