Category | Danny Peary on Film

Whiplash’s Director Damien Chazelle on His First Jazz Movie and Himself

Posted on 28 February 2015

I could write a book about how much I usually disagree with Academy Award selections—wait, I already did!—but I must say I was delighted that writer-direct Damien Chazelle’s riveting semiautobiographical Whiplash sneaked off with three Oscars (it was nominated five times).) The biggest one was for supporting actor J.K. Simmons as the smiling martinet jazz band leader who makes life miserable for but, perhaps inadventently, pushes defiant young drummer Miles Teller to greatness.

It Happened One Oscar Night 80 Years Ago

Posted on 19 February 2015

Considering the title of Frank Capra’s classic, it seems odd that this weekend the IFC Center will be showing It Happened One Night at 11 a.m. in the morning. But no matter, it’s Oscar weekend and this 105-minute, black-and-white comedy gem captured all the major awards for 1934 on February 27, 1935 at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

See the Vain Die Ugly in Jane Clark’s “Crazy Bitches”

Posted on 12 February 2015

By Danny Peary It is a fertile time for horror films directed by women. Australian Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook and Iranian Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night have become cult hits and have had long theatrical runs, including at the IFC Center in New York.  Leigh Janiak’s Honeymoon, a creepy body-snatcher [...]

On VOD: Ruth Wilson in “A Walk Among the Tombstones”

Posted on 29 January 2015

By Danny Peary Until she recently won Golden Globe as the Best Actress in a Drama Series for Showtime’s “The Affair,” Ruth Wilson was known best in the US for her TV work at home in England: “Suburban Shootout,” “Jane Eyre,” and as Alice Morgan opposite Idris Elba in “Luther.”  That didn’t change despite her [...]

Evangeline Lilly on “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

Posted on 19 January 2015

Back in the long-ago days before movie trilogies meant four films, Evangeline Lilly became a huge television star in Lost as the clever, sexy, and gutsy Kate, who two male rivals voted “Coolest Female to Be Stranded on an Island With.” Now she’s establishing herself as an action movie star as the formidable wood elf Tauriel in Peter Jackson’s two-part final chapter of The Hobbit, and the upcoming Ant-Man. The “defining” fourth film in Jackson’s trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies had its top box-office spot taken by Taken, but it is still attracting large audiences in many Long Island theaters, including in Hampton Bays, and in New York City. So I am posting this one-on-one with Lilly that I did for the Australian magazine FilmInk prior to its release. For those who ask, “What’s Evangeline Lilly really like?,” my answer is, She couldn’t have been nicer.

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Joseph McBride to Appear at the Fabulous Orson Welles Tribute at the Film Forum

Posted on 11 January 2015

I hope all movie fans are aware of the extraordinary retrospective, “Orson Welles 100,” that began at the Film Forum on January 1 and concludes Tuesday February 3. Every theatrical feature Welles directed will be screened, some in different versions. We can see reconstructed versions of various films and several newly restored prints.

Paul Harrill Says Everything About “something, anything”

Posted on 04 January 2015

something, anything fits my category Movies That Should Play in Sag Harbor.  Until now Knoxville writer-director Paul Harrill’s impressive, thought-provoking feature debut has played in festivals from Austin to Madison, Wisconsin, to Edinburgh. And beginning this Friday you can see it at IFP’s Made in NY Media Center at 30 John Street in Brooklyn. Peggy [...]

A Revealing Chat with Larry Karaszewski, the Cowriter of Big Eyes

Posted on 20 December 2014

One of the most anticipated films of the season, Big Eyes opens nationally on Christmas Day, including at the UA Southampton 4. I suspect that it is on your list of must-see movies. Its stars Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz are doing the talk show circuit and Adams is hosting Saturday Night Live, and it’s likely you’ll hear their names a lot at award shows, but its main drawing card is its celebrated director. Big Eyes is being promoted as a “Tim Burton film,” and surely his fans will attempt to confirm his auteurship by pointing to the twisted story and slightly surreal imagery, hallmarks of Burton’s work. Burton’s influence is undeniable, but in truth Big Eyes is the brainchild of its screenwriters extraordinaire, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.

It’s a Wonderful Life Is Even More Wonderful on the Big Screen

Posted on 18 December 2014

Sure, you’ve watched or plan to watch It’s a Wonderful Life on television for the fifteenth or twenty-fifth consecutive December. But did you know that that you can also see Frank Capra’s incomparable Christmas classic in 35mm in a theater in New York City? The IFC Center at 323 Avenue of the Americas, off 4th Street, has been showing it several times a day and that will continue through holidays.

Box Set Features Oates in Outstanding Oater

Posted on 08 December 2014

If you’re looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for a friend or yourself, I can confidently recommend Criterion’s new Blu-ray and DVD box-sets of a terrific double feature directed by Monte Hellman, who provides audio commentary. Unique to their genre, The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind are exciting and thought-provoking cult westerns that were filmed back-to-back in Utah for only $150,000 combined of penurious producer Roger Corman’s money.