Michael Koch

SF Station Writer

Michael Koch's Articles
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A well-versed love story for difficult times
By Michael Koch (May 30, 2005)
After more than 100 years of cinema, you'd think that it's impossible to do something new with the medium of film that has never been done before, but British writer-director Sally Potter did it: she wrote an original screenplay entirely in verse, iambic pentameter to be precise, and created a contemporary drama in which her characters deliver their lyrical lines as natural as everyday speak. That's a first (remember, this is an original screenplay, not an adaptation of Shakespeare or some other Renaissance bard). As an audience, however, you don't even notice it at first, and once you do, you quickly go with the flow . More »
A royal treat for film lovers
By Michael Koch (May 03, 2005)
If you've been looking for a cinematic antidote to the wave of formulaic, mind-numbing summer blockbusters that are about to take over the screens at your neighborhood cineplex, and you're not of the mindset that the only thing worse than a film with subtitles is a French film with subtitles, here's your ticket: "Kings and Queen", written and directed by French filmmaker and international art-house darling Arnauld Desplechin, who is arguably one of the most intriguing French writer/directors wielding a pen and camera today. More »
An uneven threesome that leaves much to be desired
By Michael Koch (Mar 08, 2005)
This uneven yet visually pleasing anthology delivers a trio of short films by Wong Kar-wai, Steven Soderbergh, and Michelangelo Antonioni, stitched together by an expressive and mood-setting series of illustrations by Italian artist Lorenzo Mattotti. The whole package is then set to the mellifluous song "Michelangelo Antonioni" sung in Italian by the Brazilian singer Caetano Veloso. More »
Vintage raves and rants
By Michael Koch (Mar 01, 2005)
Written, directed, and shot on DV by French filmmaker (and former sommelier) Johnathan Nossiter, "Mondovino" provides a sobering look at the impact of globalization on the world of wine. Viewing wine as a cornerstone of civilization and as an expression of power, Nossiter argues that the forces of global consumerism, driven largely by American ideas about marketing and brand awareness, are crushing cultural identity and diversity in the wine world by fooling us into believing that we have choices when in fact almost everything is starting to look and taste the same. More »
Old School Storytelling On A Grand Human Scale
By Michael Koch (Mar 01, 2005)
I'll make this short: If you appreciate the joys, sorrows, and challenges life throws your way, and if you feel there is a dearth of good contemporary movies that deal with the more important things in life then do not miss "The Best of Youth"! Yes, you will have to make time in your busy schedule to watch this engrossing six-hour Italian epic masterpiece -- shown in two three-hour installments -- but it is worth every minute. More »
Sex, lies, and videotape in the era of reality TV
By Michael Koch (Feb 25, 2005)
Billed as a romantic thriller with a dark comedic twist, 'dot the i' has all the trappings of a tease -- it's funny, sexy, and seductive; it shamelessly plays with your mind and expectations; and by the time you catch on, it leaves you emotionally empty and unsatisfied. More »
An Intimate, Bittersweet Look At Jewish Life In Contemporary Argentina
By Michael Koch (Feb 18, 2005)
Directed by Argentine filmmaker Daniel Burman (who also co-produced Walter Salles' 'Motorcycle Diaries'), 'Lost Embrace' takes an affectionate look at a motley group of exiles, refugees, and eccentrics, who try to carve out a modest living for themselves in a seedy mini-mall in the funky Once retail district of Buenos Aires, a traditionally Jewish enclave. More »
Uneven ambitious tragicomedy about suburban survival
By Michael Koch (Jan 24, 2005)
It would be all too easy to dismiss 'Imaginary Heroes' as a rehash of other tales about upscale dysfunctional families such as 'Ordinary People' or 'The Ice Storm', to which writer-director Dan Harris's directorial debut bears more than a passing resemblance. What Harris lacks in originality, however, he makes up for in his narrative treatment and his choice of actors, whose superb and nuanced performances carry the film even when it loses itself in awkward pathos and clichés. More »
By Michael Koch (Nov 31, 2004)
The Best Films 1.Collateral Michael Mann's precise, harrowing, laconic, knock-out, nail-biting thrill ride about a cabby (Jamie Foxx) who gets hijacked by a hitman (Tom Cruise) is pure classic drama, preserving the unity of time, place, and action in the City of Lights while having us look into the murky depths of the characters. More »
True love never dies
By Michael Koch (Nov 10, 2004)
In A Very Long Engagement, visionary French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet seduces and bombards viewers with a poetic arsenal of mournful, dreamlike imagery that rivals, if not exceeds, the imagination of Tim Burton and the craftsmanship of Francis Ford Coppola, yet ultimately fails to communicate fully the love, pain, and suffering of its heroine, which are trammeled by the film's rich visual tapestry and lack of traditional plot, character, and theme development. More »
Michael Koch's Articles
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