It's that time of year when everyone in Phoenix has baseball on the brain, but, oddly enough, America's favorite pastime is also big in an Indian state called Manipur. If you're like us, you've probably never heard of Manipur, let alone know that it's full of baseball lovers. But that's exactly what director Mirra Bank set out to tell the world in The Only Real Game.
Courtesy of Baseball Dreams, LLC. c.2013 Director Mirra Bank's new documentary follows baseball's popularity in an Indian state.
Her new documentary follows a group of Manipuris who have kept the game alive in the country since it arrived there during World War II. Despite differences in culture, baseball, in its essence, means pretty much the same thing to Manipuris as it does Americans.
20th Century Fox Oh, hey girl. It's me, Jesus.
That Bible miniseries, originally aired on the History Channel, won notoriety by casting an actor who resembles Barack Obama in the crowd-pleasing role of Satan. The producers -- Roma Downey, who plays Mary here, and Mark Burnett, who pioneered the watch-skinny-people-suffer genre with Survivor -- insisted that this was a coincidence, despite the fact that they had aggressively targeted the series to the likes of Glenn Beck. America, then, is wondering: Does this theatrical sequel feed more chum to the Tea Party? Or is it, as a product of what Tea Partiers insist is a liberal Hollywood, chock-full of liberal propaganda? Both sides may have a case.
Last night, the Almost Famous Film Festival, a local nonprofit, presented short films made by 20 different teams. The three- to seven-minute shorts ranged from funny and campy to dramatic and suspenseful, showcasing Phoenix-area up-and-coming filmmakers' skills. While there was a fair amount of out-of-focus shots, corny dialog, and awkward moments, there were also a few standout entries from local talent that you need to watch out for.
Courtesy of A3F. One of the best films of the night remade Star Wars.
L.A. Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson and the Village Voice's Stephanie Zacharek and Alan Scherstuhl ask, "Do the Oscars really even matter, guys?" They come to a few conclusions, but only after discussing just how much ass a middle-aged Liam Neeson can kick on an airplane in Non-Stop. Settle in for another Voice Film Club podcast.
He could always write more books.
It was sad -- Jay Leno's 22 years hosting The Tonight Show ended with all the excitement of a guy farting at the mall. We all talked about his joke stealing and his talk-show stealing and how he'd played to the middle, threw away his talent.
We were happy to see him go back to his garage and all his cars, to make way for Fallon, for his dancing to hip-hop.
Jay Leno must be lonely. What has Jay Leno been doing the last couple weeks?
When filmmaker Thomas Morgan first heard Pushpa Basnet's story, he didn't believe it. That's because Basnet's grassroots aid organization houses and educates children in Nepal who would otherwise be stuck in prison with their parents while they served their sentence. He thought he must've misheard her. He thought, surely, children in Nepal aren't left in prison to pay for their parents' crimes.
Courtesy of Integrated PR Pushpa Basnet watched over children who would have been imprisoned in Waiting for Mamu.
But he didn't misunderstand Basnet -- she legally adopts hundreds of children in order to free them from jail until their parents can come back for them. For this work, Basnet won the CNN Hero award, along with $300,000, which has gone entirely into funding a permanent boarding home for her children. Morgan and producer Angela Bernard Thomas talked about the difficulty of making a short documentary in a communist country and the real reason they wanted to tell Basnet's story.More »
The Sedona International Film Festival is rapidly approaching, and if you're as overwhelmed by the cinematic possibilities as we are, don't fret.
Courtesy of Sedona International Film Festival A movie about a musical about O.J. Simpson inspired by Othello? Yes, please.
With about 150 films showing between February 22 and March 2, there are a lot of options to sift through, making it well worth the nearly two-hour drive up. Should you see The Joe Show, a film about everyone's favorite racist sheriff or go the less psychologically frustrating route and catch some of the shorts? Or you could hit up Mistaken for Strangers if you're trolling the fest for dudes -- because dudes love The National. Though the choice ultimately is yours and yours alone, we have some suggestions of six films you don't want to miss at the 20th annual event.
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures The new Robocop marvels at his cybernetic features as Gary Oldman looks on.
Twenty-seven years ago, director Paul Verhoeven and company gave us the original Robocop, which gained cult status as an action movie with a sardonic wit and a lot of things to say about privatization, consumerism, and the human condition.
Now, nearly three decades later, we have a remake directed by José Padilha, and the new Robocop has some (sometimes seemingly unintentionally) interesting things to say about our culture today and what it means to be human.More »