I spent some years as a pretty serious filmbuff — seeing everything new, exploring old and avant-garde films, hanging out with fans and critics, meeting and interviewing movieworld people, etc. Here’s a collection of the reviews and essays and such that I wrote during that period. You can use the following alphabetical index, or you can throw your fate to the winds by clicking here.
- Chris Menges’ debut movie, the South Africa-set “A World Apart,” was an overlooked, modest beauty.
- Polly and I shared some chuckles at the expense of Scorsese’s “The Age of Innocence.”
- I loved-loved-loved Carroll Ballard’s childrens’ film “The Black Stallion.”
- Yasuzo Masumura’s Butoh-influenced psychodrama “Blind Beast” is a kinky turn-on.
- The baseball comedy-romance “Bull Durham” charmed me.
- “The Cooler,” a Vegas-set fairy tale starring William H. Macy and Maria Bello, is a charmer.
- “Death Becomes Her,” a Robert Zemeckis comedy about women and aging, is an inspired black comedy.
- I found Denys Arcand’s French-Canadian “The Decline of the American Empire” a stylish, funny and touching pleaser.
- As ersatz as it was, I still enjoyed the Demi Moore/Michael Douglas sex thriller “Disclosure.”
- Juzo Itami’s gentle satire “The Funeral” tickled and moved me.
- The 1984 new-wave-ish sci-fi indie “Liquid Sky” gave me a high.
- Spike Lee’s biopic “Malcolm X” was anything but persuasive.
- I found Guillermo Del Toro’s horror movie “Mimic” thrilling — even if he regrets the film.
- I was one of the few writers who loved Brian De Palma’s “Mission to Mars.”
- Polly and I giggled over Jane Campion’s period romance “The Piano.”
- I did a lot of Serious Filmcrit about Robert Altman’s Hollywood satire “The Player.”
- I’m a huge fan of the French filmmaker Catherine Breillat, and got Salon magazine to let me rhapsodize about her film “Romance.”
- The Sharon Stone / Sly Stallone action-romance “The Specialist” was one of my favorite bad movies of the 1990s.
- I raved about an early Roger Donaldson film, the powerful Kiwi marital drama “Smash Palace.”
- I didn’t appreciate Errol Morris’ acclaimed documentary “The Thin Blue Line.”
- Francis Coppola’s “Tucker” struck me as a lumbering piece of candy-colored self-indulgence.
- Philip Kaufman’s movie of “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” pleased me no end.
- Takashi Miike’s “Visitor Q” was a grotesque and campy riot.
BOOKS ABOUT MOVIES
- Klaus Kinski’s autobiography is one crazy, over-the-top hoot.
- I tried to find something — anything — interesting in a couple of long movieworld biographies, one of David Geffen and one of Michael Eisner.
- I took a look back at American moviemaking in the ’70s and ’80s.
- I reviewed two excellent biographies, one of Mary Pickford and one of Mae West.
PROFILES AND THEME PIECES
- When Robert Altman’s “Nashville” turned 25, I took the occasion to revisit the movie. I gave the moviegoing years since a look too.
- David Ansen and I brought readers up to date about recent developments in film editing.
- Salon magazine asked me for some reflections about eroticism in movies. Now that was a fun assignment.
- When he died in 1999, I considered the career of George C. Scott.
- Jean-Luc Godard’s melancholy “Hail, Mary” set me to thinking about his one-of-a-kind career.
- Opera News asked me to survey a little-recognized genre: the composer biopic.
- Chris Marker’s nostalgic and brilliant “The Last Bolshevik” got me musin’ about the fate of movies in the digital era.
- For Opera News, I did a survey of how people have seen Richard Nixon over the years. It includes some reactions to and reflections about movies that featured Nixon.
- When his movie “Vincent & Theo” was released, I had a quick visit with Robert Altman.
- I thought that the brilliant New Zealand director Geoff Murphy did a terrific job with the glamorous Western sequel “Young Guns II,” so I gave him a call.