Memphis' Bill Kendall: eccentric champion of art cinema
Published 05/17/2013 at 7:16 p.m. 1 Comment
Fearless and flamboyant, the late William Kendall was an outspoken champion of art cinema and gay pride at a time when both concepts were met with suspicion or even hostility by most Memphians.
Movie Review: 'Black Rock,' red blood
Published 05/16/2013 at 1:45 p.m.
Dishonorably discharged male War on Terror vets menace attractive female campers in “Black Rock,” a photogenic Maine-set shocker that seems to have been motivated by a desire to craft a commercial thriller with an indie aesthetic — and budget.
Movie Review: Coming of age in post-Nazi Germany
Published 05/16/2013 at 12:55 p.m.
“Lore” is a coming-of-age story in an extreme context. The title character, Hannelore (Saskia Rosendahl), a pretty teenager, is the daughter of Nazis, forced to become a surrogate mother to the three siblings she leads through the Black Forest after ...
Movie Review: Modern India is born in 'Midnight's Children'
Published 05/16/2013 at 12:49 p.m.
Sprawling, even meandering, the 146-minute movie version of Salman Rushdie’s 1981 Booker Prize-winning novel “Midnight’s Children” is faithful to its source to a fault — probably because Rushdie himself wrote the script, with director Deepa Mehta.
Comedy provides sitcom-style laughs
Published 05/10/2013 at 3 a.m.
“Peeples” is straight-up sitcom, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Film Review: A horror action movie to make you quake
Published 05/10/2013 at 3 a.m.
Poor Ariel. He’s talking to hotties in a late-night dance club in Valparaíso, Chile, when an earthquake hits, crushing a hostess before he even can get her number.
Film Review: 'Disconnect' pleads for connection
Published 05/10/2013 at 3 a.m.
“Disconnect” is “Crash” for the age of social media.
Studios load up big guns, subtler fare in hopes of record season
Updated 05/10/2013 at 12:48 a.m.
In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel “The Great Gatsby,” “the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg” are a symbol of God or fate or some other mysterious presence.
Mother Nature not kind to Musicfest, but crowd braves rain, cold
Published 05/03/2013 at 11 p.m.
Dear Mother Nature: Was it something we said? Or did? Sure, we tried to build a highway through Overton Park. But that was long ago.
Infectious ideas: Sci-fi indie film aims for brains
Updated 05/03/2013 at 7:57 p.m.
Original and extraordinary, writer-director Shane Carruth’s “Upstream Color” may represent a milestone in true independent cinema, or at least a steppingstone between the smart microbudget work signified by its star, Amy Seimetz, and the more grandiose aspirations associated with someone ...
Dreamy and mysterious, Malick's latest is a 'Wonder'
Published 05/02/2013 at midnight
Yes, it would be easy to spoof or deride “To the Wonder.” Terrence Malick’s new film eliminates the dinosaurs, the tough Texas kids and Jessica Chastain — the things many viewers most enjoyed in the director’s previous film, “The Tree ...
Indie Memphis Hosts Horror-themed Double Feature
Published 04/30/2013 at midnight
The 16th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival begins this year on Halloween.
Redford wants your "Company"
Published 04/26/2013 at 3 a.m.
Robert Redford’s “The Company You Keep,” a sympathetic look at the wrinkled radicals of the 1960s, expands this weekend into Memphis and some other markets less than two weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings.
Film Review: Young hero comes of age in 'Mud'
Published 04/25/2013 at 2:57 p.m.
“Mud” has the feel of a classic, although it’s perhaps not enthralling enough to be one. The third and most elaborate feature to date from writer-director Jeff Nichols seems to have been adapted from a novel that doesn’t exist.
Film festival documentary empowers women
Published 04/25/2013 at midnight
If ambition, purpose and potential impact netted Oscars, “Girl Rising” might be the most honored film in Academy history.
International Film Fest Begins at Home in Memphis
Updated 04/19/2013 at 12:58 a.m.
About 30 film programs — including features, shorts and music videos — are scheduled for this year's On Location: Memphis festival.
Film Review: Fanning shows poise, maturity in 'Ginger & Rosa'
Published 04/18/2013 at 6:39 p.m.
Nuclear anxiety becomes a distraction from teenage pressures and a projection of potentially explosive emotional distress in “Ginger & Rosa,”.
