“Big” and the Body-Swap Movie Renaissance

I had a piece in The Atlantic this afternoon on Big and the other body-swap movies (Vice Versa, 18 Again!, Like Father, Like Son) of the late ’80s. Here is an excerpt: The dominant, lasting image in all these films is that of a grown man acting like a child. In Big, Vice Versa, and Like Father, Like Son, the…

AFI Docs Festival Review: Part 2

Last weekend, Anthony Flores and I tackled the AFI Docs Festival (formerly Silverdocs). Here is the second part in our series of capsule reviews (see part one here): Cutie and the Boxer When we first meet the famed Japanese painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife Noriko in Cutie and the Boxer, they come across as…

Obama Asks Celebrities to Help with ACA Rollout

I’ve already covered in detail the close relationship President Obama has fostered with folks in  Hollywood. The entertainment industry has always skewed liberal, but in this funny political era when nearly every industry has turned against national Democrats, the support provided by folks like George Clooney and Jeffrey Katzenberg was vital to Obama’s re-election. But…

AFI Docs Festival Review: Part 1

Yesterday, AFI Docs concluded here in Washington, DC. Formerly known as SilverDocs, it is the premiere documentary film festival in the United States. For example, all six 2009 Academy Award-nominated documentary films were screened at Silverdocs 2008. This year, guest writer and documentary aficionado Anthony Flores and I tag-teamed the festival. Over the course of…

Jim Carrey’s Latest Move: Weird, Brave, or Both?

It’s a controversy as old as Hollywood itself with a contemporary twist. Here is a scenario that occurs fairly routinely: an actor to completes work on a film, gets worried that it’s not going to turn out well, and trashes the film in advance of its release. The example that jumps to mind is Marlon…

We Tell Secrets: A Story of Two Documentaries

This is a guest review from Anthony Flores. With revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance, government secrecy has been in the news.  Two recent documentaries, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks by Alex Gibney and Dirty Wars by Rick Rowley, happen to tackle this subject.  It should be a fortuitous opportunity to add…