As the editor of the review, let me speak to this: You're correct that Greenfield has worked in the social-documentary vein. The characterization of her as a fashion photographer was intended, not as a slight, but as a reflection of the circumstances under which she met Jackie Siegel. As recounted in the film's press notes, Greenfield was on assignment for the fashion magazine ELLE to photograph the fashion designer Donatella Versace when she met Siegel, who had been flown in for the occasion as one of Versace's most valued customers.
Greenfield has worked within and without the fashion industry, and it's a credit to the complexity of her work that the line between being a "fashion" photographer and a "social-documentary" photographer isn't always clear. For example, there's this: http://vimeo.com/9417665.
Perhaps calling her a "photographer" would be most precise.
Wait a minute! "Greenfield, a fashion photographer, . . ." ??? I'm sure you meant "Greenfield, a renowned social-documentary photographer. . ."
Thanks for writing, David. I thought it was interesting that Calvin created a perfectly perfect girlfriend on the first try, and that this incarnation of Ruby was sufficiently independent to extract herself from the relationship.
I think I might have been more interested in how the film played out if Calvin had had to figure out how to woo her back. Without spoiling the ending for those who haven't seen it, I don't think what happened there represents a true comeuppance.
Clearly Ruby was never meant to be a complex character. Calvin's mania and anguish were the main protags/an tags here. I think it got dark when needed, as in the final scene after the party, which was quite uncomfortable.. And it was an inventive look at the notion of male-control in relationships, an often overlooked issue in current media, unless it involves more intense physical or emotional abuse. Ultimately, Calvin's breakdowns led to breakthroughs, and we hope he has learned through them.
I do agree re the scene with the mom and Mort. Antonio Bandera's presence garnered the biggest laugh, but otherwise that whole situation seemed sort of pointless, unless I'm missing something. You're right, the scene with Jessica (True Bloods most sexy) was a show-stealer. Her emotion and insight articulated our growing concerns with the generally likable Calvin.
Sam Green's film is an interesting and entertaining documentary, which gets a good percentage of the facts right. It's easy to get some of the facts wrong on any subject, since most articles are written by reporters who have just begun to research a subject, in order to write an article. Reporters interview reporters, and continue to spread information that is seldom traced back to original, or even reliable, sources. Even when reporters are doing their best, it's best to take most statements with a grain of salt. For example, in this article, we are told that Esperanto's "popularity has waned", completely without citation or attribution. Is it true? Who did the research that supports this conclusion? It might be correct, but I suspect that the statement was simply made up by someone, because it might sound credible. As a counter-indication to waning popularity, the biggest free Esperanto learning site, Lernu.net, has 125,000 active user accounts, indicating a remarkable number of people engaged in learning the language. Lernu's online Esperanto courses offer learning help, guidance, and explanations in 37 different languages, and counting, thereby fulfilling the role, within that context, of a language facilitating international communication, connection and friendship building.
The other strikingly questionable statement in this article is that English is spoken by 1.5 billion people. While this figure can be found on Wikipedia, it exceeds all the estimates that I have previously seen put forward by anyone knowledgeable in linguistic demographics. English is clearly the most important and widely-used language for international communication, but 1.5 billion speakers is an exaggeration. Assuming that by speakers, we mean people who can actually hold a useful conversation on a variety of simple topics. No doubt that quite a lot of people have studied English at one time or another, but now have no useful capability in it.
It will be interesting to see how well English maintains its influence, now that the economic power of its largest countries, the US and UK, are in decline, following thirty years of sending most of their jobs and money to Asia (and to billionaires). In any case, the number of English speakers in the world is a smaller fraction now than it was in 1970 (which was roughly the peak of the world's use of English, on a percentage basis.) While the number of native English speakers continues to rise, it has been surpassed by Spanish in the last twenty years.
Bill Chapman is right. Esperanto is in fact more widespread than people imagine. It is now in the top 100 languages, out of 6,800 worldwide. It is the 29th most used language in Wikipedia, ahead of Danish and Arabic. It is a language choice of, Skype, Firefox, Ubuntu and Facebook and Google translate recently added this international language to its prestigious list of 64 languages.
