The director Andre Gregory is turning 79 next month and still at work. Two plays will appear later this year; Jonathan Demme’s film of Gregory’s production of Ibsen’s The Master Builder is in the offing. Gregory is the subject of a new film, Before and After Dinner. The director of this documentary, Cindy Kleine, was granted what feels like unfettered access to the subject, who, in addition to being a fellow director, is also her husband. We spoke with her by phone the day after the film opened in New York.
"I didn’t want to make some kind of traditional biopic or television-style documentary about a great artist," Kleine [...]
Let’s start with my bias: I write comic book scripts for a living. As a kid, reading Batman for the first time, I was immediately drawn to the idea of a man dressing up as a Bat to prey on the superstitions of the wrong guy on the street. As bad as the bad guy got, Batman was worse. Like a living shadow, he scared his victims—and maybe me, too, a little bit.
It seemed a natural for the camera to try to bring him to the screen. And like a Frankenstein in tights, Batman was zapped to life in various states. First Adam West, with a game-show-host voice, fighting [...]
How many movies passed the Bechdel Test this year so far? Yes, sure, it's a black/white, pass/fail set of criteria, which means that plenty of unconcerned products pass. So this year: From Prada to Nada and Bridesmaids both pass, which… might be sort of besides the point, or might be a related but more capitalist point? Jane Eyre squeaks under the wire. Briefly, Red Riding Hood too, which, uh. On a technicality, Paul. And Sucker Punch—though it's also castigated as the most misogynist film in ages. Also The Last Lions, I think, if you count lady lions talking to other lady lions, I think, but maybe they are [...]
Natasha Vargas-Cooper: We need to talk about Harry Potter.
Dan Kois: EXPECTO CHATONUM!
Natasha: Clearly, we as Americans agree that HP7 is a FINE FILM. But as wizard nerds, like as a lady who, um, would really like to have been cast as Tonks, I have to say I was a little bummed out.
Dan: Pull out your shimmering strands of memory, drop them into your Pensieve, and explain to me why.
Natasha: Firstly, THE DARK LORD DOES NOT SIT AT A CONFERENCE TABLE!
Dan: Right, so this scene in the book is nothing but the purest malarkey.