Perhaps you'll recall the minor rumble in the blogosphere caused by Armond White's assertion that critics were ignoring Jeff Nichols' Shotgun Stories. It was an odd claim -- at the time, you couldn't look at any film review venue without seeing a positive notice for the film -- but all the back-and-forth about who liked it first shouldn't distract from the actual work. It's an excellent debut film, about the feud between half-brothers over their recently deceased father.
Three brothers -- named Son, Boy and Kid -- resent the indifference of the man who left them with an unfeeling mother, found Jesus, and raised four more boys with another woman. They crash his funeral, say some harsh words, and set off a chain of events that slowly escalates into violence. At the film's center is an expertly restrained performance by Michael Shannon as the eldest of the abandoned sons, whose stern face has an uncanny ability to express all the longings, regrets and anger of his character with barely any movement.
Then, for those cinematic adventurers who've been dying to take a crack at Bela Tarr's legendary 7-hour opus, here's your chance: Facets has just released a 4-disc package of Satantango! Read Michael Atkinson's write-up at IFC Films here. Through some bizarre mishap on my Netflix queue, disc 1 is already on its way to me. Maybe I'll pull my head out of my ass and write about it...
Also, I just watched Wong Kar Wai's Happy Together for the first time, and it's so friggin' good I feel the need to recommend it to everyone.
With the second season of Mad Men approaching, I decided to catch up on what I'd missed with my cable's OnDemand service. Yadda yadda yadda, it's as great as everyone says, but what I most look forward to in every episode is catching a glimpse of Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway:
It's impossible to take your eyes off her, what with her bright outfits, fiery red hair and wicked grin. Forgive me for being a drooling man here, but WOW!
ON THE INTERWEBS:
After reading this interview with Teri Garr at the Onion AV Club, I felt the need to share it with any and everybody. Following decades in the business and recently surviving an aneurysm that, as Gawker put it, "severed her give-a-shit nerve", she's ready to let loose with a heaping spoonful of candor that you pretty much never see in celebrity interviews.