24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Critic's Choice

'The Clock' clicks at LACMA: Kenneth Turan's film pick

March 15, 2012 |  8:30 am

A scene from "The Clock"

“The Clock” is coming back.

A collage of clips created as an art installation by Christian Marclay from thousands of films, foreign and domestic, silent and sound, with some TV shows thrown into the mix, “The Clock” is structured minute by minute around a 24-hour time cycle.

This may sound like a trivialization of the cinematic experience, but the reality is quite intoxicating. As with the Eagles' "Hotel California," you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art owns “The Clock” and periodically puts it on display.

The next free, 24-hour screening at the spacious Bing Theatre begins at noon March 24 through noon March 25. Even seeing a fraction of it will expand your mind.

RELATED:

Kenneth Turan's film picks for 2011

'The Clock' wins Gold Lion at Venice Biennale

Christian Marclay's 'The Clock' starts ticking at LACMA today

-- Kenneth Turan

Photo: A detail from Christian Marclay's "The Clock." Credit: Todd-White Art Photography


Pola Negri, Jean Harlow, Jean Arthur: Kenneth Turan's DVD picks

March 14, 2012 |  5:15 pm

New boxed sets look at the careers of Pola Negri, Jean Harlow and Jean Arthur -- three actresses who deserve to be better known.

From the silent era, we have Negri, a European-born sensation who predated Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. "Pola Negri: The Iconic Collection 'The Early Films' " presents a quartet of her starring roles, including the celebrated "The Yellow Ticket" and the wonderfully named "Eyes of the Mummy Ma."

Harlow is better known, but many of her films remain unseen. A Warner Archives 100th anniversary boxed set presents seven of them, including the sharp and satiric "Bombshell," one of the classic inside Hollywood productions.

Finally, TCM's "Jean Arthur" vault collection allows us to see the comedies this fine actress was turning out before her films with Frank Capra, like "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

RELATED:

Buster Keaton's classic films return

'Godzilla' and two more Japanese gems

Laurel & Hardy and Ernie Kovacs on DVD

-- Kenneth Turan


'Undefeated': Betsy Sharkey's film pick of the week

March 7, 2012 |  6:43 pm

If you’re in the mood for some football and some inspiration, heavily seasoned by the South, catch “Undefeated.” This documentary is a classic story of an underdog team trying to overcome the odds. It  just won the Oscar for best doc a few weeks ago, and given its fundamental appreciation of flawed humanity and the possibilities for change, it's easy to see why.

Filmmakers Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin, who shared directing and many other duties, spent a season with the Manassas Tigers, a seriously underfunded team filled with African American teens on the margins. Manassas is a North Memphis, Tenn., high school with a legacy of losing seasons and a history of poverty. Into that mix throw determined volunteer coach Bill Courtney, whose team meetings sound a lot like tent revivals, with cursing and praying used as motivation in equal measure.

It’s a combustible mix of kids with the focus on three: talented, smart and troubled O.C., "Money" and Chavis respectively. The filmmakers do a good job of balancing between coach and players as life lessons emerge from the winning and losing.

The victories are sweet, the losses heartbreaking. And then there's the football -- great high school football.

Game on.

RELATED:

The art of entertaining documentaries

'Undefeated' wins feature documentary Oscar

'Undefeated' is a provocative look at race and class in sports

–- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times film critic


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