French Revival: 'Breathless' at AFI Silver

It’s hard to believe that “Breathless” is 50 years old. When Jean-Luc Godard first lobbed this lean, cerebral, mischievous grenade of crime, fatalism and movie love at theaters, it was shocking in every way. It remains no less shocking today. The warp-speed jump-cutting, the deceptively distracted camerawork that seemed to take in all of Paris […]

Indies & Arties: Caribbean Dreams

The 2010 D.C. Caribbean Filmfest spans the weekend at AFI Silver. The three days are chock-full of diverse, enlightening fare, from a biopic about the life of great Cuban bandleader Benny More to an exploration of the rise of Jamaican reggae as a cultural and musical rebellion, to a coming-of-age story set in the days […]

Indies & Arties: Point and Shoot

The best of this year’s 48-Hour Film Project meets the best of the past 10 years of the annual event this weekend at AFI Silver. On Thursday, check out the cream of the 2010 crop — after the screening of some of the films made over the April 30-May 2 weekend, this year’s D.C. winner […]

Indies & Arties: Versatile, Yes, but Not the Voice of the Geico Gecko

Never mind ultraviolent codger “Harry Brown” — there is no substitute for watching Michael Caine play a resourcefully cruel tough guy in a top-rate thriller. Fortunately, Mike Hodges’ 1971 crime drama “Get Carter” is at AFI Silver as part of “Michael Caine: A Class Act.” Sure, Caine starred in sentimental charmers (“Last Orders,” June 30 […]

Indies and Arties: Heavy on the 'Weird'

YOU REMEMBER SPAGHETTI Westerns? Make way for the “Oriental Western” (their words; not ours). “The Good, the Bad and the Weird” is a manic, over-the-top tribute to 1966′s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” the big daddy of delirious Italian-produced oaters. Ji-woon Kim’s 2010 film follows three Korean outlaws with vastly different agendas who […]

The View From There: Kids World Cinema

AS ANYONE WHO’S seen “Ponyo” or “Up” or “The Red Balloon” or — heck — “How to Train Your Dragon” can attest, there is often a lot more inventiveness, liveliness and good nature in movies made ostensibly for children than in a whole multiplex’s worth of slam-bang grown-up fare. Now, Kids World Cinema can prove […]

Indies and Arties: Babies!

WE WOULD LIKE to write seriously about a new documentary by Thomas Balmes, but … we keep looking at stills from the film “Babies” and misting over, unable to make any sound but “Awww” and a sort of high-pitched squeal. For example, take a gander at adorable wee Ponijao, above, one of the four babies […]

Hungary Swallows Its History: 'Taxidermia'

WHEN A MOVIE begins with a man lighting his penis on fire — on purpose — it’s testing us. Gyorgy Palfi puts his viewers through more than one hoop in his fourth feature, 2006′s “Taxidermia,” finally released on DVD, and rich rewards await the patient film buff who takes the weirdness, humor and poignancy all […]

Indies & Arties: Far Out — Really Far Out

PHISH PHANS, START your engines — or whatever it is you start to get in the mood for a concert by the legendary jam band. The musicians may be in their 40s by now, and they are on the second leg of their careers, but Phish is now comin’ atcha bigger than ever with “Phish […]