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December 2006 Archive

December 1, 2006

The Nativity Story

Original star-crossed lovers flounder in dullest version of greatest story ever told

Mondovino Takes the Scenic Route

Director Nossiter revisits his wine-world chronicle in 10-hour series premiering at MoMA

Cracking the Code

Film Forum revives the raunchy and restless with Fox Behind the Code program

Screening Gotham: Naomi a Go Go No-Show

Also: Soderbergh backs out of his next NYC appearance, Four Eyed Monsters gets curious Times review

December 4, 2006

Screening Gotham: You (Not) Talkin' to Me?

Also: Stallone finds Jesus, Musetto finds Tokyo

NYC Premiere: Charlotte's Web

Fanning "animal-ed out," especially when it comes to her controversial Sundance debut Hounddog

New This Week: Minghella Breaking and Entering into 92nd Street Y

Jude Law/Juliette Binoche Oscar bait replaces Soderbergh at last minute

December 5, 2006

Dream On

In NYC preview, Condon discusses Murphy, Hudson and bringing Dreamgirls to the screen at last

Coffee, Cheese and Vertigo: Lynch Slays 'Em Downtown

"Inspiration is the main thing," filmmaker reminds capacity crowd at IFC Center

Screening Gotham: Will Power at the Waldorf

Also: Harvey loses deputy, Arkin looks back

December 6, 2006

Inland Empire

Is David Lynch's Hollywood hall of mirrors meta-punking you -- or just misunderstood?

Screening Gotham: Kasell Kruises From Hamptons

Also: Lumenick meets Lynch, Stuart meeets Posey

Aliens in Our Midst

Art Fag City: Smack Mellon's Multiplex series continues with overlapping works on immigration

Burman's Law Invoked at Makor

“I’m interested in misunderstandings,” director tells crowd at preview of new film Family Law

Forsaking Oscar, Beyonce Lobbies For Gay Culture Sainthood

Heart on sleeve? Tongue in cheek? Does it really matter?

InSolvEnt: Winick Shutting Down Indie Shingle

Microbudget indie "biting the dust" after six years -- and everything seemed so peachy only days ago

December 7, 2006

Losing Their Place

As the Movie Place met its end, it showed why indie video shops still matter

Screening Gotham: Game On at Tribeca '07

Also: Robert Benton on sale, Factory Girl on ice

Oscar Bloggers Get Out Their Belts for NBR Awards

Merciless smackdown no deterrent to studios jamming their laurels on posters and other ads

"I Owe It All To Jonas Mekas"

Sarris and Hoberman discuss their absent friend's influence at BAM's launch of Village Voice Film Guide

December 8, 2006

Off the Black

Vibrant screen chemistry doesn't quite burst Nolte melodrama's soapy bubble

Apocalypto

Gory, kinetic spectacle masks the flimsiness of Gibson's history lesson

The Holiday

Studio cheese log's polished charms can't overcome paint-by-numbers plot

Blood Diamond

Disingenuous issue film manages to deliver solid action thrills

Out 1 in a Million

Surviving (and enjoying) the first-ever American screening of Rivette's 12-hour-plus epic

Screening Gotham: The Weinsteins Find God

Also: Yoko Ono wants justice, Kyle Smith needs a nap

Black Friday: Ponsoldt's Debut Opens at Last

Eleven months (and a handful of new music cues) after Sundance, Nolte's winning performance to screen in NYC

December 9, 2006

BREAKING: Kirk Douglas's Head-Exploding Birthday Wish

Hey, kid -- it's my birthday! And your problem! It was 90 years ago...

December 11, 2006

Screening Gotham: Diamonds and Dust-Up

Also: What Edelstein loves, what Adams hates

When Robots (From Brooklyn) Attack!

McKenney's robot-rage allegory Automatons digs in for December at the Pioneer

NYC Critics Orgs Toast The Queen, United 93

Also: Mirren, Whitaker lauded once again; Borat as "non-fiction film" runner-up?

More From the NYFCC: Sarris Bathroom Break Thwarts Linklater Glory

It's no coincidence the man's second choice was Flushed Away

Kyle Smith Masters the Allusion, If Not the Language

"And then Santa extinguished his blunt in a 40 of King Cobra..."

December 12, 2006

"Just the Facts, Ma'am": Stone Brings WTC to MoMA

"What makes me particularly proud is that I believe we got it right," filmmaker tells audience

Screening Gotham: Rinko's Ki-Coochie Wins Nudity Accolade

Also: Actress-habitat bus tours, Weinsteins pretend to be interviewed

Lynch, Inland Empire Boom in NYC

Anonymous crazy-ass sits through three consecutive screenings as engagement breaks three-day IFC Center record

El Topo Sorpresa: Mystery Guest SCRATCHED for Wednesday Opening

Show to go on without historic intro, or something

December 13, 2006

The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser

Scathing comedy of manners is also Herzog's most affecting character study

El Topo

Jodorowsky's restored cult classic a singular experience to be had, not a story to be followed

Sympathy for the Devil

De Niro's excellent Good Shepherd upends spy-movie convention with tragic glimpse at early CIA

Screening Gotham: Peter Guber Takes Staten Island to Next Level

Also: Cindy Adams goes ticketless, NYC mourns Boyle

December 14, 2006

The Pursuit of Happyness

Will Smith vehicle loses its ring of truth to the trappings of truthiness

Screening Gotham: "No Such Thing as Bad Publicity" Edition

Also: Black Christmas critics see red, Yoko needs a ride

Shadows Stretch a Little Longer

Melville revival returns after half-hearted NYFCC accolades

December 15, 2006

Home of the Brave

Hopelessly inadequate Iraq drama gunning for worst film of the year

The Good German

There's a conceit to offend every movie-lover in Soderbergh's honorable failure

Dreamgirls

Despite best intentions, Broadway adaptation resembles variety show with too many hollow acts

The Secret Life of Words

Silence is golden for Polley and Robbins in Coixet's strangely sensual drama

The Little DiVA That Couldn't

Art Fag City: The best videos in Miami's art fairs were from New York -- but where were all the buyers?

