Ella Taylor http://kwit.org en 'Land Ho!' Takes An Agreeable Stroll Through Familiar And Unfamiliar Terrain http://kwit.org/post/land-ho-takes-agreeable-stroll-through-familiar-and-unfamiliar-terrain In a more market-driven neighborhood of the movie business, Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz's comedy about two retired gents let loose on Iceland would surely be released under the title <em>Geezers Do Geysers</em>. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 21:31:00 +0000 Ella Taylor 48148 at http://kwit.org 'Land Ho!' Takes An Agreeable Stroll Through Familiar And Unfamiliar Terrain Trudging Uphill With Two Men And The Weight Of History http://kwit.org/post/trudging-uphill-two-men-and-weight-history With or without his knighthood, the legendary climber Sir Edmund Hillary stood 6-foot-plus in his stockinged feet and looked a bit like a mountain crag himself. Thu, 03 Jul 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Ella Taylor 47721 at http://kwit.org Trudging Uphill With Two Men And The Weight Of History A Not-Quite-Satisfying Look At A Notorious Career In Crime http://kwit.org/post/not-quite-satisfying-look-notorious-career-crime Many years ago I taught a course in the sociology of deviance to a class of fledgling Boston-Irish policemen. I enjoyed them enormously because they didn't write down everything I said and cough it back up on the test. A waggish friend called them "your heroic coplets."<p>The baby cops listened, with eyes only slightly rolling, to my earnest strictures about the connection between crime and social disadvantage. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Ella Taylor 47305 at http://kwit.org A Not-Quite-Satisfying Look At A Notorious Career In Crime 'The Last Sentence': A Man Making History, But Made By It As Well http://kwit.org/post/last-sentence-man-making-history-made-it-well Like his magnificent 1996 film <em>Hamsun</em>, Swedish director Jan Troell's latest bio-pic is a richly detailed portrait of a great man riddled with flaws and undone by adulation.<p>On the face of it, Torgny Segerstedt seems the very inverse of Knut Hamsun, the Norwegian writer revered, then reviled during World War II for his Nazi sympathies. Thu, 19 Jun 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Ella Taylor 46853 at http://kwit.org 'The Last Sentence': A Man Making History, But Made By It As Well 'Burning Bush' Finds The Fuel For A Desperate Act http://kwit.org/post/burning-bush-finds-fuel-desperate-act I was a college sophomore in London when Jan Palach, a shy young Czech student, set himself on fire in Prague's Wenceslas Square in January 1969. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Ella Taylor 46420 at http://kwit.org 'Burning Bush' Finds The Fuel For A Desperate Act Bringing A Book Phenomenon To The Screen, With Sadly Ordinary Results http://kwit.org/post/bringing-book-phenomenon-screen-sadly-ordinary-results Josh Boone's <em>The Fault in Our Stars</em> is the kind of careful, listless adaptation that makes a critic want to rave at length about the wonderful novel on which it's based.<p>Not that John Green's 2012 YA novel, a runaway best-seller about two cancer-ridden suburban teens in love, needs much of an introduction. Millions of parents read over their avid kids' shoulders about the brief encounter between teenagers Hazel, who has stage 4 thyroid cancer ("with mets to the lungs, but I'm okay") and Augustus, who lost his leg to bone disease. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 21:33:00 +0000 Ella Taylor 46006 at http://kwit.org Bringing A Book Phenomenon To The Screen, With Sadly Ordinary Results 'Maleficent' Tells The Fairy Tale From The Wicked One's Perspective http://kwit.org/post/whos-fairest-maleficent-reimagines-sleeping-beautys-stepmom Of all Disney heroines, Aurora, aka Sleeping Beauty, was the least inspiring. Not her fault: How much spark can you wring from a Forever Nap, especially one that's cut off by a kiss from a prince named after the Duke of Edinburgh?<p>Which may be why my 16-year-old, who's going through one of those inexplicable regressions into Disney toddler fare that seem to hit girls in their teens and beyond, made it through all of five minutes of the 1959 <em>Sleeping Beauty, </em>then went back to binge-watching <em>Buffy the Vampire Slayer</em>. Fri, 30 May 2014 13:52:00 +0000 Ella Taylor 45612 at http://kwit.org 'Maleficent' Tells The Fairy Tale From The Wicked One's Perspective Love Blooms In Midlife, But Halfheartedly http://kwit.org/post/love-blooms-midlife-halfheartedly No fewer than three comedies about finding love in midlife open this week, all of them shiny with major stars. Is it time to stop whining about the dearth of romantic comedy for mature audiences? Only if you prefer quantity to quality.<p>I haven't seen <em>Blended,</em> a Warner Bros. picture featuring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore (talk about milestones, Gertie's turning 40!) as failed blind-daters marooned in a recreation park with their respective kids. Thu, 22 May 2014 21:03:00 +0000 Ella Taylor 45141 at http://kwit.org Love Blooms In Midlife, But Halfheartedly From The Traditions Of Melodrama, A Woman Of Resolve http://kwit.org/post/traditions-melodrama-woman-resolve I teach in a film school, and if there's one genre I find it hard to get students on board for, it's classic melodrama. Perhaps because they've been reared on distancing irony and the suspension of belief, they misread the symphonies of pent-up emotion, the passionate address to questions of good and evil, of class, gender and race as phony. Thu, 15 May 2014 21:04:00 +0000 Ella Taylor 44709 at http://kwit.org From The Traditions Of Melodrama, A Woman Of Resolve 'Walking With The Enemy': An Occupation Poorly Rendered http://kwit.org/post/walking-enemy-occupation-poorly-rendered By the time the Nazis got around to taking Hungary in 1944, the country was already fatally compromised by its economic alliance with Fascist Germany and Italy on the one hand, and a shaky pact with Stalin on the other. Imagining that its loyalty to a protective leader, Regent Horthy, would save them from the fate suffered by other European Jews, Hungary's highly assimilated Jewish community fell prey (along with the Regent himself) to the extreme right-wing Arrow Cross party. Sun, 27 Apr 2014 19:00:00 +0000 Ella Taylor 43601 at http://kwit.org 'Walking With The Enemy': An Occupation Poorly Rendered