Smash His Camera
Almost everything that needs to be said about the career trajectory of celebrity photographer Ron Galella is contained is the shots of his sprawling basement archive in Leon Gast’s Smash His Camera. There, old cardboard boxes are packed to the ceiling, marked with dispiritingly D-grade subject labels like “MC Hammer” and “Tim Conway” (one box each) and “Tony Danza” (at least three). Galella doesn’t necessarily want to talk about those assignments, of course; he’d much rather talk about that time in Central Park in 1969 when Jackie Onassis told the head of her security detail to “smash his camera.” It’s Galella’s obsession with following and photographing Jackie that provides much of the spine for Gast’s sometimes amusing film — but when it strays from that central story, the thinness of the whole conceit is laid bare…
Smash His Camera opens today in limited release. You can read the full review at filmcritic.com.
New on DVD:
There’s something about Abbas Kiarostami’s approach to his 1990 breakthrough film Close-Up that can be found in one of the most fascinating characters in his curious fiction/documentary hybrid – and it’s not the star. At the beginning of the film, we’re in territory familiar to appreciators of his 1997 classic Taste of Cherry. In a wandering, looping manner, we follow a cabbie as he drives casually through a Tehran caught so sharply in the crisp autumn light that every stone wall, every falling leaf jumps out at you…
Close-up is now available in a beautifully-packaged 2-disc edition from Criterion. Read the full review at PopMatters.
During a particularly gnarled strand of Christopher Nolan’s Inception, where plot and exposition are delivered at a speed best reserved for those wearing appropriate crash gear, Ellen Page’s character—a quick-minded but childlike elf with the pointedly symbolic name of Ariadne—asks, “Now, whose subconscious are we going into now?” It gets a good chuckle from the audience, which at that point has been racing along with the characters as they jump from one level of dreaming to the next, fending off phantom guardians of the subconscious and struggling to finish a mission of world-shaking importance. From that point on, it’s every viewer for himself…
Inception opens wide on Friday. You can read the full review at PopMatters.
The Girl Who Played with Fire
Although it opens in an unexpected locale – a sunny Caribbean resort, as opposed to the serenely stone-grey streets of Stockholm – it isn’t long before Daniel Alfredson’s unnecessarily stoic take on Stieg Larsson’s second “Millennium” mystery is back on more familiar ground, which is not necessarily a good thing…
The Girl Who Played with Fire is in limited release now. You can read the full review at filmcritic.com.