Bob Mondello http://kcur.org en Alain Resnais, Director And Master Of Disorientation, Dies At 91 http://kcur.org/post/alain-resnais-director-and-master-disorientation-dies-91 Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>The French filmmaker who shook up European cinema and offered inspiration to directors as varied as Woody Allen and David Lynch died on Saturday. Alain Resnais caused a sensation with his films "Hiroshima Mon Amour" and "Last Year at Marienbad" in the 1950s and '60s. Critic Bob Mondello offers an appreciation.<p>BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: Memory, or rather how unreliable memory can be, fascinated Alain Resnais. Mon, 03 Mar 2014 21:07:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 52084 at http://kcur.org On Philip Seymour Hoffman, And His Many Appearances http://kcur.org/post/philip-seymour-hoffman-and-his-many-appearances <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzY2pWrXB_0</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ_4m2ocxhI</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRud1so-Z-M</p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 22:39:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 50725 at http://kcur.org On Philip Seymour Hoffman, And His Many Appearances A Century Ago Today, Chaplin Made His Film Debut — In A Dud http://kcur.org/post/century-ago-today-chaplin-made-his-film-debut-dud <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LoLw4TJKdU</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j2K3A1S5ak</p> Sun, 02 Feb 2014 22:18:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 50662 at http://kcur.org A Century Ago Today, Chaplin Made His Film Debut — In A Dud Peter O'Toole, Exuberant From 'Lawrence' To His Last Role http://kcur.org/post/peter-otoole-exuberant-lawrence-his-last-role Blond, blue-eyed and wearing blazing white robes in <em>Lawrence Of Arabia</em>, Peter O'Toole was handsome enough — many said beautiful enough — to carry off the scene in which director David Lean simultaneously made stars of both his title character and his leading man.<p>The scene: a wrecked train, blown up by Lawrence and surrounded by his Bedouin followers, one of whom has just smashed a news photographer's camera. O'Toole's Lawrence explains that the man thinks the camera will steal his soul. Mon, 16 Dec 2013 07:59:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 48392 at http://kcur.org Peter O'Toole, Exuberant From 'Lawrence' To His Last Role Chasing Money, And Meaning, In 'Nebraska' http://kcur.org/post/chasing-money-and-meaning-nebraska Woody Grant has white hair, a cranky disposition and a stubbornness that just won't quit. When we meet him, he's being stopped by a highway patrolman as he's walking down the shoulder of a Montana interstate. Wed, 13 Nov 2013 23:59:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 46804 at http://kcur.org Chasing Money, And Meaning, In 'Nebraska' Biography Of Director Bob Fosse Razzles, Dazzles And Delights http://kcur.org/post/biography-director-bob-fosse-razzles-dazzles-and-delights <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX-24Zm0bjk</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuTPupqrTDo</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX-24Zm0bjk</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF0I-9p_yDM</p> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 20:57:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 46489 at http://kcur.org Biography Of Director Bob Fosse Razzles, Dazzles And Delights This 'Time,' Supernatural Love Story Falls Flat http://kcur.org/post/time-supernatural-love-story-falls-flat There's a phrase in French — "<em>L'esprit de l'escalier</em>," meaning "staircase wit" — for that moment when you've lost an argument and are walking away, and <em>waaay</em> too late, think of the perfect comeback. If you could just rewind your life a few minutes, you'd win the argument.<p>That's pretty much the setup in the new British comedy <em>About Time</em>.<p>We meet shy, young Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) as he's making a total mess of an opportunity to kiss a girl on New Year's Eve. Sat, 02 Nov 2013 20:38:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 46226 at http://kcur.org This 'Time,' Supernatural Love Story Falls Flat For A Free Spirit, A Grim '12 Years' In Chains http://kcur.org/post/free-spirit-grim-12-years-chains Just a few years before the start of the Civil War, two anti-slavery books became best-sellers in the United States. Fri, 18 Oct 2013 16:40:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 45440 at http://kcur.org For A Free Spirit, A Grim '12 Years' In Chains Beat Manifesto: 'Kill Your Darlings,' Figuratively And ... http://kcur.org/post/beat-manifesto-kill-your-darlings-figuratively-and Hollywood's been trying to get a handle on the Beat Poets for years. Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac led wild — and influential — lives. But films about them, like <em>Naked Lunch</em> and <em>On the Road</em>, have never really clicked with audiences. Wed, 16 Oct 2013 22:36:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 45333 at http://kcur.org Beat Manifesto: 'Kill Your Darlings,' Figuratively And ... Bob Mondello Remembers Columbus Day 1963, And A Visit To Camelot http://kcur.org/post/bob-mondello-remembers-columbus-day-1963-and-visit-camelot Fifty years ago, President Kennedy hosted a Columbus Day ceremony in the Rose Garden, and I was there. Fourteen-year-old me, with my family. This was a fluke. The President had cracked a politically uncool Mafia joke a few days before. Mon, 14 Oct 2013 18:29:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 45191 at http://kcur.org Bob Mondello Remembers Columbus Day 1963, And A Visit To Camelot 90 Years Later, 'Safety' Still The Last Word With Harold Lloyd http://kcur.org/post/90-years-later-safety-still-last-word-harold-lloyd There may be no film image more iconic: Harold Lloyd, high above the street, dangling from the minute hand of a giant department-store clock.<p>The face of the clock swings down; the minute hand bends. Tue, 23 Jul 2013 22:16:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 40727 at http://kcur.org 90 Years Later, 'Safety' Still The Last Word With Harold Lloyd You'll Want To Hang Up On These 'Secret Conversations' http://kcur.org/post/youll-want-hang-these-secret-conversations A country girl from Grabtown, N.C., Ava Gardner arrived in Hollywood in 1941 knowing she couldn't act but, gorgeous as she was, she never had to let that slow her down. Her beauty — which reportedly intimidated Elizabeth Taylor — won her not just film roles and studio-paid acting lessons, but the attentions of all-American boy Mickey Rooney, whom she married and divorced before she turned 21. She had a similarly brief union with bandleader Artie Shaw — she called those two her "starter husbands" — before a tempestuous, headline-making marriage to Frank Sinatra. Sat, 20 Jul 2013 20:38:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 40568 at http://kcur.org You'll Want To Hang Up On These 'Secret Conversations' For Actress Ruby Keeler, Another Opening, Another Show http://kcur.org/post/actress-ruby-keeler-another-opening-another-show Ruby Keeler was an unknown actress when she starred in the 1933 production of Busby Berkeley's <em>42nd Street</em>.<p>But the movie was so popular she was able to land two more splashy musicals that same year — and seven more by the end of the decade. There was nothing extraordinary about her talents as a vocalist or as an actress, but audiences of the Depression era really bought into Keeler's "innocent" onstage persona. In fact, they craved it.<p>Her life story was also a source of optimism for many during bleak times. Wed, 17 Jul 2013 21:53:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 40387 at http://kcur.org For Actress Ruby Keeler, Another Opening, Another Show In Argentina, Coca-Cola Tests Market For 'Green' Coke http://kcur.org/post/argentina-coca-cola-tests-market-green-coke <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZaMOt8gQl4</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o-z6JLugWE</p> Mon, 15 Jul 2013 21:21:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 40246 at http://kcur.org In Argentina, Coca-Cola Tests Market For 'Green' Coke A Kindergarten, A Story And A Life In Shambles http://kcur.org/post/kindergarten-story-and-life-shambles Lukas works in a Danish kindergarten, and it's clear he's in the right place: When the kids look at him, they see a great big toy.<p>That's especially true for 5-year-old Klara, the lonely daughter of Lukas' best friend, Theo. Klara's folks fight a lot, and her teenage brother is too busy looking at dirty pictures with his buddies to pay her much attention.<p>Lukas, though, treats her kindly, and she's developed a little crush. She spends an afternoon making him a paper heart with glitter. Sat, 13 Jul 2013 19:12:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 40140 at http://kcur.org A Kindergarten, A Story And A Life In Shambles Bullock And McCarthy, Packing 'Heat' (And Laughs) In Boston http://kcur.org/post/bullock-and-mccarthy-packing-heat-and-laughs-boston Summer movies, as <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2013/06/14/191568762/at-the-movies-the-women-are-gone">you may have noticed</a>, are overwhelmingly male-dominated. Fri, 28 Jun 2013 18:54:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 39308 at http://kcur.org Bullock And McCarthy, Packing 'Heat' (And Laughs) In Boston When 'G' Movies Are For Kids, Do Kids Avoid 'G' Movies? http://kcur.org/post/when-g-movies-are-kids-do-kids-avoid-g-movies If you're a parent with small children, summer is traditionally a time when there's lots for them to see at the multiplex. That's not <em>un</em>true this summer. But if you're specifically looking for a film with a G rating, you may just be out of luck.