Just imagine for a minute that your kitchen is a rehearsal hall, your dining area a stage, and your favorite dishes as the actors in the dinner plays you produce and direct. It can put a different focus on what your favorites are and how many times you haul them out from the wings.
The star of my show is Tarte Moutarde – a simple recipe I learned to make in France that is always surprisingly good and sure to cause a stir among your guests. It is made with piecrust, Dijon-style mustard, fresh tomatoes, cheese and Herbes de Provence. When it is baking in the oven a delicious aroma tantalizes you and gives you a feeling of comfort and security, like the smell of sunshine hitting leaves and pine needles on the ground.
Let’s hear it for stop-motion animation. Knowing that each moment captured on film is a decision mulled over and made 30 times per second lets you know you have entered the vision of an artist.
Let’s hear it for Charlie Kaufman. As a writer he has managed to put on-screen self-referential, structurally provocative, formally staged pieces. The fact that he gets financing registers as a minor miracle. To look at his filmography is to look at a writer in such control that he inspires a small army of our most talented film artists to commit to his vision. His work is a splash of color across an otherwise Michael Bay-ian wasteland of ever-larger blockbusters. Continue reading →
[John Huston’s film version of Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Turner Classic Movies presents screenings Feb. 21 and 24 at theaters around the country. For more, click here and for the line-up of TCM Big Screen Classics. -ed.]
The first time I walked into Sam Spade’s apartment I thought my head would explode. Continue reading →
Rams garnered a host of awards as it traveled the international film festival circuit in 2015. The bleat goes on as the Icelandic feature about feuding sibling shepherds opens around the country (in San Francisco, Friday, Feb 12 at Landmark’s Opera Plaza Cinema) and critics Michael Fox and Dennis Harvey decide whether it merits the hullabaloo.
For nearly 20 years, film-and-video curator Joel Shepard has programmed one of the country’s best film programs at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Shepard’s new series is Gothic Cinema: Darkness and Desire, which spotlights the moody shadows, doomed love and nightmarish atmospheres of Gothic films from more than several decades. This weekend sees a marvelous Valentine’s Day pairing of the series’ first two films, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca and James Whale’s The Bride of Frankenstein, with 11 more features to come before the series wraps in April. Continue reading →