A. O. Scott Film Critic Retired from Film Criticism

March 20th, 2023


A,O Scott

In 2023, he moved to the The New York Times Review of Books.

  • In a 2009 interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Scott named the following five films as his favorites of all time. [15]
    La Dolce Vita
    The Godfather
    Sullivan’s Travels
    McCabe and Mrs. Miller
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

  • Florida Project The Best film of the year 2017 NY times

    A.O. Scott puts “The Florida Project” at No. 1 and writes that it “managed to be both the most joyful and the most heartbreaking movie of the year.” Scott praised director Sean Baker, supporting actor Willem Dafoe and leading lady Brooklynn Prince, who is 7 and lives in Winter Springs. Scott adds that Brooklynn’s performance as Moonee “has earned a place in the canon of American mischief alongside the likes of Eloise and Tom Sawyer.”

    Dec 11, 2007 actor Ion Fiscuteanu
    (The Death of Mr. Lazarescu)

    Actor Ion Fiscuteanu, a Star of Romanian Stage and Film, Dies at 70 (NYtimes)
    A, O Scott on Romanian New Wave

    New York Times critic A.O. Scott has recorded several pieces on films coming out of Romania, called Romanian Cinema Rising, in light of the current hype surrounding Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days.

  • The Passing of Nobel Prize Winning Author Oe Kenzaburo

    March 13th, 2023
  • Oe Kenzaburo
    Oe was married to sister of Tampopo director Itami Juzo.

    BBC Obit – Oe Kenzaburo

  • Oe Kenzaburo and Mario A
    (interesting photos of Oe Kenzaburo and his family and friends here)

  • Oe and his sonOe Kenzaburo and his son Hikari

    The birth of Hikari was a turning point in Oe’s life and in his literary career. Much of Oe’s later fiction examined the relationship between disabled and non disabled people. Hikari turned out to be exceptionally gifted in music, and he is acknowledged as one of the most famous composers in Japan.
    Hikari Oe Wikipedia here

    Art and Healing: Conversation with Oe (UC Berkeley edu)

  • Oe Kenzaburo and Kazuo Ishiguro in Conversation. (Among many other topics they discussed Yukio Mishima)

  • Happy International Women’s Day

    March 8th, 2023
  • 1catherineindochine

  • Requiem

  • Kate Millet by Alice Neel – 1970

  • (Nancy Kwan, Bruce Lee and Sharon Tate)

  • Levitated Mass by Michael Heizer – A Thrilling Documentary by Doug Pray

    March 6th, 2023
  • Levitated Mass documentary film Michael Heizer

    In 2012, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art debuted Levitated Mass by Michael Heizer. How it got there was a work of art in itself, and the topic of a documentary by Doug Pray. Derek Blasberg caught up with Pray to talk about his film.

  • Michael Heizer The City in the Nevada Desert (Previous Post) (See a photo of Michael Heizer with a short bio)

  • Isolated Mass / Circumflex (#2)
    Artist: Michael Heizer
    Mayari-R steel
    146 × 1461 × 8 in. (370.8 × 3710.9 × 20.3 cm)
    Place Created: United States, North America

    De Menil
    Michael Heizer Isolated Mass./Cucumflex 2 1968

    Wayne Shorter (August 25, 1933 – March 2, 2023)

    March 2nd, 2023
  • Herbie Hancock tweeted.

    Wayne Shorter, my best friend, left us with courage in his heart, love and compassion for all, and a seeking spirit for the eternal future. He was ready for his rebirth. As it is with every human being, he is irreplaceable . . .

    Wayne Shorter was able to reach the pinnacle of excellence as a saxophonist, composer, orchestrator, and recently, composer of the masterful opera “…Iphigenia “ I miss being around him and his special Wayne-isms but I carry his spirit within my heart always.

    Herbie Hancock
    12:44 PM · Mar 2, 2023

  • Wayne Shorter Official

    Remembering Wayne Shorter, Rogue Philosopher (1933-2023)

  • Hinamatsuri, Girls Day in Japan – 2023

    March 1st, 2023

  • (Makanai directed by Hirokazu Koreeda)

  • 1acarSolar
    Girls building a solar toy car.

  • Name these girls – Happy Hinamatsuri album

  • Google Hinamatsuri

    The custom of displaying dolls began during the Heian period. Formerly, people believed the dolls possessed the power to contain bad spirits. Hinamatsuri traces its origins to an ancient Japanese custom called hina-nagashi (雛流し, lit. “doll floating”), in which straw hina dolls are set afloat on a boat and sent down a river to the sea, supposedly taking troubles or bad spirits with them.(via wiki)

  • 1adollsKitano
    (Hidetoshi Nishijima in Dolls directed by Takeshi Kitano)

    Elizabeth Taylor in Iran Part II

    February 27th, 2023
  • The Dazzling Beauty of Elizabeth Taylor in Iran

  • Elizabeth Taylor was born on Feb 27, 1932

  • Elizabeth Taylor Her Place in the Sun”> (Previous Post)

