Filmmaker Ira Sachs on LOVE IS STRANGE

Love is Strange is the fifth feature by the gifted New York independent filmmaker Ira Sachs. Like his previous film, the beautiful, emotionally muted Keep the Lights On, the movie was written in collaboration with Mauricio Zacharias, and it takes place in Manhattan.

The new work mediates on love and desire, with politics, money and real estate as complicating factors. Steeped in ritual, the movie opens with a wedding of long-time partners, Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina), who have been together for nearly four decades. Their marriage carries political and personal consequences after George loses his job, …

Read more

A Chat with the Academy’s Bernardo Rondeau

Despite its reputation as home for the entertainment industry, Los Angeles has a thriving alt/repertory film scene, one of the realities I hoped to reflect when I started this blog eleven years ago.  One of the city’s best programmers, Bernardo Rondeau, has maintained the beleaguered LACMA weekend film screenings in the five years since they were initially threatened, and has brought such rare gems to Los Angeles as Aleksei German’s Khrustalyov, My Car!, Bresson’s Four Nights of a Dreamer, and several series built around the museum’s excellent Stanley Kubrick and Gabriel Figueroa exhibits.

Happily, Rondeau has recently …

Read more

Jonathan Glazer: Finding the Form ‘Under the Skin’

By Patrick Z. McGavin

Under the Skin is the third narrative feature by the London-born Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth). This new work is a radical reworking of the 2001 novel by the Dutch-born Michael Faber (although Glazer admitted his writing partner, Walter Campbell, never even read the book). The story follows Laura, a beautiful alien seductress who falls to Earth and takes the shape of a carnal loner who navigates the streets of Glasgow in a white van.

She seduces a series of men who come to a rather unsavory fate, yet one that is spellbinding to

Read more

Videotheque in South Pasadena


Some of the cinephile loot at Videotheque, and its owner, Mark Wright.

I’ve long wanted do an interview with Mark Wright, who established a remarkable DVD store named Videotheque in South Pasadena a few years ago. Los Angeles has a few stores renowned for their ambitious classic Hollywood and world cinema selections (Eddie Brandt’s Saturday Matinee, Cinefile, Vidiots) but none in the San Gabriel Valley. I first heard about the newly-opened Videotheque on a film discussion board in 2003, and soon became a loyal customer attracted to its great selection (including many imports) organized by country or director, genuinely friendly

Read more

A Conversation with Bong Joon-ho


Bong Joon-ho, courtesy of the author

By Hye Jean Chung

The synopsis of Mother, the latest film from award-winning Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, whose filmography includes the critically acclaimed and widely popular films, The Host (2006) and Memories of Murder (2003), is deceptively simple: The titular character is a devoted single parent (Kim Hye-ja) who lives with her twenty-seven-year-old, mentally-challenged son, Do-joon (Won Bin), and takes care of him with a passion that tinges on obsession. When he is arrested by the local police and charged with murdering a teenage girl, her maternal instincts attain a primal intensity as

Read more