This week on overly ambitious IFC News that almost gave us an ulcer:
For the postwar generations, only Stanley Kubrick maintained as lofty a station in the public forebrain for as long as Robert Altman. It’s been a uniquely scattershot career, as rife with textural innovations and astonishing rigor as it was with pariah loathing and crash-landings â€” 2001’s "Gosford Park" was merely his sixth or seventh comeback in almost 50 years of professional movie-making. Who knew, ever, if an Altman film would turn out rippling with silk-smooth sublimity or howling miscarriage? His lapses in judgment seem to flow from the same source as his wisdom. Compare the surgeon’s grace inherent in "Gosford Park" to the soused baboonery of "PrÃªt-Ã -Porter" (1994), and you glimpse a restless and conflicted intelligence plunging into the combat of cultural intercourse without the benefit of superego.
"Go Home" is the tag line on "Turistas"’s movie poster, and it works as either an ominous threat from Ugly American-loathing foreigners or a word of advice from Americans â€” i.e. the filmmakers â€” who know better. The "hero unveils a drawer full of passports" scene is a loaded and usually chilling trope in any number of genres â€” the spy movie, sci-fi thriller, historical drama, um, "Fletch" â€” and when it makes an appearance in "Turistas," the effect is familiar but offers a new and naive twist of dread: if only they’d just stayed put.
A lot of movies feel too long. "The Architect" is the rare one that feels too short. These characters, and the emotions they stir up, can barely be contained in a movie just 81 minutes long. Filmmaker Matt Tauber may have bitten off more than he can chew for his directorial debut â€” or at least more than he can chew in such a short amount of time â€” but that doesn’t make watching him mull things over any less interesting.