RUN[,] LOLA[,] RUN (Tom Tykwer, 1998)

Lola Rennt, literally, Lola Runs, but nonsensically turned in the U.S. into an uncomma-ed command, Run Lola Run, contributes nothing to the development of the idea of the permutations of chance and circumstance. It pretends to, with little inserted montages of peripheral characters’ alternate fates as it spins its central yarn thrice, each with alternate […]

RABBIT-PROOF FENCE (Philip Noyce, 2002)

Philip Noyce deserves a footnote in film histories, I suppose, for guiding young Nicole Kidman to stardom in Dead Calm (1989), a popular though mediocre thriller. The Australian filmmaker, already commercial, relocated to Hollywood for the likes of such inconsequential and stupid projects as Patriot Games (1992), Clear and Present Danger (1994) and The Bone […]

COLD FEVER (Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, 1995)

From Iceland, Denmark, Germany, Japan and the U.S., Friðrik Þór Friðriksson’s Cold Fever is a road film, a wonderful multilingual fish-out-of-water comedy. Atsushi Hirata, a young Japanese executive for a fish company (mull over the guy’s first name), visits Iceland out of filial respect. His parents accidentally died there seven years earlier, and he will […]

FOCUS (Neal Slavin, 2001)

American cinema can be pretentious and rarely more so than when it has anything to do with playwright Arthur Miller, who though unblessed with great talent can at least claim longevity. (He had that, but has since passed on.) It isn’t one of his plays sanctimoniously sifting somebody’s conscience, though, upon which photographer Neal Slavin’s […]