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‘UnREAL’: somewhere Paddy Chayefsky is smiling

Thanks to the wonderful critic Mark Harris and his piece in “Grantland” last week, I downloaded the first episode of a terrific new Lifetime series, “UnREAL,” which examines the machinations behind a reality TV show that is obviously meant to be “The Bachelor”/“The Bachelorette.” What might sound like the satirical equivalent of shooting ducks in […] [Read More]

Mia Farrow snubbed by Oscar, honored at Greenwich fest

There are lots of reasons not to take the Oscars seriously, but here’s a really good one: last night’s (in absentia) Greenwich International Film Festival honoree Mia Farrow has not only never won an Academy Award, she’s never been nominated. People often assume Farrow was nominated early on for her amazing performance in “Rosemary’s Baby” […] [Read More]
Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot part of Greenwich fest’s weekend panel slate

The first Greenwich International Film Festival is screening a few dozen new movies over the weekend, but it is also hosting a number of filmmaker panels, most of which are free. The star panel attraction — a discussion with members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot (above) — is a $15 ticketed event on […] [Read More]

Greenwich fest showcases indies, docs & foreign fare

The centerpiece of this weekend’s Greenwich International Film Festival is the pricey Changemaker gala where Harry Belafonte and Mia Farrow (in absentia) will be honored for their philanthropic work, but the film slate is an impressively varied mix of new American independent films, documentaries and a sampling of foreign films. The festival has been in […] [Read More]

‘Primates’: lifestyles of the rich & aimless

In “Primates of Park Avenue” (Simon and Schuster) Wednesday Martin has written a very funny, and slightly scary, look at the denizens of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The follow-up to “Stepmonster” charts Martin’s adventures after she and her husband decided to move from a Greenwich Village townhouse to an apartment on the Upper East Side […] [Read More]

‘Signpost to Murder’: Joanne Woodward at low ebb

The new Warner Archive release “Signpost to Murder” takes us back to a tough period in Joanne Woodward’s movie career. The stage and TV actress had only made a couple of films when she won the Oscar for “The Three Faces of Eve” in 1957 at the age of 27. The award raised her industry […] [Read More]

‘Smash Cut’: New York in wonderful/terrible times

Nostalgia tends to take the rough edges off earlier eras, but New York City in the 1970s and 1980s is romanticized now — especially by the people who moved there later — for its turbulent atmosphere. The 1970s is seen as a time when aspiring artists could still afford to live in Manhattan — albeit […] [Read More]

‘San Andreas’: millions die, family saved

Probably meant to be taken as no more than another big dumb action movie, “San Andreas” got under my skin when I saw it over the weekend. Are we really meant to view the ending as a “happy” one because the character played by Dwayne Johnson gets back together with the wife (Carla Gugino) who […] [Read More]