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Stories by Scott Marks

Helena Bonham Carter on being young, prodigious, and T.S. Spivet

We caught up with “corset queen” Helena Bonham Carter in London via phone while she was out promoting The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, currently playing at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15. Known for such period ...

What Evel lurks...

In the span of seven years, daredevil stunt cyclist Evel Knievel — the subject of the History Channel doc Being Evel, opening Friday at the Digital Gym — became one of the most recognizable figures, ...

The Gift keeps on giving

No need to ask the delivery man from whence the square turquoise package hailed. The wrapping paper was identical to that of a similar-sized box of goodies found resting on every reclining seat at the ...

Joel Edgerton talks about The Gift

The best thing about this movie-lover’s job is one morning I’m in a theatre watching a picture, the next I’m speaking with its director and star. In this case, Joel Edgerton. The Gift, opening wide ...

Kensington Video prepares to enter the digital age

Keeping up with the Hanfords

The sign on the front window now reads, “Kensington Video and Vidajuice Smoothie Bar,” as our town’s august video store inches one step closer to its projected October 1 grand reopening. If things go as ...

The Look of Silence makes it personal

The past isn’t

There’s a quote from Jean­-Luc Godard — the source of which has escaped me — in which the greatest living filmmaker suggests that the future of well-­balanced cinema is subject to a need for documentary ...

Full disclosure

Brace yourself for a gratuitous personal plug. With all due respect to my esteemed colleague, Jeff Smith, I thought my “review” of Kiss Me, Kate would mark a first and last move away from cinema. ...

Battle of the bulges

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but does the same hold true for movies and their posters? One look at the accompanying image gives pause for reflection (and gales of unexpected chuckles). Was ...

Take a ride on the Reading hard hat tour

The newly affixed Angelika Film Center sign is visible from the 15. It’s the tour guides who are nowhere in sight. A padlock and cyclone fence bar an entryway sealed tighter than Xanadu during Charlie ...

David Thorpe finds his voice with Do I Sound Gay?

Title tells all in David Thorpe’s highly personal and frequently hilarious digital confessional, Do I Sound Gay?, opening July 24 at Landmark’s Ken Cinema. To flame-down one’s voice or proudly reclaim the sibilant “s”? — ...

Kiss Me, Kates

Screen and stage

The Con is on, the one week of the summer where Hollywood backs away from a major release to play wet nurse to a bunch of duded-up fanboys in celebration of everything that’s wrong with ...

Yellow bricks and rain-slicked asphalt

Tired of fireworks and the ever-looming promise of spending a lifetime using three fingers to order five beers they bring? Do you moan at the thought of having your Doodle yanked by another look at ...

Jason Schwartzman uncut

We caught up with Jason Schwartzman en route to a doctor’s visit. Our talk was frequently (and amusingly) interrupted by a confused driver unable to locate the office. Here’s our conversation, minus the directions. Jason ...

David Gordon Green on the greening of Manglehorn

Bonus: see the short that inspired the feature

By the time I’m fortunate enough to get a shot at interviewing a director whose work I admire, their finest output is generally two, three, sometimes eight films behind them. It’s unheard of for me ...

Reel Kids series offers big-screen fun at rock-bottom prices

There’s a good chance your children have never left the house to visit the Emerald City

Looking for a low cost way to engage the kids and beat the summer heat? Reading Cinema’s Reel Kids Summer Movie Festival may be the ticket. Starting June 17 and continuing for nine weeks, Reading’s ...

Kensington Video will reopen in September

You can’t keep a good Winnie down. “Mom was bored to death,” laughs Guy Hanford, soon-to-be sole owner and operator of Kensington Video. “Retirement didn’t meet well with her.” That’s just one of the reasons ...

My LaserDisc collection numbered exactly one

Thinking back on visiting Burbank over the 2000 Thanksgiving break, a time when no trek up the 5 would be complete without a holiday visit to Dave’s Video, the Laser Place in Studio City. Oddly ...

