house of sand and fog
director: vadim perelman
Movies are, obviously, the dominant form of expression in our time, yet somehow manage to almost entirely ignore classic tragedy--tragic things happen, sure, but usually the bad guys get a fistful of revenge, or the hero reinvents himself, wins the girl and starts a fresh life on the opposite coast from where their troubles began. That said, "House of Sand and Fog" is a pure tragedy, and because of its precious rarity, I barely know how to describe it, other than to say it will break your fucking heart (respect to all who made this film for staying so close to the novel by Andre Dubus III, son of writer Andre Dubus, whose story "The Killings" was made into Todd Field's exceptional "In the Bedroom," and odd enough, to power-wielding-culture-shaping Oprah, who in 2000 chose "House of Sand and Fog" for her bookclub).
reviewed by: john ball |  December 2003 [link] |  recommend 2 thumbs up

james ellroy's feast of death
director: vikram jayanti
Interesting documentary about the obsessions that fuel
Ellroy's dark labyrinthine novels; the centerpiece of the film
being a round table discussion between Ellroy and several
LAPD homicide detectives. It is no frills filmmaking, nothing
fancy here, that allows Ellroy to propel the film forward with
his own intensity.
reviewed by: JohnLawton |  May 2001 [link] |  recommend

director: vincent parannaud and marjane satrapi
This is the first film adapted from a graphic novel that I have seen that looked and felt like a graphic novel. In saying this, I mean no offense to 'Ghost World' or "V For Vendetta,' but there was something necessary about having this film animated.
reviewed by: blaine |  February 2008 [link] |  recommend

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