overhead view of destroyed city

Jackie Chan is producing a movie in Syria. Some Syrians are outraged.

Conflict & Justice

Jackie Chan, known for his action movies, martial arts and acrobatic fighting style, is producing a new film called “Home Operation.” This one though, is not set in Tokyo or LA, but in the leveled and destroyed town of Al-Hajar al-Aswad on the outskirts of Damascus, Syria. The news has outraged some Syrians who say their destroyed homes are not props for foreign film productions.

Ethan Hawke directing

Ethan Hawke, the middle years

John Waters in 2014.

John Waters: The king of filth

Fans pose with "Fifty Shades of Grey" paraphernalia at the film's UK premiere in London in 2015.

Blushing fifty shades of red

Pundit Parody

Arts, Culture & Media

Political Thriller

Arts, Culture & Media

There’s a conspiracy at the heart of every political thriller — from Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar to John Le Carre. In the mid-1970s, the best filmmakers in America put the turmoil of the times into dark, paranoid movies about forces beyond our control. Derek John spoke with Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman about the golden […]

Liev Schreiber

Arts, Culture & Media

For years he’s been cast as the inscrutable intellectual in thinky films like “The Daytrippers” and “The Manchurian Candidate.” But in “Defiance,” Liev Schreiber fires his first machine gun. “Defiance” tells the true story of three Jewish brothers who flee the Nazis to hide out in the Polish forest. Hundreds follow to form a secret […]

Kurt on the Red Carpet

Arts, Culture & Media

Attending the Oscar ceremony last night, I realized why the pre-show red-carpet rigmarole has become more and more a focus of the television coverage over the last decade or so: that’s the juiciest part of the quasi-official event, a reality-show The Day of the Locust without the apocalyptic ending. First there’s the arrival by car […]

The World

Gael Goes Norteño

Arts, Culture & Media

Back in 2006, Ideclared my lovefor Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal on our radio show. He was just starring in his first English role, and I was afraid he would be catapulted from indie brilliance into mainstream cheesiness, much in the way of Antonio Banderas. I’m thrilled that three years later, Bernal is still starring […]

The World

The Tablecloth Trick

Arts, Culture & Media

Like most people, I wanted to be a magician when I grew up. I recently attended a screening of the 2007 Swedish filmYou, The Living (Du levande)by director Roy Andersson, a funny/sad movie made up of 50 vignettes that portray everyday life as absurd, petty, and hilarious. In the following scene, a man tries to […]