Screening Gotham: Sundance, Here They Come

Also: Dargis bitchslaps Good German, Anderson jabs at Crash

Spanking the Monkey Town

Pornstar Pets (right) among highlights of venue's Third Annual Porn Week

NYC Buyer Picks Up Dawson Rape Film

"Shocking, controversial and graphic" Descent is "not a revenge thriller," says subtle distributor

December 18, 2006

Screening Gotham: NYU Film Empire Reaches Asia

Also: Rocky mythbreakers call "Bullshit!", Lyonne's four-legged fan club calls "Woof!"

Monsters Ball: Buice and Crumley on Their $100,000 Score

"That's the other thing that nobody understands: We've never really considered our film done. Until today."

BAM Prepared to Skate by in February

You know it's all downhill for '07 after Gotham Girls Roller Derby tribute

December 19, 2006

Showing No Restraint

Art Fag City: Alison Chernick's new documentary digs for meaning in the world of Matthew Barney

December 20, 2006

The Case of the Grinning Cat

Marker documentary a striking blend of lyricism and political commentary

Letters From Iwo Jima

Eastwood's flip-side war epic ponders Japanese soldiers' choice between life and honor.

Rocky Balboa

Punchy with self-reflexivity, Stallone swan song is unremarkable -- and that's a good thing.

Woody Allen, Thespian?

Reeler critics Matt Singer and Vadim Rizov on the filmmaker's time in front of the camera -- for better or worse

Prose by Any Other Name

Finding comic salvation by accident in Woody's collected writings

Le Woody, C'est Moi

An Upper East Sider recalls growing up under the director's influence

Film Forum's Allen Retrospective Gets City Talking

Weinstein, Kopple, LaBute, Dargis and other New York culture all-stars reflect on best of Woody's work

Screening Gotham: Adulterous, Guilt-Ridden Sex Wins Big with Women Critics

Also: Jonas Mekas will distribute at least 37 films by the time Factory Girl sees the light of day

December 21, 2006

Curse of the Golden Flower

Clumsy, impersonal spectacle may be the worst movie Zhang Yimou has ever made

"I Can Die Now": Arkin Celebrated at Lincoln Center

Veteran actor chats up blind luck, missed opportunities and hard work before screening of Little Miss Sunshine

Screening Gotham: Rocky Balboa is Liz Smith's Fault

Also: Film Comment critics' poll hits street, DGA screener "controversy" hits bottom

Like a Wonky, Pasty Phoenix, Voice Critics' Poll Rises at indieWIRE

Mr. Lazarescu takes top spot in Lim & Co.'s return to cinephilic scorekeeping

December 22, 2006

Screening Gotham: Finicky Christians Whack New Line Over Nativity

Also: Zacharek lights up Iwo Jima, Carr not getting much sleep

The Good Shepherd

Untold story of the CIA a dry espionage drama of epic impassivity

Handle With Care: Can Filmmakers Deal With the Truth?

When it comes to film reporting and criticism, honesty evidently isn't always the best policy

December 25, 2006

Children of Men

Alfonso Cuaron's surprisingly cogent fable the activist achievement of the year

December 26, 2006

The Painted Veil

Norton and Watts battle cholera and each other in finely wrought Maugham adaptation

All His Children

Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón on Children of Men, influences and "the Sept. 11 of sound"

December 27, 2006

Notes on a Scandal

Dench and Blanchett deliver the giddy rush of a first-class face-off

Defending Miss Potter

Don't call it a chick flick, says star/producer Zellweger

Screening Gotham: Like Sugar and Spike: Lee to Helm Brown Biopic

Also: New Yorkers working through holiday, George Hickenlooper drinking through post-post-production

"And Here I Was Being Offered This Funny Old Lady..."

Scandal screenwriter Patrick Marber checks his Notes with The Reeler

December 28, 2006

The Top 10 of Top 10 Lists of 2006, Part I

The Reeler's second annual look back at the misconceived hype that mattered

Screening Gotham: Woody Allen, Now in Convenient Blog Form

Also: Another Look at Kubrick, untruth in advertising for NYC indie

O'Hehir: Out With the Old, In With the Old-ish

News flash: Mini-majors had a good year, indies still impossible to define

New Times Update: LA Weekly Poll Arrives; Chain Chops High-Paid DVD Columnist

Syndicated DVD reviews save America's biggest weekly chain mid- to low-four figures annually

December 29, 2006

The Dead Girl

Joyless L.A. melodrama a host of dreary indie clichés

The Tiger and the Snow

Dreamy Benigni schticks it up -- in Iraq

Pan's Labyrinth

Six knock-out minutes redeem del Toro's mystical examination of the Spanish Civil War

The Top 10 of Top 10 Lists of 2006, Part II

Selecting the best of this year's hype, hypocrisy and general self-importance

Screening Gotham: Understanding Armond

Also: The Talbots speak! Invincible explained!

Factory Girl Opens in Exile; Hickenlooper Haunts the Rumor Mill

Angry director offers bounty for head of shadowy online detractor

Del Toro: "Thank God I'm Not in Charge of the Parenting Board"

The Pan's Labyrinth director makes a case for taking the kids to his brilliant, bloody fable

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