Native Esperanto speakers, (people who have used the language from birth), include World Chess Champion Susan Polger, Ulrich Brandenberg the new German Ambassador to and Nobel Laureate Daniel Bovet. Financier George Soros learnt Esperanto as a child.
Esperanto is a living language - see http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8…
Their online course http://www.lernu.net has 125 000 hits per day and Esperanto Wikipedia enjoys 400 000 hits per day. That can't be bad :)
I'm not sure that Esperanto's "popularity has waned". I find a very dynamic, widespread speaker-population on my travels. I've just come back from France - where I used the language, of course.
Reading this was more entertaining than all of the referenced movies combined.
where one would goto watch Bollywood movies?
not really actors acting, a lot of digital comp effects..
To give a bit more flavour to the review, here's a short 17 second YouTube clip about the movie. Thanks for the write-up! http://bit.ly/NkBvZH
I just saw Catfish on HBO docs, and I too was taken in by the story of this incredible 8 yr old artist...I wanted to believe it was Megan on that mp3..I believed Angela Pierce until they visited the horse farm. Call me a "true believer" or a "dweeb", but I was disappointed when they Angela opened the door too. This was NOT to "coffee elite" or "metropolitan" for a country girl from KY to watch and enjoy, and the way they ended the film in kindness was nicely done if maybe a bit contrived. He is still friends with Angela at the end of this piece. That may also be contrived, but what a great way to leave it.
The Chitauri invasion is something forecast in, I dunno, the first scene of the movie, so that's hardly a spoiler. Hope I didn't give anything away by letting you know Iron Man and Hulk are in it, too.
I can't wait to see this one. Huge Stillman fan. Really haven't loved some of the recent outings by his media-appointed protege Noah Baumbach, so this is a real treat for me. Hope he keeps it up.
nice skrull spoiler, thanks a bunch....maybe you should stick to mumblecore so you won't give anything away. pathetic.
Thanks, "marsmark." I actually did mention Metcalf and would have been happy to cite not just Adam Brody but also fine turns by Hugo Becker (Xavier), Aubrey Plaza (Depressed Debbie) and Nick Blaemire (Freak Astaire).
Unfortunately, the print space I had didn't permit the well-deserved individual shout-outs. That's not a problem online, obviously.
One thing I noticed from reading the press notes about this fine ensemble is that a number of them have trained with Upright Citizens Brigade, the improv company in New York and California.
Loved and agreed with your review David. I might have added a word or two about the third act twist of Brit-snob Rose's (Megalyn Echikunwoke) character and that the performances by the underachiever boys Fred (Ryan Metcalf) and Fred Packenstacker / Charlie Walker (Adam Brody) were equally quirky and up to the comic timing necessary to carry off the over all tone of the film.
I felt that this film tried to do too much. While the perspective was fresh, it would have exelled had it stuck to the primary theme. It became distracted with subplots and derivative concepts that did little or nothing to further an already lengthy film. More of In Darkness should have found its way to the cutting room floor.
Mr. Kuranski, your comment basically trots out the same anti-semitic diatribe as Stalin's Jews, a pamphlet published alongside such notable anti-semitic works as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Jews made up about 5% of Bolsheviks, the same as their numbers in the population at large. Yes, there were some Jewish leaders of Stalin's secret police organizations but to say 39% of Stalin's helpers were Jewish and they "gleefully carried out the orders to murder in cold blood millions of Slavic people" is a lie. Your comment perpetrates anti-semitic myths and is dreadfully shameful.
Why isn't their a film that talks about, as one Israeli newspaper called them, "Stalins Jews"?
According the Israeli newspaper Ynet, 39% of the Soviet helpers of Stalin were Jewish. They gleefully carried out the orders to murder in cold blood millions of Slavic people.
If this movie does not talk about Stalin's Jews, it is not giving the full and accurate context of anti-semitism in Slavic Europe. Most anti-semitism in Slavic Europe was a result of Jewish Communist atrocities against Slavic people.
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