Wednesday, December 01, 2004

WCBE 90.5 FM "Closer," "Fade to Black," "Small Change"

IT'S MOVIE TIME with John DeSando & Clay Lowe
Producer/Director: Richelle Antczak, WCBE

Reviews: "Closer," "Fade to Black," "Small Change"
Taped: 4:00 pm, December 1, 2004
Air Time: 3:01 pm and 8:01 pm, December 3, 2004
Streaming live on the web at .

The Script:

"Closer" is the perfect date movie to see with a stranger . . .

"Fade to Black" does not make it E-Z to know Jay-Z . . .

"Small Change" kicks off the Columbus International Children's Film Festival this weekend at the Wex . . .


Richelle Antczak
"It's Movie Time" in Central-Ohio, with John DeSando and Clay Lowe . . .


I'm John DeSando

And I'm Clay Lowe.

John ("Closer")
Clay, “Hello, Stranger” is the opening salvo in a modern war of the sexes pitting four adults against each other like romantic assassins. Set in chilly London, Mike Nichols’s “Closer” shoots artistic arrows at a bull’s eye once again, as Nichols did with the trenchant social satires “Carnal Knowledge,” “The Graduate,” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

That first line shows the four to be strangers to themselves and us, as moderns tend to be in an increasingly surface, electronic age.

To feel the cold of London, the warmest city otherwise in the world for me, is to feel the cold of these adulterers, who ply their love with an efficiency to make any person truly afraid of what the next amorous stranger will bring.

The bard as always hits the modern application without knowing it. From “King Henry VIII”: “I am sorry I must never trust thee more/ But count the world a stranger for thy sake.”

Clay ("Closer")
Folks, the passions do smoulder in "Closer" but the self-centered clash of egos in this film will send a chill through the hearts of those who might, in real life, be inclined to declare their romantic intentions. But what a cast this is that Nichols is able to painfully derive the very most from.

Natalie Portman's "Alice" is two persons, one who is a little girl to Daniel (Jude Law), when she's his lover. But another when she plays a sleazy show girl for Larry (Clive Owens) when he wants HER for his lover.

Jude Law's "Dan" is also two persons, one, who is a confident take-charge lover when he's with Natalie's "Alice," but another when he plays a spoiled little boy for Julia Roberts' "Anna" when he's her lover.

Are you beginning to get the picture? None of us are what we seem. All of us can play the role that's demanded of us to achieve our intentions. And in a world of elegant and priceless treasures, human beings are the most costly consumer commodities of them all.

How's that for a truly chilling thought, eh.

John ("Fade to Black")
“Fade to Black” is a faithful documentary about Jay-Z’s “farewell” performance in Madison Square Garden. With the likes of girl friend Beyonce joining Jay-Z, (her scantily-clad, lip-synching performance of “Crazy in Love” is worth the admission price), the film relays the energy and synergy of performers who speak to countless hip-hop fans.

Because so much of the documentary is dedicated to the performance, little is allowed for getting to know the rapper and how he creates. That he does not write down his machine-gun lyrics is a rare insight; that he cares about how his words effect his fans is sweet; what he does to shape the “tracks” into pop gold as he listens to them in the studio is never satisfactorily explained.

Like the opening and closing aerial shots of New York at night, we are too far away to get close to understanding the performer. Like the city, he dazzles and eludes.

Clay ("Small Change")
Well, folks, filmmaker François Truffaut nearly always dazzled his audiences and rarely could he be said to elude. Case in point, his joyous film "Small Change," which, if you're listening to us at 3, you'll have time to catch tonight at the Wex, but if you're listening at 8, you'll have to check it out on DVD. But believe me, it's worth it.

For just as no one has captured more fully the dangerous delights of childhood than the novelist Charles Dickens, so too has no filmmaker ever treated children on film with more honor and respect than François Truffaut. A vagabond, raggamuffin himself, he was rescued from off the streets of petty crime by a film critic, who like the school teacher in "Small Change" believed doggedly in the redemptive powers of education.

Truffaut also fully believed in the powers of film to both entertain and to enlighten, and none of his films reflect this belief more enjoyably than this film, "Small Change."

But enough of this cinematic huckstering, it's grading time.



"Closer" is "CLOSER" to A than any other recent film. . .

"Closer" gets a "C" because it's too long CHARADE and too little on passion . . .

"Fade to Black" earns a "B" because rap still "BAFFLES" me . . .

"Small Change" gets an "A" because ALL boys ARE not called Patrick . . .

Clay, I never committed adultry on my wives, but I was not "Closer" to them despite that fidelity. Maybe I should have tried rapping with them.

I guess I'll just be happy to hip-hop down the lane of life without them.

I'm outta here.

John, your record of hi-fidelity sounds impressive, but credit IS due to those nuns who rapped home on your hands their very hard lessons. Hip-hop and away, I'm outta here too.

See you at the movies, folks.


The Award Winning "It's Movie Time" with John DeSando and Clay Lowe is produced by Richelle Antczak in conjunction with 90.5 FM, WCBE in Columbus
and 106.7 FM in Newark.


Copyright 2004 by John DeSando & Clay Lowe