7 items from 2015
“The future is shit, just like the past.”
Tyrion Lannister punctuates his brief thesis on the value of life by bending over to vomit. In an episode that begins with a young Cersei slogging through what looks like a mixture of mud and offal and ends with a man being burned alive after leading his people out of the frozen north, it’s a point that bears thinking on. The future isn’t better just because it’s new, and the past isn’t rosy just because it’s over. (Though no matter which set of sins he’s mired in remembering, Peter Dinklage can still crack a great one-liner).
Dwelling on the inherent crappiness of life isn’t exactly a guaranteed home run in terms of dramatic pacing, but “The Wars to Come” handles it without devolving into maudlin tears or too much domino-setting. That isn’t to say the episode crackles, »
- Gretchen Felker-Martin
The questions isn’t whether Dwayne Johnson will be a good host (since he excelled during his first two times in Studio 8H), but whether or not “Saturday Night Live” can finally start regaining some of the momentum that propelled it through its Fall run. That was possibly the strongest stretch during my five years covering the show here at HitFix, but 2015 has been marked by less-than-stellar episodes and a less-than-ideal production schedule. As such, “SNL” has been spotty both in terms of quality and production. But maybe tonight will be a turning point as the show heads into this season’s home stretch. As always, I’ll be liveblogging each segment in real time. I’ll give that segment a grade. I highly encourage you to not stress too much about the grades. The Rock Obama will get angry if you stress about the grades. See you at 11: »
- Ryan McGee
This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Telluride Film Festival. 25 years ago, director Wim Wenders’ discovered the haunting black-and-white artwork of celebrated Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. Now a 70-year-old man who has traveled to nearly every corner of the Earth for more than 40 years, Salgado has documented some of the most tragic and catastrophic events in recent history: revolutions and international conflicts, genocide in Rwanda, wars in Yugoslavia, starvation in Ethiopia, the Saddam Hussein-devastated Kuwaiti oilfields, mass exoduses around the globe, and more. So taken with Salgado's iconic photos — striking works often bearing witness to the poor, the suffering, and neglected members of society — Wenders bought two prints and promptly framed them above his office desk where they remain to this day. But the more Salgado’s ghostly photos preoccupied Wenders’ heart and psyche (this photo in particular), the more the venerable German filmmaker »
- Rodrigo Perez
The director Raja Menon is shooting on the old streets of Ras Al Khaimah which looks like Kuwait of 1990s.
Few leaders in the Western World have drawn as much criticism as George W Bush, the 43rd President of the United States of America.
Bush served two terms as President, between 2001 and 2009, and he split opinions both domestically and internationally. His “War on Terror” – in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks – saw Bush commit troops to a war in Afghanistan, which was largely supported, but also to toppling Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, which drew much criticism.
But it was not just Bush’s foreign policy that proved controversial – his first election victory in 2000 was overshadowed by allegations of vote-rigging and intimidation in the hotly-contested state of Florida, and he was only confirmed as President-Elect following a Us Supreme Court ruling.
Also, Bush has often been portrayed as a “dumb” person who was not intellectually gifted enough to hold the office of President, and he has been mocked in popular culture because of this. »
- Chris Waugh
A director and a producer in Iraqi Kurdistan battle the odds to make a feature about Saddam Hussein’s Al Anfal massacre in “Memories on Stone,” a dark tale of an inescapable past told with expected dollops of absurdist humor. Presumably full of semi-autobiographical touches, the film fits snugly into director Shawkat Amin Korki’s body of work (“Kick Off,” “Crossing the Dust”) and the long line of pics dealing with the social and personal pressures of making a relevant movie. “Memories” has been picking up awards (Abu Dhabi, Unesco), and while weak on character development, it will continue to find hospitable fest berths.
A “Cinema Paradiso”-style prologue shows young Hussein (Birhat Hussein) visiting his projectionist father (Kamiran Betasl) during a screening of “Yol” (the art department adds a nice cinephile flourish with a “Mogambo” poster in the booth). Soldiers storm the theater saying the film is forbidden, beating »
- Jay Weissberg
“Has anybody ever said ‘No, thank you’ to being on The Simpsons?” wonders a giggling Cat Deeley. “Maybe Saddam Hussein turned around and said ‘No.’ Like, if you were a terrible dictator, you might not want to open that Pandora’s box.”
Thankfully, the Emmy-nominated host of So You Think You Can Dance had no such reservations, and thus will make her animated debut on Fox’s long-running comedy on Sunday, March 15 (8/7c).
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Deeley says when she received an email from the show’s producers with an »
7 items from 2015
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