Month: December 2003

Demon Seed (1977), Donald Cammell, B+

or, Anal Probe: The Movie! Imagine a monster movie where the monster is an Inranet! An Intranet who’s horny! This late 70s “heavy” sci-fi flick ought to appeal to the folks that like creepy Cronenberg films as well as episodes where Data longs for emotions. The script is ever-so-slightly tongue-in-cheek and the video effects have an agreeable, nostalgic look. Very inspired by the paperback cover of M. Crichton’s “The Terminal Man” in my opinion. Julie Christie pulls off a very difficult performance, playing opposite, mostly, an empty wheelchair and a pair of white View-Finder goggles. Don’t look for this one on DVD — Kerry & I had to schlep to the Walter Reade Theatre for a 16mm projection. [But it was there that we learned that the Walter Reade Theatre and the Walter Reed Hospital were named after different...

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Best of ’03

Albums: Bronze — Gillian Welch “Soul Journey” Silver — Josh Rouse “1972” Gold — Steely Dan “Everything Must Go” Movies (requisite disclaimers about not seeing everything yet): 11) Intolerable Cruelty 10) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 9) City of God 8) Lost in Translation 7) Winged Migration 6) Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines 5) The Weather Underground 4) Open Range 3) School of Rock 2) Elephant 1) Master and Commander: The Far Side of the...

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A Zed and Two Noughts (1985), Peter Greenaway, B+

“Dead Ringers” meets “Crash” meets “Cremaster 3” meets “Stuck On You.” If I had to pick Greenaway’s main flaw it’s that he doesn’t leave well enough alone. There’s so much technique that any identification with the characters are impossible. In fact, my largest takeaway from this film was to further recognize how talented David Cronenberg is. This film swims in the same plasma pool as much of Cronenberg’s work, yet one never achieves the level of understanding or sympathy even the most difficult of Cronenberg’s work. Part of this is technical: one must wait for twenty-five minutes before seeing even a medium shot in “A Zed and Two Noughts.” There are no close-ups in the film. (Except for those of time-lapsed rotting animal corpses. And there are many.) I give the film mad props, though, for dealing with fascinating themes (even if they ultimately fail to gel at the end) and for just not letting up. “A Zed and Two Noughts” can stay on the same shelf as “Raising Arizona,” “Annie Hall” and Emir Kustarica’s “Underground” in terms of whiz-bang fast...

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Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.

He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.

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