To offer an idea of what sort of movies you can find here in New York, I pay tribute to my favorite nonprofit theater, Film Forum. Located in Greenwich Village, this theater offers new independent works, fictional and nonfictional, and revival screenings of beloved and forgotten classics. Here are three examples from their recent schedule:

My Dog Tulip

My Dog Tulip is one of the strongest examples in recent years of an adult animated film. The movie is a dramatization of J.R. Ackerley's memoir about his relationship with his German shepherd. Ackerley's recollections (adapted by director Paul Fierlinger and exquisitely voiced by Christopher Plummer) are more earthy and mature than the cute kid-friendly stories one often finds in dog movies. Despite remarking on matters like Tulip's bowel movements and Ackerley's attempts to find her a mate, these comical moments are not too crude. In fact, many of them are funny to anyone who has owned a troublemaking pet. For the more philosophical film viewer, the screenplay also features plenty of wit and wisdom as Ackerley contemplates the fulfillment Tulip gives him that humans have not. My Dog Tulip is alternately thoughtful and humorous, possessing a more adult sensibility than is usually found in American animation.


My first big assignment for the Fordham Observer this semester is to cover the New York Film Festival. I think it is with this task that I may get my most substantial learning experience since I decided to become a critic. I have already met a couple of writers who have given me valuable advice that I know will aid me in the future. If nothing else, at least I'm finally seeing and reviewing movies for free!

I could not attend nearly all the press screenings because of my school schedule, but here are the ones I did see in order of public exhibition date. This slate will be updated as I see more movies. Trailers and clips are provided for the movies that have them available.

The Social Network (PG-13)

Anytime a new technology is invented or an old one is reformed, there is bound to be somebody who asks if the change is necessary. I expect many will ask that question when they leave The Social Network, David Fincher's terrific dramatization of the creation of Facebook. They won’t be pondering so much about their relationship with the website as they will about the impact it has on the characters. As written by Aaron Sorkin and played by a remarkable ensemble of rising stars, the young entrepreneurs are personable figures whose lives are damaged by their unpredictably successful product.

An Apology and A Preview

To whatever number of readers I have acquired so far, I apologize for not posting anything for the last month. I have been settling back into my school life here at Fordham. Now that I have begun classes and reestablished my post at the Fordham Observer, I am going to wade back into my reviewing routine. I may not always get to post something every week due to school work, but I will continue looking for writing subjects.

In actuality, that school work may appear on this blog or influence my writing subjects. My next two major classes, American Film Comedy and Movies and the American Experience, will educate me about the patterns of filmmaking and the sociological causes and effects of cinema. Numerous films will illustrate the professors' topics, and a bountiful percentage of those movies are ones I have not seen or heard of. Since the classes began, I have seen silent classics from Chaplin and Keaton (Modern Times and Steamboat Bill, Jr.), Orson Welles's compromised classic The Magnificent Ambersons, and the lovely Depression-era drama Make Way for Tomorrow. I eagerly await the rest of the semester to see what other treasures I will examine.

I will also see new and old movies in my leisure. My school is next door to Lincoln Center (with a resident film society), and I have a low-level membership to the independent theater Film Forum. Both of these venues house limited release films as well as new prints of restored classics. Hopefully, I can catch up on perennials I have not seen yet and develop a view on international films. It may not be feasible every week due to monetary cost and homework time, but I will use what time I can spare to furthering my film education outside the classroom.

As far as specifics go, expect themed reviews of old movies. I plan to watch Psycho and/or The Exorcist when Halloween approaches, and I may take in some holiday movies throughout December. I'll review Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast when the Disney version arrives on Blu-ray, I may review Tron in preparation for Tron: Legacy, and I hope to write an essay on Fantasia to celebrate the movie's anniversary and Blu-ray release. I plan to review big-name releases (Harry Potter and Tangled are locks), and I'll try to review Oscar contenders as the buzz builds.

Lastly, don't by shy if anyone has a request. I will definitely consider it and see if I can fit it into my schedule.