Oscar’s crying game: the use & abuse of melancholy

Well, once again it’s the bleakest time of the year — mid-November, and Oscar season. Cold, dreary capitalism settles in as marketers and distributors ride a seemingly endless wave of red carpets and critics’ awards ceremonies that will carry them to the

Must we make a friend of horror, Colonel Kurtz?

In one of the most memorable scenes from “Apocalypse Now,” Marlon Brando, shrouded in shadow, hisses out (amidst other drug-fueled demagogic babblings) that “Horror has a face . . . and you must make a friend of Horror.” Brando’s Colonel Kurtz (and

Reasons to see indie film “Weekend” this weekend

There is a raging maniac urgency underneath the cucumber-cool surface of the limited-release Indie film — you know the type. We presuppose these “quiet” and “thought-provoking” and often “foreign” films to have a stable niche audience of art school students and masochistic

How to succeed in Hollywood without really trying

I am consistently mystified by the American box office — and not just those absurd moments when soul-dismemberingly bad movies retain the number-one slot for a second weekend (2008’s “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” or Nick Cage’s 2007 “Ghost Rider” — ugh). No, more