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Catherine Breillat’s Wandering Beauty

Alice Gregory | July 15, 2011

Catherine Breillat’s kinky retelling of Sleeping Beauty, like her version of Bluebeard from 2009, is art directed with the specificity of a bad LSD trip. A list of visual details almost constitutes a movie summary in itself: Yew trees, Iodine bottles, toggle coats, Joy Division graffiti, torn lace, bee keeping, lank hair, gold teeth, patrician dwarves,…

In Terri, the Ache of Our Former Selves

Alice Gregory | July 8, 2011

It’s not often that we’re genuinely forced to remember the worst time in our life. In most movies that depict the daily horror of high school, we’re meant to relate to the characters’ distress and feel sorry for them — not for our former selves. These movies may evoke rusty aches and pains, but seldom do…

Defending the Times, David Carr Saves Page One

Alice Gregory | June 24, 2011

It’s surprising that some media geek hasn’t already uploaded all the sequences of Page One that feature David Carr into a single, streaming video. Surely, it’s coming. For all its flaws, Andrew Rossi’s much-discussed, all-access documentary about the New York Times is worth seeing if only for those parts. Carr, the former coke-addict-turned-ace-media-reporter is the…

Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris

Alice Gregory | June 3, 2011

Woody Allen’s newest film, Midnight in Paris, is like one of his Without Feathers-era short stories: part-silly, part-profound, and totally reliant on premise. To enjoy the movie, you have to be receptive to its transparently mawkish set-up. But Midnight in Paris shouldn’t exist as a movie; it would be better as a series of SNL…

Geeks, Balloons, and Beautiful Objects: Five Books for the Big Screen

staff | May 13, 2011

Last August, Deadline broke the news that Scott Rudin had bought the rights to Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. Almost a decade earlier, he bought the rights to The Corrections, which has yet to be filmed. (In both cases, the deal was sealed before the books’ official publication dates.) A month later, Lane Brown did some investigating for…

Jeff Bewkes and Joe Roth Talk Business with Charlie Rose

Alice Gregory | April 29, 2011

On Wednesday afternoon, with humidity pushing 90%, men in damp blazers and women with wilted blowouts lined up outside of the SVA theater in Chelsea for “The Business of Entertainment,” one of the panels in the Tribeca Talks Industry series at the Tribeca Film fest. There were fewer tote bags and more briefcases. Blackberries —…

Le Quattro Volte’s Wordless Thrill

Alice Gregory | April 22, 2011

I was instructed not to read anything about Le Quattro Volte before seeing it. This was clearly strategy on the part of my companion to get me to go at all. The film had come highly recommended to him by a trusted source, but any descriptive detail he could have relayed would have deterred me:…

The Misplaced Focus of Queen to Play

Alice Gregory | April 15, 2011

If there’s one thing directors love, it’s a fondled chess piece. There might not be a single film in which one is handled in an even remotely normal way. They’re twirled, gently thumbed, and zoomed in on—never picked up and just moved around like a chunk of plastic. Helene, the repressed Corsican chambermaid at the…

A Vidal Sassoon Doc Slides on the Surface

Alice Gregory | February 25, 2011

There are compelling reasons to make a documentary about Vidal Sassoon. His asymmetrical “5-point” hairdo, created in 1963, with its emphasis on natural, product-free body, liberated women from the tyranny of salon culture. The amount of time women once spent each week getting coiffed, suffering the chemicals and the heat — not to mention the…

The Scorched Souls of Biutiful

Alice Gregory | February 17, 2011

Even the most spice-tolerant gourmand will tell you that excess heat can obliterate subtle seasoning. And like a too-generous sprinkle of chili powder, overabundant pathos can be dulling. All the sadness starts to taste the same. In Biutiful, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s first feature film since Babel, the emotional intensity is cranked maybe a bit too…