  • Monty Clift was her best friend

  • 1taylorjames
    (Taylor with James Dean)

  • HIV Activism
    Taylor was one of the first celebrities to participate in HIV/AIDS activism and helped to raise more than $270 million for the cause.[65] She began her philanthropic work after becoming frustrated with the fact that very little was being done to combat the disease despite the media attention.[66] She later explained for Vanity Fair that she “decided that with my name, I could open certain doors, that I was a commodity in myself – and I’m not talking as an actress. I could take the fame I’d resented and tried to get away from for so many years – but you can never get away from it – and use it to do some good. I wanted to retire, but the tabloids wouldn’t let me. So, I thought: If you’re going to screw me over, I’ll use you

    Julian Sands Remembered by his best friend John Malkovich

    February 24th, 2023
  • John Malkovich on best friend Julian Sands, a storyteller and so funny. (guardian)

    One of the last conversations John Malkovich had with Julian Sands, his best friend of 40 years, concerned how to prepare yourself for death. You can see that conversation in their new film, Seneca – On the Creation of Earthquakes, which premiered at the Berlin film festival this week. Malkovich fears it will be their last together.

  • See a photo of Julian Sands and John Malcovich when they were in “The Killing Fields

  • (With N. Kinski and Julian Sands in “Night Sun” directed by Taviani brothers)

    Julian Sands
    Julian Sands, Harold Pinter the pregnant pause extended

    In his one-man show “A Celebration of Harold Pinter,” which he performs tonight at the Whittier College Writers Festival, the 55 year-old Brit reveals Pinter’s lesser known side—his surprising warmth and tenderness, as evidenced in his poetry, prose, letters, and the recollections and anecdotes of friends, including Sands himself. John Malkovich, with whom Sands previously worked in The Killing Fields, directs.

  • It is the dead of night,

    The long dead look out towards
    The new dead
    Walking towards them

    There is a soft heartbeat
    As the dead embrace
    Those who are long dead
    And those of the new dead
    Walking towards them

    They cry and they kiss
    As they meet again
    For the first and last time

    Harold Pinter, 2002

  • Yeh Ballet Julian Sands and Netflix India
    Fun ballet film, Julian Sands played a wild ballet instructor.

  • Julian Sands on youtube -5 questions asked.

  • “Land of Dreams” Shiela Vand, Matt Dillon Directed by Shirin Neshat

    February 18th, 2023

  • Shirin Neshat Builds a Land of Dreams

  • (Shirin Neshat and Shiela Wand)

    The process of making Land of Dreams was a surreal one, befitting a tale about an Iranian stealing dreams from New Mexican locals for research. Neshat drove from New York and shot the film in seven weeks with a small crew, right before the second wave of the pandemic reached the Southwest, all while “getting people to believe in a film which was about America but made from the perspective of an Iranian American director.”

    Shiela Vand was the girl walks home alone directed by Ana Lily Amirpour

  • Shirin & Matt Dillon

    Matt Dillon
    Verified “What a wonderful experience working with the great artist Shirin Neshat on her film Land of Dreams. A joy to work with!”

  • Isabella Rossellini spoke about “Land of Dreams”

    Then, Shoja, your partner, wrote this film Land of Dreams with Jean-Claude Carrière. So, there was a further connection with close friends and collaborators and now, we are family.
    SHIRIN NESHAT: I’ve also known of you for many years – from your work as a model, then as an actor in Blue Velvet (1986). I was a huge fan. When we started to socialize, I always wondered if I could have the honor to work with you. I was waiting for the opportunity and then came Land of Dreams. The day we finished filming you, we sent a video message to Jean-Claude,who was on his deathbed. He sent a message back and two days later he passed away.

  • Script by Jean Claude Carriere (Previous post)

  • (Photo of Matt Dillon by Masatoshi Nagase)
    Happy birthday Matt Dillon! (Feb 18)

    “Crimes of the Future” David Cronenberg Filmed in Athens

    February 13th, 2023

  • Crimes of the Future

    (On David Cronenberg)[He] has helped me do really good work, better than other directors. Maybe because he understands my process and because we have some things in common in terms of our sensibility – the kinds of books we like to read, our sense of humor is similar.
    It’s comforting to be working with someone you know will make a good movie. Some people will say, ‘Ahhh, he’s over the top, it’s gratuitous,’ [but] I disagree completely. He’s one of the most responsible filmmakers today as far as showing violence – which there’s very little of compared to other movies. It just stays with you because he shows very little of it. It just stays with you and he’s very direct about it. He shows you what happens, and what the consequences are physically and emotionally, in some cases; certainly he does in A History of Violence (2005), and also here [in Eastern Promises (2007)], that makes him very honest.

    Viggo Mortensen with Cronenberg, another with Lisandro Alonso

  • Lea Seydoux was first offered to play the role Kristen Stewart played, Lea told Cronenberg that she prefers to play Caprice, the performance partner of Viggo Mortensen.

