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 – It is most likely that movie goers were asking the same question of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 1968, but Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” belongs to its own category of what-is-the-meaning, because it tries to combine pseudo-science with psycho-babble, which clashes into meaninglessness. But the visuals are stunning, and there are moments of fulfillment, especially in a big screen IMAX format.
CHICAGO – Every film buff remembers the first time they laid eyes on director Stanley Kubrick’s memorable horror classic, “The Shining.” In the film, Scatman Crothers’ character warns young Danny, “There ain’t nothing in Room 237…so stay out.” Filmmaker Rodney Ascher has ignored that warning in his documentary, “Room 237,” and takes us inside one of the most analyzed films in cinema history.
CHICAGO – The mystery of Stanley Kubrick is one of his great attributes. He directed a scant 12 major films in a forty year career, each with its own genre-busting stamp. His work has inspired an overall passion for films, numerous analytical studies and a new documentary about the theories behind his 1980 masterpiece, “The Shining.” Rodney Ascher directs this strange and compelling film, “Room 237.”
CHICAGO – Few directors were made for Blu-ray like Stanley Kubrick and recent editions of some of his classics, including the Criterion releases for “The Killing” and “Paths of Glory” and the stunning anniversary edition of “A Clockwork Orange” are among the best in my collection. His penultimate film, “Full Metal Jacket,” was just released in a Digibook HD edition from Warner Bros. and while it may not be one of my favorite flicks, it’s another visual masterpiece from Kubrick, which makes it a perfect fit for Blu-ray.
CHICAGO – About 15 years ago, a controversy erupted over a new film version of Vladimir Nabokov’s classic novel, “Lolita.” The version was to be closer in spirit to the original novel, and therefore more open about a older man’s obsession with an underage teenage girl. Taking on the young girl role of Dolores Haze, AKA “Lolita,” was the actress Dominque Swain.
CHICAGO – Director Ti West has formulated a career re-imagining some of the scare tactics used in the classic horror films of the late 1970s and early ‘80s. His deliberately paced style created a frightening “House of the Devil” in 2009, and now he’s back with up-and-coming Sara Paxton for “The Innkeepers.”
CHICAGO – Vincent D’Onofrio has had a career that is rich and diverse. He has worked with directors as distinct as Stanley Kubrick (”Full Metal Jacket”) and Tim Burton (”Ed Wood”), and has starred in the legendary TV franchise “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” He presents his directorial debut, “Don’t Go in the Woods,” on November 12th in Chicago at the “Tribeca Film Festival on the Road.”
CHICAGO – When film lovers hear the name of one of the great masters of the form — Stanley Kubrick — their mind usually races to one of his most famous flicks, whether it be “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “The Shining,” or even “Full Metal Jacket.” But where did one of our most beloved directors hone his craft? In a series of smaller films, two of which are now available in a single Criterion Blu-ray or DVD release — “The Killing” and “Killer’s Kiss.”
CHICAGO – Malcolm McDowell will probably be best remembered for his rebellious breakout as a young star, with his one-of-a-kind performances in “If…,” “A Clockwork Orange” and “O Lucky Man!,” but the distinct character actor has been working ever since.
CHICAGO – To coincide with the Blu-ray box set of Stanley Kubrick films (including “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “The Shining,” and eight more films), Warner Bros. has released a very special edition of “A Clockwork Orange,” timed to the four-decade anniversary of one of the most influential movies ever made. With stellar new special features, a great transfer, and a timeless film, this is one of the best Blu-ray releases of the year to date.