Author archives: Steve Dollar

  • What the Soul Remembers

  • God love the post-apocalypse. It’s a bottomless well of ideas for storytellers. A blank slate. An uncashed check. A whirring kaleidoscope of imaginative potential. Yet, in these latter days, when the world really does feel as though it’s on the brink, the popularity of Year Zero variants—such as the serial zombie drama and the Mad Max feminist motorhead reboot—tease our anxieties to make for widely applauded commercial amusements. But they don’t leave a particularly profound impression once t[...]
  • The Valley of the Maniacs

  • I Roberto Rossellini and the Italian neorealists reinvented cinema in the post-war rubble of Rome. The path-breaking auteurs of the French New Wave found freedom in the streets of Paris. Woody Allen, Whit Stillman, and Martin Scorsese took Manhattan. The Coen Brothers, no matter where they roam, will forever be geographically pinned to Fargo, North Dakota. Mike Ott has Antelope Valley. The 2,200-square-mile desert expanse falls between the San Gabriel and Tehachapi mountain ranges an hour no[...]
  • Rap Rap Rap Cool

  • The South African Tom Cruise is in full effect. Joking with one of his mates, Sibs Shongwe-La Mer strides along 23rd Street outside the Chelsea multiplex where his debut feature, Necktie Youth, is enjoying its North American premiere run at the Tribeca Film Festival. There’s a spring-loaded grace to his gait, and something to the way he cocks his head when he laughs, a live-wire agility that catches the light. Before you know that the 23-year-old South African filmmaker is “Someone to Watch,” he[...]
  • The Age of Exploration

  • 1. When they were children, David and Nathan Zellner were already cultivating their taste in curious tangents of behavior and spectacle. One memorable summer, their family made a trek to Hot Springs, Arkansas. American history remembers the town for its healing waters, a balm to FDR and Al Capone alike. Zellner lore cherishes it for something else: a fateful visit to the IQ Zoo. “They had a rabbit in a fireman’s outfit blowing a horn,” David Zellner says of the tourist attraction, one of t[...]