19 posts categorized "Independent Cinema"

February 27, 2022

LIVING IN OBLIVION

ColeSmithey.comTom DeCillo's hilarious comedy about the pain in the ass of independent filmmaking, circa 1995, is a hoot.

Not the least is the litany of actors on display who were destined to become big stars.

Check out Steve Buscemi pre "Fargo," Dermot Mulroney pre "Copycat," Peter Dinklage pre "Station Agent," and the incomparable Catherine Keener pre "Being John Malkovich."

Wow.

ColeSmithey.com

Kevin Corrigan and James Le Gros round out the comedy about a NYC indie flick designed by the film's director (Buscemi) as a Cupid effort aimed at his lead actress (Keener).

Arrow meet heart.

ColeSmithey.com

Fun stuff.

ColeSmithey.com

Rated R. 90 mins. 

4 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

February 26, 2022

CLAUDINE — THE CRITERION COLLECTION

ColeSmithey.com Get your woke head on skrait bitches.

You don't know diversity.

The once exiled John Berry (11th member of the "Hollywood 10" blacklisted directors under the House on Un-American Activities Committee - HUAC) serves up a cold plate of leftist perspective in the form of one of the best fucking American movies ever made.

Hardly any white folk show up on screen.

Thank the fucking God that doesn't exist. 

ColeSmithey.com

Get down and funky with Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones in East Harlem circa 1973.

Diahann Carroll got a much deserved Oscar nom for her inspired performance here.

Diahann Carroll blows the doors off the movie.

Shew!

ColeSmithey.com

Pure.

Before James Earl Jones became a big time money maker with "Star Wars" three years later, he crafted a character you will never forget for this real-style romantic drama.

Written by husband and wife team Tina and Lester Pine, "Claudine" is a perfect script. Fantastic.

ColeSmithey.com

More social layers than three Ken Loach movies put together.

Richness of humanity has nothing to do with money or politics. 

"No War — No Racism."

Desert island movie, straight up.

Rated PG. 92 mins. 

5 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

June 21, 2019

GHOST LIGHT

Ghost Light PosterAt a time when Hollywood has lost its mojo, low budget indie films such as “Ghost Light” come with simple theatrical pleasures that remind us there is a world of talented, inspired artists who have not fallen prey to America’s industrial Cinema complex of military indoctrination — see any superhero movie made in the last 15 years.

The long-observed stage curse incited by speaking the name of “The Scottish Play” aloud inside a theater, comes back to haunt a troop of actors performing a small town production of “Macbeth” in this cinematic amuse bouche. Whistling in a theater is another no-no that one of our irreverent actors is all too willing to test. Theatre superstitions are nothing to trifle with.

ColeSmithey.com

Although the writing could be stronger, “Ghost Light” has some shining moments thanks to the reliable scenery-chewing efforts of stage legend Carol Kane, and (surprisingly) of Shannyn Sossamon in her Lady Macbeth incarnation. Carey Elwes manages to mask his less-than-impressive acting abilities in the context of an amateur stage production of one of Shakespeare’s most admired plays.

The film’s play-within-a-play narrative landscape allows for sufficient suspense to build even if the movie comes to an anti-climactic finish.

Ghost Light

The ghost light of the film’s title refers to a stage light that must remain lit on an empty stage if a production is to be successful. It’s a metaphor befitting our current filmic wasteland. It takes films such as “Ghost Light” to maintain a glow of hope that one day American Cinema will be reborn. In the meantime, Shakespeare’s plays remain a wellspring of material to rinse out Hollywood’s static noise. “Ghost Light” is good, clean (if a little bloody) fun. For Hollywood, it’s back to the woodshed.

Not Rated. 102 mins.

Three Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity helps keep the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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