'Memphis Soul' Gets Supersized
Updated 04/13/2013 at 12:06 a.m.
Memphis soul will be supersized when the PBS special “In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul” is shown on the big screen Tuesday night at the Malco Paradiso, 584 S. Mendenhall.
Now Playing: Movie Capsules
Published 04/11/2013 at 8:34 p.m.
Capsule descriptions and starred mini-reviews by John Beifuss.
'Trance' a literally hypnotic thriller
Published 04/11/2013 at 6:39 p.m.
The rapid editing, wide-angle compositions, garish colors, slice-and-dice chronology and electronic music that director Danny Boyle uses for his shiny new art-heist hypnosis thriller, “Trance,” are signatures of his style.
Found: Mullets, Speedos and laughs
Published 04/11/2013 at 6:38 p.m.
When the Found Footage Festival returns Monday night to Memphis, it will introduce moviegoers to a truly original performer, Frank Pacholski, star of a 1999 program that apparently shocked or at least dumbfounded even the seen-it-all overseers of Los Angeles ...
Film Review: 'Evil Dead' Demons Return
Published 04/04/2013 at 9:28 p.m.
A collapsed bridge stymied the escape plans of the college students trapped in the haunted forest in the original version of “The Evil Dead.”
Film Review: 'Gatekeepers" allows subjects to tell their own stories
Published 04/04/2013 at 8:34 p.m.
Nominated this year for the Academy Award for Documentary Feature, “The Gatekeepers” is both journalistic coup and unsettling confirmation of the idea that “you can’t make peace using military means,”.
Oscar nominee 'War Witch' reaches Memphis
Published 04/04/2013 at midnight
Outside the sitcom or fantasy contexts of an “Are We There Yet?” sequel or a “Karate Kid” remake, depictions of black children on movie screens in America are so rare that when one is introduced to Komona (Rachel Mwanza), the ...
Shakespeare goes to prison in Italian film fest
Published 04/02/2013 at midnight
“Caesar Must Die,” the concluding feature in this year’s third annual Italian Film Festival USA at the University of Memphis, is bookended with footage from an unusual performance of Shakespeare’s tragedy “Julius Caesar.”
Film Review: 'On the Road" again and the ride is bumpy
Published 03/28/2013 at 7:55 p.m.
Late in “On the Road,” a succession of images connects the promise of the expansive American landscape with the freedom of expression and self-invention that is another of this country’s wonders.
Way Out MidSouthCon brings on the fantasy, horror, science fiction
Updated 03/22/2013 at 12:09 a.m. 1 Comment
H.G. Wells. “Star Trek.” Superman. Pulp fiction.
'Spring Breakers' is one wild party
Published 03/21/2013 at 9:57 p.m.
“Spring Breakers” is the already notorious movie about four young college women determined to join their peers and have fun in Florida.
Film Review: Teenager and Mom in Web of Intrigue in 'Stoker'
Published 03/21/2013 at 9:42 p.m.
In the final chapter of “The Story of Film: An Odyssey,” Mark Cousins’ epic documentary history of cinema (currently unspooling in segments each Saturday at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art), Sweden’s Roy Andersson, director of “Songs from the Second ...
Rom-com "Admission" winds up Tina Fey's biological clock
Updated 03/21/2013 at 9:17 p.m.
"Admission" milks the motherhood theme with such vigor it requires Fey’s character to help a cow deliver her calf.
'The Croods" is a slapstick sitcom
Published 03/21/2013 at 3 a.m. 1 Comment
The humor’s classic or prehistoric, depending on your tolerance for slapstick. The animation is state of the art. And the life lessons are all too wearily contemporary in “The Croods,” an energetic DreamWorks digital cartoon feature about a family of ...
Film Review: No Prank: 'Call' Is Silly Fun
Published 03/14/2013 at 10:28 p.m.
I never knew I wanted a movie in which a heroic 911 operator played by Halle Berry rescues the “Little Miss Sunshine” girl from a serial killer until I saw “The Call.”
Documentary explores life of architect of 'Pee-wee's Playhouse'
Published 03/14/2013 at 9:30 p.m.
A native of suburban Chattanooga, artist Wayne White was perhaps an unlikely architect of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.”
