fbpx

F. X. Feeney

Pete Smalls Is Dead

Pete Smalls Is Dead Review

Peter Dinklage is one of the subtlest and most magnetic actors now working. Fans of his work in HBO's Game of Thrones can readily attest to this, but ever since his 2003 breakthrough performance in The Station Agent, I've wondered if other filmmakers would seize the opportunity and the challenge......
The Ghost Writer

Ghosts of a Filmmaker's Past

Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer is one of his masterpieces — relentless in its suspense; funny when you least expect it; above all, deeply conscious of political power and its corruptions. In this latter quality it forms a third panel in an unofficial trilogy whose first two parts were Chinatown......
Herostratus

Herostratus: Suicide as Self-Promotion

"I'm going to commit suicide." "My congratulations." Don Levy's 1967 Herostratus is the greatest movie masterpiece you have probably never heard of. A young poet (Michael Gothard) decides to commit suicide but strikes a demonic bargain with an advertising tycoon (Peter Stephens) to give the deed maximum publicity. The tycoon's......
Solaris

Andrei Tarkovsky: LACMA pays homage to a titan of Russian cinema

In the nearly 30 years I've been writing about movies for L.A. Weekly, no moviemaking genius has meant more to me than Andrei Tarkovsky, whose seven feature films will screen over the next three weekends at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Welles and Fellini struck my imagination like......
Under The Eightball

Don’t Drink the Water: Lyme Disease Lurks Under the Eightball

Angry passion and visual high energy define this extraordinary muckraking documentary. The anger and rage that ignite it stem from the puzzling illness that overtakes Lori Hall-Steele, sister of Timothy Grey, who co-directed the film with Breanne Russell. At first, the diagnosis would seem to be chronic fatigue, but the......
I Am So Proud of You

AFI Fest Short-Film Showcase: Good Things, Small Packages

Click here for AFI Fest, A to W. Despite the heartwarming appeal of its title, Jim Finn’s Dick Cheney in a Cold, Dark Cell (which top-lines this year’s AFI Fest shorts program) at first looks like an opaque joke: creepy footage of people (mostly teenagers) drowning under ice, lifted from......
Goldblum in the role of his career

Adam Resurrected Peers into the Soul of a Condemned Man

The torturer’s greatest art, so it is said, is to make his victims go on torturing themselves — for life, if possible. That certainly seems the fate of Adam Stein (Jeff Goldblum), a Jewish comedian of genius in prewar Berlin, who is unable to save his family when the Nazi......
Before Dancing With the Stars

The Talented Messrs. Heston, Newman, Pollack, Minghella and Ledger

Paul Newman and Charlton Heston — two of the five late cinema legends honored with tribute screenings in AFI Fest’s “Milestones” sidebar — led such long, productive lives that their deaths, while a loss to us, were valedictory for them: Both had given their work their all, and retired in......

Queen of Hearts, Queen of Spades

WE'RE SPEEDING IN A HORSE-DRAWN COACH, keeping abreast of the sun as it sparkles through a high canopy of trees, privy to the exertions of a pair of noblewomen who are busily disguising themselves as men. The dialogue is from the 18th century, but the film grammar -- quick cuts,......