3 items from 2017
by Jason Adams
When it came time to choose a performance to honor here for Laura Dern Week I was a bit flummoxed - how does one on narrow it down? She's one of my favorite actresses, maybe the most favorite. So I did what any (semi)sane person in such circumstances would do: I made our host Nathaniel choose for me. I gave him two choices - I am pro-choice! One was my favorite performance of hers as Ruth in Alexander Payne's brutal abortion comedy Citizen Ruth, which I've written about a million times. And there was the one I said I had never seen before. Nathaniel went for freshness...
... but I realized ten minutes into 1991's Rambling Rose that I had actually seen it before. And I hadn't liked it! I'd blocked out the whole damn thing, actually. But a funny thing happened this time around - I found myself charmed. »
One week a month, Watch This offers movie recommendations inspired by the week’s new releases or premieres. This week: With Sundance in full swing, we’re looking back at some of the best directorial debuts that premiered at the festival.
Walking And Talking (1996)
In the mid-’90s there was a boomlet of independent movies about young-ish, usually urban-dwelling neurotic types making small talk, cracking wise, and often making pop-culture references. Two of the very best of this batch had the misfortune to come out within about a year of each other with extremely similar titles: Noah Baumbach’s Kicking And Screaming and Nicole Holofcener’s Walking And Talking. Holofcener’s first film premiered at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, in a terrific class that included Welcome To The Dollhouse, Citizen Ruth, and Big Night.
Holofcener, a smart and perceptive writer, would go on to tell more complex stories ...
- Jesse Hassenger
The Sundance Film Festival is one of the biggest and most important fests of the year, and with good reason: some of our most famous and venerated directors working today premiered their first work there, people like Darren Aronofsky (Pi), Paul Thomas Anderson (Cigarettes & Coffee), Alexander Payne (Citizen Ruth) and Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies, and Videotape). This year should be no different, as a host of new faces and cool newcomers are making appearances with films like Newness,...
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3 items from 2017
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