The mean girls of Rome: ‘Caterina in the Big City’

Fans of The Great Beauty, this year's winner for Best Foreign-Language Film, should seek out this little-known comic gem from 2003. Like Paolo Sorrentino's Oscar winner, it's a witty portrait of modern-day Italy — seen here through the eyes of an eighth-grade girl. Read more [...]

‘Soccer Still Rules!’ Get ready for the World Cup with movies at the L.A. Goethe-Institut

Before all eyes turn to Brazil on June 12th, the L.A. Goethe-Institut is running 'Soccer Still Rules!', a series of German films that come at the phenomenon of soccer — ouch, I mean Fussball — from an impressive number of angles, in documentaries and broad comedies alike. Read more [...]

In 1980, William Friedkin and Al Pacino went ‘Cruising’ for a critical bruising

James Franco and Travis Mathews' Interior. Leather Bar. is inspired by the movie-biz legend that director William Friedkin had to cut 40 minutes from his 1980 film Cruising to avoid the studio taboo of an X rating. Some readers might ask, what was Cruising? The backstory of this dour psychological thriller is more interesting than the movie itself. Read more [...]

Today is Record Store Day: On Lenny Kaye, Patti Smith, and vinyl discoveries

My recent chance discovery of a classic Patti Smith 45 at an indie record store in Silver Lake epitomized everything I love about vinyl records. Today is Record Store Day — time to make some great discoveries of your own. Read more [...]

In honor of Record Store Day: ‘I Need That Record!’, a documentary for and about vinyl lovers

A skeptic might watch the opening minutes of I Need That Record! and recoil at the parade of middle-aged cranks, grumbling about how things used to be so much better. But the interviewees in this documentary mostly prove eloquent and clear-eyed about why indie record stores became an endangered species — and just what the culture at large is at risk of losing if the indie stores disappear completely. Read more [...]