<p>Two years ago, out of the more than 600 films submitted to the Motion Picture Association of America, 16 got rated G — the most in a decade. Last year, even if you counted re-releases, only 10 films got rated G. And this year, of the 250 films that have opened so far, not a single one has been rated G. Not one. Thu, 06 Jun 2013 20:08:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 38063 at http://kcur.org When 'G' Movies Are For Kids, Do Kids Avoid 'G' Movies? More Time Together, Though 'Midnight' Looms http://kcur.org/post/more-time-together-though-midnight-looms Celine and Jesse are sporting a few physical wrinkles — and working through some unsettling relational ones — in <em>Before Midnight, </em>but that just makes this third installment of their once-dewy romance gratifyingly dissonant.<p>It's been 18 years since they talked through the night that first time, Julie Delpy's Celine enchanting and occasionally prickly, Ethan Hawke's Jesse determined to charm; their chatter then, as now, scripted but loose enough to feel improvised as captured in long, long takes by Richard Linklater's cameras.<p>Take a peek back at 1995's <em>Before Sunrise,</em> and Fri, 24 May 2013 20:49:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 37355 at http://kcur.org More Time Together, Though 'Midnight' Looms New 'Trek' Goes 'Into Darkness,' But Not Much Deeper http://kcur.org/post/new-trek-goes-darkness-not-much-deeper The opening sequence of J.J. Abram's new entry in the <em>Star Trek</em> universe has all the ingredients of the classic franchise.<p>There's Kirk and his crew bellowing on the bridge, everyone worrying about the prime directive and our favorite Vulcan trapped in a volcano.<p>OK, I'm in. I may not be a fanboy anymore, but I sure was in my youth, and having these guys in their youths again is just as cool at the outset as it was last time.<p>Chris Pine's baby-Shatner is spitting his lines while Zachary Quinto channels his inner Nimoy. Sat, 18 May 2013 22:14:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 37002 at http://kcur.org New 'Trek' Goes 'Into Darkness,' But Not Much Deeper Polley's 'Stories': A Family Saga Strikingly Spun http://kcur.org/post/polleys-stories-family-saga-strikingly-spun Sarah Polley grew up the fifth of five children in a Canadian theatrical family. Her father, Michael, is a transplanted British actor; her mother, Diane, was an actress and casting director. No wonder Sarah feels her family's narrative has the stuff of drama.<p>"I'm interested in the way we tell stories about our lives," she says in the film, "about the fact that the truth about the past is often ephemeral and difficult to pin down."<p>Prophetic words, those.<p>But let's start from the film's beginning. Fri, 10 May 2013 20:47:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 36546 at http://kcur.org Polley's 'Stories': A Family Saga Strikingly Spun In 'Iron Man 3,' A Metalhead Gets The Blues http://kcur.org/post/iron-man-3-metalhead-gets-blues Y'know, I think this bummed-out superhero thing is catching. Depressed Bat-guy, brooding Spider-dude, even the Man of Steel seems existentially troubled in previews of his most recent incarnation.<p>And smart-alecky Iron Man? He'd appeared inoculated by Tony Stark's reflexive snark from succumbing to a similar ailment — but even he's having anxiety attacks these days. Thu, 02 May 2013 21:09:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 36108 at http://kcur.org In 'Iron Man 3,' A Metalhead Gets The Blues Digging Into Ricky Jay's 'Deceptive' Card Tricks http://kcur.org/post/digging-ricky-jays-deceptive-card-tricks When people talk about movie magic, they rarely mean card tricks. Wed, 17 Apr 2013 19:26:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 35258 at http://kcur.org Digging Into Ricky Jay's 'Deceptive' Card Tricks On The Big Screen, The Tax Guy Can Be Your Buddy http://kcur.org/post/big-screen-tax-guy-can-be-your-buddy It's fair to say that the bakery employees who hooted and jeered "tax <em>maaaaaan</em>" when mild-mannered auditor Will Ferrell showed up in <em>Stranger than Fiction</em> were no fans of the Internal Revenue Service. In that, they're like a lot of us, no?<p>So it's intriguing that Hollywood generally treats tax inspectors as nice guys. On the big screen, it's typically their IRS bosses who are the bad ones.<p>"High bracket, low bracket — if Uncle doesn't get his cut we nail your hide to the barnyard door," snarls Tony Randall's boss in the 1959 comedy <em>The Mating Game</em>. Mon, 15 Apr 2013 20:24:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 35137 at http://kcur.org On The Big Screen, The Tax Guy Can Be Your Buddy A Film So Sumptuous, 'Renoir' Himself Might Have Helped Out http://kcur.org/post/film-so-sumptuous-renoir-himself-might-have-helped-out The year is 1915. A beautiful young woman bicycling through sun-dappled woods passes under an effigy of a German soldier and seems entirely unfazed. World War I is raging elsewhere in Europe, but here on the French Riviera life is serene.