  • Amy Taubin interviews David Cronenberg about Crimes of the Future

    Amy Taubin talks with David Cronenberg about Crimes of the Future


    DAVID CRONENBERG’S Crimes of the Future is a stunning film: visually, emotionally, viscerally, and narratively. It is both hallucinatory and intensely real—an echo chamber of Cronenbergiana colliding with a city whose three-thousand-year history can be mined but never contained. It sounds ridiculously simple, but it is Athens, as location and inspiration, that makes Crimes a new direction for Cronenberg, even as it is possibly his magnum opus. The movie, which takes its title and thankfully little else from one of the director’s early experimental films, is set in an indeterminate future that often resembles Renaissance paintings. The only people left on Earth are a small group of performance body-modification artists, their followers, and a few functionaries of the surveillance state—still dedicated to law and order while promoting chaos by playing everyone against one another.

    AT: The lighting is very different from the lighting I’ve seen before in your films.

    DC: It’s shooting in Athens, and in Mediterranean light, which I’ve never done before. I really embraced Athens and Greece for everything, including the streets, the graffiti, the color of the Mediterranean, and that had a lot to do with the way the film looked. When I wrote the script more than twenty years ago, I was thinking of Toronto, of course. But once we decided on Athens, I embraced it completely. And part of it is the color.

  • Thanks to Kanopy streaming, I finally was able to see this film and read this interview of Cronenberg by Amy Taubin who concluded that many of Cronenberg films were great love stories.

  • Happy Valentine’s Day – here more on David Cronenberg below..

  • The Actor: When you record the moment, you record the death of the moment. Children and death are a bad combination.

  • <> <>davidcronenberg

  • Cronenberg Beyond Cinema: his photos were exhibited

    <> <> davidart

  • DAVID CRONENBERG (born 1943) has been lauded for his blurring of boundaries between technology and the individual, but this praise has consistently missed the point, for his films have singularly denied the existence of any such boundaries. (Read more here)

    Carlos Saura (4 January 1932 – 10 February 2023)

    February 10th, 2023
  • Carlos Saura wiki

  • Carlos Saura Criterion

    Directed by Carlos Saura

    Reality and fantasy, dreams and memories flow freely into one another in the haunting, layered works of iconoclastic auteur Carlos Saura, arguably the most important Spanish filmmaker to emerge between Luis Buñuel and Pedro Almodóvar. Achieving international renown during the repressive years of Francisco Franco’s rule, Saura became a model for how to make dissident political cinema under an authoritarian regime, using potent metaphors and symbolism to dodge censors and examine his nation’s troubled twentieth-century history. In complex and often controversial works like PEPPERMINT FRAPPÉ, COUSIN ANGELICA, and CRÍA CUERVOS . . . —frequently starring his longtime partner Geraldine Chaplin—Saura explored the legacy of fascism and its devastating effects on a generation of Spanish citizens, while in often-overlooked post-Franco films such as DEPRISA, DEPRISA he captured the turbulence of a society experiencing the first shockwaves of liberalization.

    The Look of Love – Goodbye Burt Bacharach

    February 9th, 2023
  • Dog Sitter sued Burt Bacharach (His dog was called Alfie- see the photo).

  • What’s New Pussycat

  • Billboards obit

  • Allison Anders posted on FB.

    I had the lead sheets to God Give Me Strength, the song Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello wrote for my movie Grace Of My Heart, framed a little while ago, but I couldn’t find the right place for it yet. This morning upon hearing the news of Burt’s passing I immediately tore off the plastic and began to create this altar to process how much this man’s talent has meant to me.
    On Monday it will be (I think?) 26 years since Burt recorded this song Feb 13 1996? in NYC with Elvis. It was a warm smallish studio and only a handful of us were there for this quietly historic session with the two of them; music supervisor extraordinaire Karyn Rachtman who brought these giants together for the first time to write this now classic song for me, our amazing lead actress Illeana Douglas, our wonderful producer Dan Hassid and me. Occasionally friends came by to visit; my daughter Tiffany with J Mascis and I recall our pal Joe McGinty got a life altering moment with Burt too that day. In the downtime Illeana and I absorbed all we could with Burt who was so generous so kind and so respectful. I remember asking him about working with one of my idols Dusty Springfield. And he said warmly thinking of her, “Hard.” I asked, “Hard to work with?” He said with such empathy, “She was hard on herself. And she was so brilliant.” It was exactly what I wanted to know.
    After Burt and Elvis finished recording God Give Me Strength they both signed the lead sheets, one for me and one for Illeana. Burt wrote “For Allison…thank you for bringing us all together.” This Polaroid photo of them was taken the same day. Burt’s musical genius and warmth and beautiful melodies was part of the fabric of my life from the time I could open my toddler mouth and sing along to Perry Comos “Magic Moments”. There are far too many songs of his I love to begin to list, but I will over the coming days. Thank you Paul Myers for reaching out this morning and helping me process the meaning he’s had to me and to all of us. Rest In Peace Maestro.