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 [...]

Worst of 2013: What did literature ever do to deserve movies like ‘Austenland’ and ‘Salinger’?

A super-size version of Salinger plays on PBS next week, but spare yourself: Both Austenland and Salinger are so awful that they suggest American filmmakers are ill-suited to making movies about literary culture. Read more [...]

This weekend, L.A.’s ‘German Currents’ film festival will measure the world

This weekend at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, two of my favorite things: the best new German movies... plus receptions with beer in the Egyptian's courtyard. Read more [...]

SEEFest: Another Europe comes to L.A. screens this weekend

Today through Monday: The annual South East European Film Festival features movies from a corner of Europe not often seen on our screens. Don't pass up this opportunity to expand your cinematic horizons — the only downside to the SEEFest is that there are too many promising movies to catch on one long weekend. Read more [...]

‘Sound City’: Dave Grohl, “rhymes with rock n’ roll” *

Even if you’ve never heard of the L.A. recording studio Sound City, you’ve definitely heard it, in a sense, given how many famous albums were recorded there. Dave Grohl's documentary Sound City is a candid and funny recap of 40 years of L.A. music history — and also an elegy for analog culture. Read more [...]