<p>The cyclist, Andree, is on her way to pose for an elderly Impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet), whom she somewhat startles by claiming to be an artist herself.<p>"An artist," wonders the great man.<p>"Actress, dancer, singer," she says, smiling, as he chuckles. Fri, 29 Mar 2013 21:22:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 34312 at http://kcur.org A Film So Sumptuous, 'Renoir' Himself Might Have Helped Out Hollywood's History Of Putting Gay Rights On Trial http://kcur.org/post/hollywoods-history-putting-gay-rights-trial With the Supreme Court hearing arguments this week on same-sex marriage, I'd like to point out a parallel evolution in what I see as a Hollywood mini-genre: films in which gay characters are either taken to court or seek redress in court for issues involving their sexuality.<p>Arguably the most famous question ever asked in a courtroom about a line of poetry — "What is the love that dare not speak its name?" — was originally put to playwright Oscar Wilde in 1894 by a British prosecutor. Wed, 27 Mar 2013 21:55:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 34190 at http://kcur.org Fairy Tales For Grown-Ups? More Are On The Way http://kcur.org/post/fairy-tales-grown-ups-more-are-way Adaptations of fairy tales are everywhere you look. The TV show <em>Once Upon a Time </em>and the police procedural <em>Grimm </em>are in their second seasons. Hansel and his sister Gretel are at the cineplex hunting witches with machine guns. Jack, of beanstalk fame, starts slaying giants today. And those aren't the only bedtime stories that have been redesigned to keep 20-somethings up at night.<p>Two years ago, the big-fanged critter threatening Amanda Seyfried's Red, in the <em>Red Riding Hood</em> re-conceived by <em>Twilight</em> director Catherine Hardwicke, was a werewolf. Fri, 01 Mar 2013 20:32:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 32817 at http://kcur.org Fairy Tales For Grown-Ups? More Are On The Way Despite Dark Themes, A Big Oscar Bounce http://kcur.org/post/despite-dark-themes-big-oscar-bounce How much is a best-picture Oscar worth? Not the statuette — winners are required to sell that back to the Academy for a buck if they want to get rid of it. No, what's the Oscar worth at the box office?<p>It's tricky to estimate, obviously, what with some pictures already on DVD when the contenders are nominated, and others just starting their theatrical runs. Still, this is a year where nominations appear to have made a difference, with a surprising number of popular nominees. Fri, 22 Feb 2013 17:54:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 32416 at http://kcur.org Despite Dark Themes, A Big Oscar Bounce Home Video Review: 'Buster Keaton: The Ultimate Collection' http://kcur.org/post/home-video-review-buster-keaton-ultimate-collection <em>Time now for a home-viewing recommendation from NPR movie critic Bob Mondello. A quiet recommendation — because Bob is touting the </em>Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection<em>, a 14-disc set of classic silent comedies.</em><p>Silent film had three great clowns. Thu, 24 Jan 2013 22:44:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 30905 at http://kcur.org Home Video Review: 'Buster Keaton: The Ultimate Collection' Home Video Review: 'Slings And Arrows' http://kcur.org/post/home-video-review-slings-and-arrows <em>Time now for a home-viewing recommendation from movie critic Bob Mondello. He recently caught an online episode of the Shakespeare-centric comedy</em> Slings and Arrows<em> and says it reminded him how much he liked the whole series.</em><p>Even though he's a major character, Oliver, a flamboyant director at the fictional New Burbage Theater Festival (modeled on Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Fest) gets killed by a truck in the first episode of the first season of <em>Slings and Arrows</em>. A truck labeled "Canada's Best Hams," no less — appropriate for a guy who deals with actors. Tue, 15 Jan 2013 20:03:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 30450 at http://kcur.org Home Video Review: 'Slings And Arrows' Bob Mondello's Best Movies Of 2012 http://kcur.org/post/bob-mondellos-best-movies-2012 A lot of movie box-office records fell in 2012. The comic-book blockbuster <em>The Avengers</em> had the biggest opening weekend in Hollywood history. <em>Skyfall</em> will be the first James Bond film to top $1 billion worldwide. And the box-office year as a whole is easily the movie industry's biggest ever. But what about quality? Mon, 31 Dec 2012 21:12:00 +0000 Bob Mondello 29761 at http://kcur.org Bob Mondello's Best Movies Of 2012