Teddy Bear


One of the things I love about the latest Fast and Furious movie (whatever it’s called, Fast & Furious 6, Furious 6 or my own title, “Planes, Tanks and Automobiles”) is its casting. Not only is the ensemble made up mostly of hyphenate professionals who weren’t originally actors (including a wrestler, a bodybuilder, a former Miss Israel, a couple music artists, a couple martial artists), but a few of them are rather fresh faces to film, new to the franchise and surely on the rise in their movie careers. As much as I look forward to seeing what each does next, I’m also excited to have a new reason to spotlight the fairly recent breakthrough performances that likely got them this gig. In addition to using the opportunity to recommend those films, none of which has been seen by nearly as many people as will see a Fast and Furious movie, I’ve compiled a broader list of movies to now watch after seeing Fast & Furious 6. It’s partly a way to note some of its forebears and possible influences without going my usual negative route of criticizing this as a derivative work. It’s obviously imitative to a degree yet it’s also highly original in some of its stunts and their execution. Besides, just as in music we should accept and appreciate derivatives for their potential to lead fans backward to their (often better) predecessors. Of course, there are some reminiscent predecessors I’d rather not choose to recommend (Cars 2, […]


Screen Still2

The shorts programs at the New York Film Festival are not technically curated according to any specific theme. Yet rarely does a festival put together events like this without a trend or two sneaking in, unconsciously or otherwise. There are twelve short films. Six of them are quiet, melancholy sketches of loneliness. I’m not going to psychoanalyze the programmers, of course, which would be silly. I will, however, tell you why some of these little films rank among the most beautifully articulate representations of human emotion I’ve seen this year. On the surface, this is a wildly different bunch. Curfew is about a suicidal twenty-something in New York, while Saint Pierre follows a Québécois dishwasher living in English Canada. Night Shift looks at the troubled life of a cleaning woman at an airport in New Zealand, while on the opposite side of the world Nothing Can Touch Me examines the fallout of a high school shooting in Denmark. All four of these films grant us a brief glimpse into the solitary lives of their protagonists, whose troubles seem so close in kind despite the great physical and cultural differences between them.


LAFF 2012

Gird your loins, Los Angeles, the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival is coming, and this time, the fest is bringing strippers with them. Lots and lots of (cinematic) strippers. The festival has already announced four titles, which include the North American Premiere of Woody Allen‘s To Rome With Love as the festival’s Opening Night Film, along with Gala screenings for Benh Zeitlin‘s Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lorene Scafaria‘s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and Ava DuVernay‘s Middle of Nowhere, but it’s high time LAFF unveiled their full slate. And what a slate! As announced today, the festival will close with the World Premiere of Steven Soderbergh‘s Magic Mike and will also feature the World Premiere of Alex Kurtzman‘s People Like Us. Other titles announced today of note include Sundance favorites The Queen of Versailles, Teddy Bear, The House I Live In, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Robot and Frank, and Searching for Sugar Man. Additional titles that pop out include Emmett Malloy’s Big Easy Express, Alejandro Brugués‘ Juan of the Dead, Adam Leon’s Gimme the Loot, and Joshua Sanchez’s Four. LAFF also runs a variety of special programs, including Community and Retro Screenings, a crammed slate of short films, and their trademark “Eclectic Mix” of music videos. After the break, you can check out the full line-up for this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival, along with synopses for all features and a full list of all shorts and music videos playing at the fest. LAFF runs from Thursday, June 14 to Sunday, June 24. Passes […]


Sundance 2012: Teddy Bear

Based on the short film Dennis, Teddy Bear  further explores the story of Dennis (Kim Kold), a body builder who, despite a large frame that can make him seem intimidating, is actually quite shy and has trouble making conversation, especially with women. Teddy Bear opens with Dennis with an attractive young woman on a date that is not going very well. Dennis seems incredibly nervous and the conversation keeps stalling out. But Dennis, despite being thirty-eight, does not return home to life as a solitary bachelor, he is greeted by his mother (Elsebeth Steentoft) – who he still lives with.

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published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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