Selma + gospel at the Central Library

It’s being heralded as the biggest movie event the San Diego Public Library has put together since moving to its expanded 350-seat digs at 330 Park Boulevard. Ralph DeLauro has for years been heading up ...

Misunderstood pup

Humanity's best friend

How much is that doggie, Belle and Sébastien, at the Digital Gym? Once upon a time, way back in 1943, in a small village located just the other side of the Swiss Alps, there lived ...

Dig a hole: Landmark La Jolla Village

Another temple of cinema bites the dust. It’s with a great deal of both frustration and consternation that I bring news of the pending demolition of the Landmark La Jolla Village to make way for ...

Fault-filled cinema

Through no fault of our own, San Andreas wasn’t screened in time to make the Reader's print edition. For those eager to rumble, why not seek out two of Hollywood’s most popular disaster flicks (and ...

Ride wild surf movies at San Diego Surf Film Fest 4

It appears as if the San Diego Surf Film Festival has hit a happy reef. The annual event has become so popular that, after three years of calling Bird’s Surf Shed their home base, SDFF ...

Angelik changes coming to Carmel Mountain

Your humble critic made the move to Escondido in February. I was just getting accustomed to calling Reading Cinema’s Carmel Mountain my new base of operation, when last week’s check for showtimes (I needed a ...

Gangsterland

Interview with Black Souls director Francesco Munzi

Last March — and with one foot out the door to catch a screening of The Gunman — a call comes in from Reading Cinema’s Jo Brantferger. They’re opening something in two months called Black ...

Jazz speak with Miles Away star and co-writer Sid Burston

The request to review the Saturday premiere of Miles Away didn’t arrive until late Thursday afternoon. I’m never one to scramble, but there was something about the tone of the email and subsequent voicemail that ...

Double-features from hell!

WARNING! The double-features you are about to see are real! No titles were Photoshopped during the making of this post! It began as a hunt to find proof of what has to be the craziest ...

Meet the men (and woman) from Man from Reno

Boyle, hard-boiled

With a title like Man from Reno, one would half expect it to end on a dissolve of Glenn Ford riding off into a Columbia Pictures sunset. Instead, we get a departure in form from ...

Scott Marks hears a Hu at Pac-Arts 5th Annual Spring Showcase

The email from Pac-Arts Program director, Brian Hu, began, “You want Tsui Hark? You got Tsui Hark!” For years, I’ve been badgering the poor guy to bring Hark in as a special guest at the ...

Easter at the movies: a time for reflection

Mitchum, Dean & Jerry, Cantinflas, Liz Taylor, Kung Fu Easter, and more!

Easter is not a holiday readily associated with high-volume moviegoing, but you wouldn't know it by these clippings featuring stars and cinema chains keen on having patrons making a pit stop at their local odeons ...

Ten songs that make you want to fall in love with (at?) the movies

1) “Saturday Night at the Movies” by the Drifters The Drifters was formed in 1953 and in the 62 ensuing years, the band played on in spite of the multitudinous changes in personnel. R&B singer ...

Movie theater popcorn in your home!

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” barked Larry in an accusatory tone second to none. With a dirty Farberware pot in one hand, a soapy sponge in the other, and a sink before ...

Kensington Video goes on record

There wasn’t an empty seat in the house of worship as friends, well-wishers, and members of the family packed the Kensington Community Church to pay affectionate tribute to Kensington Video proprietors excelsior: Winnie, Rich, and ...

Unsung pros

Interview with The Wrecking Crew director Denny Tedesco

From Sinatra (Frank and Nancy) to Seville (David and his Chipmunks), the artists included in The Wrecking Crew backed them all. We close on a disclaimer that jokingly reads, “No musicians were harmed during the ...

Hello, Deli Man!

There’s no messin’ with this documentary history of the delicatessen.

“Corned beef is responsible for killing more of my people than Hitler.” — Jerry Lewis A fragrant bouquet of savory sliced beef and smoked fish mixes with chopped organ meat smothered in onions and rendered ...