Actress Mia Farrow puts beliefs into action through human rights advocacy
Published 03/14/2013 at midnight
Daughter of Hollywood royalty. Bride of Frank Sinatra. Friend of the Beatles. Muse of Woody Allen. Mother of “Rosemary’s Baby.”
Mia Farrow coming to Memphis for Rhodes College appearance
Published 03/08/2013 at 7:54 p.m.
Daughter of Hollywood royalty, bride of Frank Sinatra, muse of Woody Allen, advocate for children’s rights and mother of “Rosemary’s Baby,” actress Mia Farrow will be at Rhodes College on March 19 to talk about movies, politics and “mobilizing community ...
Movie Review: Unlikely Journey to stardom
Published 03/08/2013 at midnight
I think the first time I realized it had become permissible to like Journey again was in 1995, when the Foo Fighters performed a sincere cover of “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” during a concert encore at the New Daisy Theater on ...
Craig Brewer to write and direct 'Gangster Princess'
Updated 03/02/2013 at 12:10 a.m.
Apparently, this will be a busy year for Memphis-based filmmaker Craig Brewer.
Beifuss takes a beating in Oscars contest
Published 02/28/2013 at midnight
Michelle Obama’s appearance at the apex of Sunday night’s Academy Awards telecast was perhaps appropriate, because this year’s ceremony — ethnic references and breast jokes aside — was all about the equitable distribution of wealth, as represented by those gold-plated ...
Beat Beifuss: Is the movie critic in for a beating?
Updated 02/24/2013 at 12:30 a.m.
Unlike the Golden Globes, the Academy Awards don’t include a distinct category for “Best Motion Picture — Drama.”
Not cast between a Rock and a hard place in 'Snitch'
Published 02/21/2013 at 8:48 p.m.
To differentiate his movie career from his professional wrestling career, Dwayne Johnson some time ago banished his ring alias from his film credits.
Deadline looms for 'Memphis Rocks' videos
Published 02/21/2013 at 7:41 p.m.
The deadline is Feb. 28 to submit a short film or video to the new “Memphis Rocks” category of the On Location: Memphis International Film and Music Fest.
Cinema takes center stage in Oxford this weekend
Published 02/21/2013 at midnight
William Faulkner was a screenwriter as well as a novelist. Even so, it’s safe to say his hometown of Oxford, Miss., prizes his work on “The Sound and the Fury,” a saga of Yoknapatawpha County, over his contributions to “Land ...
Acclaimed Memphis documentary 'Undefeated' released on DVD
Published 02/19/2013 at midnight
A Memphis movie that earned much more publicity than “AS:VS — At Stake: Vampire Solutions” also arrives on disc Tuesday.
Vampires take a bite out of Greater Memphis
Published 02/18/2013 at 11:30 p.m.
A spinal tap is a way of extracting fluid from the body. So perhaps it’s appropriate that the “mockumentary” approach of “This Is Spinal Tap” was an influence on “AS:VS — At Stake: Vampire Solutions,” a locally produced comedy-drama inspired ...
Acclaimed Brooklyn filmmaker to shoot music drama in Memphis
Updated 02/16/2013 at 12:09 a.m.
A Brooklyn filmmaker with funding from Venice is coming to Memphis to shoot a movie about a troubled young soul-blues singer.
Oscar-nominated 'Amour' is 'till-death-do-us-part' romance
Published 02/14/2013 at 6:54 p.m.
The inevitable consequences of a decades-long, till-death-do-us-part romance is detailed in "Amour."
Family-friendly feline film festival just purrrr-fect
Published 02/12/2013 at midnight
Call it Apocalypse Meow. Or maybe Purrmageddon.
Film Review: McCarthy Steals Show as Comic 'Thief'
Published 02/07/2013 at 10:23 p.m.
"Identity Thief" makes good use of McCarthy's larger-than-life persona and broad and robust presence on-screen.
Quasimodo rings the bell for Memphis church
Published 02/07/2013 at midnight
Fans of classic cinema, ring the social-media bells, and spread the word: In what might be one of the more memorable movie events of the year, improvisational organist Tom Trenney is returning to Memphis to accompany a revival of the ...
Documentary looks at the history, future of Orange Mound
Updated 02/04/2013 at 12:30 p.m.
Debuting Monday night on WKNO-TV Channel 10, "A Community Called Orange Mound" is an overdue documentary celebration of Memphis' proud, historic African-American neighborhood.