Recently by RA Byrn aka handyguy

Tiny Furniture Criterion Collection DVD Review: Lena Dunham's Semi-Autobiographical Micro-Budget Mumblecore

Believe the hype: The acclaimed 2010 feature from the writer/director/star of HBO's "Girls" brings early Woody Allen to mind.
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Nearly every character in Tiny Furniture is annoying, irritating, exasperating - and that’s exactly what makes the film so funny and engaging. Lena Dunham’s movie is the epitome of Semi-Autobiographical Micro-Budget Mumblecore: made for the astonishing sum of $45,000, shot largely in her mother’s apartment, with her mother and sister playing her mother and sister, and Dunham most certainly playing a version of herself. But it’s mumblecore with a difference: it’s not only beautifully shot in widescreen HD (by Jody Lee Lipes), with each scene exquisitely composed and lighted; it is written and performed in a distinctive comic voice. And

Welcome to L.A. DVD Review: Like Altman Under Anesthesia

Non-characters sleepwalk through "the city of the one-night stands."
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It would certainly be easy to write off Welcome to L.A. as a vacuous, tedious, pretentious movie about vacuous, tedious, pretentious people. And this would not be inaccurate. But it might miss some other aspects of the film that are more interesting. It's a flawed time capsule of a certain time, place, and attitude. Alan Rudolph was a protégé of Robert Altman. He worked as an assistant director on The Long Goodbye, California Split, and Nashville, some choice works from Altman's golden decade. Welcome to L.A. was not actually his first film as a director - he is credited with

The White Bus DVD Review: Gorgeous Photography Makes Up for Tedium of Experimental Film

A minor effort from the director of If..., featuring beautiful photography and sophomoric surrealist satire.
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The White Bus is an odd short feature (or longish short film) by Lindsay Anderson, made in 1967 just before his greatest film, If... It shares with If... the actor Arthur Lowe and the cinematographer Miroslav Ondricek. Ondricek's work is the principal reason to see the film. Like If..., the scenes alternate between black-and-white and color photography, seemingly at random. But all the images are striking. The film is apparently about a young office worker who leaves her dreary job one day and has a series of not particularly exciting adventures aboard a train and a tour bus. Although allegedly

Making the Boys DVD Review: An Important Look at the Boys from The Boys in the Band

Even though padded to feature length, this documentary is a must-see for aficionados of theater, movies, and gay cultural history.
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Making the Boys (awkward title) has a great subject for a 45-minute documentary: the story behind the groundbreaking play and movie The Boys in the Band. It actually runs a bit over 90 minutes, so there is more than a little padding. Luckily, most of that padding is pretty entertaining, too. The Boys in the Band is an ensemble piece for nine gay male characters, set at a birthday party in a New York apartment (one of the "birthday presents" is a hustler named Cowboy). It was written in 1967 and opened in New York in 1968. The Stonewall riots

The Christine Jorgensen Story DVD Review: An Amusing Period Piece but Just Not Campy Enough

More like a mild soap opera than a tabloid shocker, but good photography and music.
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Newly released to video as part of MGM's Limited Edition Collection, The Christine Jorgensen Story is no classic, to put it mildly, but it's an amusing period piece, already dated in fact by the time it was released. The subject matter must have been shocking or at least titillating in 1970: the true story of the first sex-change operation to get major press coverage. George Jorgensen, uncomfortable growing up as an "All-American boy," went to Denmark in 1956 and returned to New York as Christine. The tabloids had a field day. But the style of the movie is not sensationalistic

Shut Up, Little Man! Movie Review: Viral Outrageousness from the Pre-Internet Age

An amusing/disturbing, funny/depressing little documentary about a nearly forgotten cult "audio verite" hit from 20 years ago.
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Shut Up, Little Man! is an amusing, occasionally disturbing documentary about the origins and aftereffects of a prankish set of "audio verite" recordings that went viral before "going viral" was even a term. Some of the participants, interviewed recently, seem to want to put a degree of significance and seriousness on the story that it can't really bear. But that fits right into the documentary's method: let those who were there tell their tale, without editorial commentary. The recordings were made by Eddie Lee Sausage and Mitchell D, two young roommates in San Francisco in the late 1980s, at first

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