Neither a chain of spice stores nor a Food Network program, The Seasoning House is a bleak-as-nuclear-winter thriller set during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s. A deaf girl named Angel (Brit teen Rosie Day) is taken from her home by soldiers who shoot her mother dead.
Paul Schrader’s The Canyons opens and closes with a montage of abandoned movie theaters. For this film in particular, that choice strikes one as symbolic in several ways: not only as a comment on the state of the industry, but on the state of The Canyons itself. You’re unlikely to find many 2013 films this empty.
What's a director of classic musicals doing in science fiction? Making Saturn 3, one of the worst of the genre Hollywood made in the immediate post-Star Wars / Alien era. Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain) takes to it about as well as you'd expect; he's in over his head.
Military marksman Col. Jim McQuade (Gregory Hines, Running Scared) is called into top-secret duty to neutralize a surveillance robot gone haywire in San Francisco. It won't be easy, because for one thing, the android is undetectable from a human. For another, it has a built-in nuclear bomb that will detonate upon imminent threat.
I plead guilty: My friends and I have goofed around with a camcorder before and made stupid movies, but we were smart enough to know that no one outside ourselves would think they were funny. If only the makers of Caesar and Otto's Deadly Xmas realized the same.
William Colby was the consummate CIA agent: stoic, steadfast and
secretive. He rose through the ranks, from clandestine missions in the
Office of Strategic Services during World War II to CIA director in the
It’s a life explored, as much as one can explore a life mired in obfuscation, by Colby’s son, Carl Colby, in “The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby.” The documentary screens Thursday night at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Despite the familial connection between documentarian and subject matter, filmmaker Carl Colby takes a somewhat standard documentary approach profiling his father, who died in a 1996 boating accident. The movie employs archival footage and photos, interspersed with interviews ranging from Colby’s former colleagues, such as James Schlesinger and Brent Scowcroft, to heavyweight journalists Seymour Hersh and Bob Woodward.
interesting are Carl Colby’s comments, which he delivers in an informal
voiceover as if narrating a slideshow of home movies — except that
these home movies document an intelligence officer who was at the heart
of Cold War intrigue. “My father, he did a lot of things, but he was
always very good at making war,” Carl Colby states early on.
elder Colby was a born soldier. With the CIA from its very beginning,
William Colby used the cover of foreign diplomat for covert assignments
that sent him and his young family hopping across the globe. Following
WWII, Colby was stationed in Italy to keep watch on that country’s
increasingly popular Communist Party.
1959, Colby moved to South Vietnam to help the government of Ngo Dinh
Diem against communist insurgents backed by North Vietnam. The
tight-lipped American developed a close friendship with Diem’s brother,
Ngo Dinh Nhu. Colby was consequently devastated when the brothers were
murdered in a 1963 coup. Colby remained ensconced in the Vietnam
conflict, eventually coordinating the controversial counterinsurgency
strategy, Phoenix Program.
Americans came to know Colby in the mid-1970s. Then director of the
agency for which he had devoted most of his life, he testified before
Congressional hearings that cast an harsh spotlight on the CIA’s shadowy
web of secret prisons and political assassination.
a documentarian, Carl Colby has the benefit of an absorbing subject at
the center of a tumultuous time in modern U.S. history. As a
storyteller, however, his skills are uneven. The film’s section on
Vietnam veers into a laundry list of U.S. miscalculations during the
war, much of which has been well-covered elsewhere.
problematic, the filmmaker gets fuzzy on a few pivotal life events —
particularly the death of William Colby’s daughter — that the work
contends are essential to understanding its central subject.
Man Nobody Knew” ultimately doesn’t really crack the enigma of William
Colby, whose emotional aloofness left few clues for his son/profiler.
Still, the documentary is an often-fascinating window on the world of a
real-life secret agent man.