This week, we start in front of the television: According to an accompanying 20-page English-language booklet, by the start of 1870, Paris had 3,656 “kept” women, with 1,066 of them situated in registered “houses.”
“Strange Fruit” is a needling song. It’s a voluptuous sounding tune that throws the lyrics -- a stark depiction of the lynching of two young black men -- into sharp and uncomfortable relief. Billie Holiday made the song popular, when she began singing it to close each of her shows at Cafe Society in 1939. Cafe Society was New York’s first integrated nightclub. Owner Barney Josephson set a few rules about the song: Holiday would end each show with the number. The waitstaff would halt service just before she sang, the lights would go off, and Holiday would narrate the scene — the broken bodies of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, hanged from a tree above a mob of panicked and angry white people in Marion, Indiana, in 1930 — in a tight spotlight.
Spare Parts is a pleasant enough run-of-the-mill outsiders-beat-the-odds dramedy in the Race the Sun mold. It’s about undocumented high school kids who enter a big robot-building competition, and make a splash in that state most hostile to illegal immigration — Arizona. So it’s a little more concerned with making a statement than with covering new ground in an original and entertaining way.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association voted the backstage drama Birdman as the best film of 2014, according to the results of its 21st annual critics’ poll released today.
NEW YORK — The Interview was put back into theaters Tuesday when Sony Pictures Entertainment announced a limited Christmas Day theatrical release for the comedy that provoked an international incident with North Korea and outrage over its canceled release.
Foxcatcheris hard to embrace. The new film from director Bennett Miller lacks any humor, and it never falsely strains to engage viewers. Few of its characters are even remotely likable. But it’s impossible not to be swept up in its narrative, right up until its slowly building, explosive finale.
The characters of the modern workplace comedy, like the rest of us, don’t know how to make a living anymore. Having haplessly tried to murder their bosses in the first Horrible Bosses, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis return in Horrible Bosses 2 as hopeful inventors. “Let’s bet on ourselves,” they tell each other, making a clearly questionable wager. They go into business with a bath product dubbed “Shower Buddy,” and with their abysmal guest spot on a morning show promoting it, it’s clear they may have backed the wrong horse.
An Oklahoma couple grapples with the suicide of their openly gay son in Broken Heart Land. The University of North Texas Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Studies Program will screen the 2014 documentary at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Room 184 in UNT’s Radio, TV, Film and Performing Arts Building, at 1155 Union Circle.
The most frightening thing about Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler — even more than those sallow, sunken cheeks, those googly eyes, and that unkempt hair tied into a greasy bun — is his smile. They invented the word “creepy” for that smile, a goofy, confident grin that reaches its full breadth just when you’re starting to realize how deranged this guy really is.