Holy Smoke

Jane Campion is an exasperating filmmaker. She makes compelling - if uneven - films in a style so affected that it takes real effort to wade through her pretensions. Her best-known film, The Piano, all but drowns in portentous  ...

culturevulture.net and AMC salute Alfred Hitchcock

culturevulture.net salutes Alfred Hitchcock (1899 - 1980) Twenty-one years after his death, Alfred Hitchcock remains the most imitated filmmaker who ever lived. No other director so peerlessly combined craftsmanship and personality, popularity and genius.  ...

Hannibal

There was no reason to expect much from Hannibal. Nothing about it suggested that it might be interesting: it's the unnecessary sequel to Silence of the Lambs, an intelligent and sturdily crafted film. It's drawn from a universally reviled  ...

Happy, Texas

Steve Zahn makes a formidable idiot. No one plays stoned bemusement with such inspiration, such slow-on-the-uptake brilliance. In supporting roles in Out of Sight and That Thing You Do!, he walked away with his every scene, his cotton-mouthed mumbling  ...

The Filth and the Fury

Suggested reading: Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century (1990), Greil Marcus Rotten - No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs: The authorized Autobiography Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols (1995), John Lydon  ...

Eureka

Punishingly slow, nearly four hours long, and so careful to avoid histrionics that it often approaches tedium, Shinji Aoyama's Eureka is less a movie than a dare. It's also one of the year's most deeply felt and beautiful films,  ...

Detroit Rock City

Detroit Rock City is the latest entry in a fine film genre with a distinguished pedigree: cheesy movies about rock and roll. I don't mean genuinely good films like Hard Day's Night or The Great Rock and Roll Swindle:  ...

Decline of Western Civilization III

Penelope Spheeris changed my life. A suburban doofus who only knew punk rock from records, I took a date to the Sacramento debut of The Decline of Western Civilization in 1981. The film documented the Los Angeles punk scene  ...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy Summers is like most freshmen at the University of California, Sunnydale. Uprooted and overwhelmed, a little dreamy and scattered, she struggles through her classes and tries to find a boy who can live up to her memories of  ...