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The Case Against Ghosts Ghost stories are bad, almost by definition. They rely on malevolent spirits who literally cannot touch us—and certainly can't kill anything. Zombies may not have the speed or the wits of the living, but they at least force us to run. Vampires, too, have their defects, but their bite is real. Ghosts, however, have to rely on smoke, mirrors, and boos to make their mark. This is not a good recipe...
De Palma Directed by Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow Opens June 10 at the Angelika One can only hope Brian De Palma appreciates the black-comic irony that a movie about his life and work begins with a clip from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. Salt meet wound. His Film Brat peers (Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola, et al) pretty much escaped the long shadows of their influences. But De Palma and his predominantly thriller-based oeuvre are forever indebted to the Master...
Golden Eighties (1986) Directed by Chantal Akerman This poignant musical comedy unfolds almost entirely inside a shopping mall called the Toison d’Or (“Golden Fleece”) filled with male and female workers whose amorous yearnings for one another compete with their attention to their jobs. The cast includes repeat Akerman performers Pascale Salkin and Delphine Seyrig, who dreamily, painfully sing love songs composed by Marc Hérouet with lyrics that the late Akerman wrote. “Golden Eighties is a...
The Royal Road Directed by Jenni Olson October 30-November 5 at Anthology Film Archives It’s been 10 years since Jenni Olson released The Joy of Life, a landscape-essay film that, among various achievements, mused on the association between the Golden Gate Bridge and suicide. The film, alongside Olson’s op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle about the topic, reignited a discussion about the need for preventative measures to be taken, which stayed prevalent through the release of the...