Sí, more movies

What to see at the 22nd San Diego Latino Film Festival

“The goal of this year’s festival?” said the San Diego Latino Film Festival’s proud papa Ethan van Thillo, echoing my question. “To get people to see more movies!” Now who can argue with that? Something ...

Marlon Brando and other assorted "pigs"

"When I ask for pig, I want pig. Now, you get me pig."

A call went out to my loyal legion of Facebook compatriots asking that they overindulge this swine by oinking forth a few bacon bits of wisdom for my latest endeavor in unappeasable behavior, a video ...

Kensington Video not closed yet!

Warden Winnie grants one-week reprieve.

It looked more like a Westfield Mall at Christmas. Saturday was supposed to ring down the curtain on Kensington Video, but with lines stretching out both front and back doors, Warden Winnie decided to grant ...

You’re invited to a farewell party for Kensington Video on March 19

I guess the Hanfords weren’t kidding. All of our combined prayers to the gods of pressed polycarbonate plastic went unanswered. As first reported in these pages, Kensington Video — the best damn DVD store in ...

Why Do You Have Black Dolls? at the Martin Luther King Center February 26

Join me at the Martin Luther King Center on the campus of Bayview Baptist Church Thursday, February 26, at 6 pm when I’ll be hosting a screening of the award-winning documentary Why Do You Have ...

Oscar recap

And the loser is...Boyhood, the odds on favorite to waltz off with the Best Picture and Best Director statues at Sunday night’s Oscar giveaway. Patricia Arquette, clearly cashing in on an endorsement deal with Supercuts, ...

Oscars 2015: Who’s gonna win?

Losing the ability to live-blog his angst during last year’s Academy Awards ceremony made it hell on this reporter. Forced to sit and watch the damn thing in real time — the horror. Matthew Lickona ...

Maids of the rich and famous cast Oscar ballots?

Critic claims domestics watch Academy screeners “and deliver their opinions.”

“Hazel,” barked Mr. B. “Drop Harold off at school, meddle in the affairs of this week’s guest star, and fill out my Oscar ballot!” It’s a case of “You don’t do windows; I don’t do ...

No fake babies were harmed during the making of this movie!

So much has been written about Clint Eastwood’s use of a fake baby in American Sniper that it’s about time someone stood up for this physically abused, emotionally ravaged, and sadly misrepresented group of show ...

Bonded and disciplined

Smart S&M

Fifty Shades of Grey was not screened in time to make deadline. It’s a good thing. My trenchcoat and hollowed-out popcorn box are still at the dry cleaners. Mostly, the hubbub has me confused. In ...

Two old Jews sitting around talking boogaloo and ninja

Interview with the Cannon Group’s Sam Firstenberg

Across the room at Cinema Society gansamacher Andy Friedenberg’s 60th birthday party stood Saundra Saperstein, Chair of the San Diego Jewish Film Festival. When asked what celebrities would be attending SDJFF 23, she mentioned Theodore ...

Kevin Macdonald had a sub, E-I-E-I-Oh what a great genre pic!

In addition to being an ace director and swell interview subject, you’ll soon discover that Black Sea helmsman Kevin Macdonald (Touching the Void, The Last King of Scotland, State of Play) is no slouch in ...

Starry messenger

In a culture where girls are not allowed out at night to observe the skies, how does a tenacious 16-year-old astronomy student like Sepideh Hooshyar even begin to dream of viewing Earth from space? That’s ...

Oscar® poop

The brilliance of this morning’s roll call of Oscar® nominations began and ended with Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs soon-to-be forever infamous howler of a misspeak. I’m all for retromingency, but Dick Poop instead of ...

Kevin Hart and Josh Gad are a pair of ringers

The lobby of the Hard Rock Hotel was packed with press eager and curious to spend 15 minutes in the service of Kevin Hart, Josh Gad, and their new R-rated comedy The Wedding Ringer. The ...

Blade Runner and more at Landmark’s Ken Cinema

With nothing but Oscar-bait currently damming up local multiplexes, there is no time like the present to take advantage of a week of classic films starting Friday, January 9, at Landmark’s Ken Cinema. My original ...