Author Archive: Jon Bastian

Jon Bastian

Jon is a playwright and screenwriter who lives in Los Angeles, where he has been currently appearing in Flash Theater LA when not working for Cesar Millan to keep his dogs rolling in kibble.

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Days of Glory

Days of Glory

| March 6, 2007

The splashy one-sheet for Days of Glory boldly promises a “true story so controversial, it couldn’t be told until now!” What a shrewd (if vaguely specious) approach to advertising Rachid Bouchareb’s modest think-piece of a war picture. That provocative tagline refers to the real-life political victory the Algerian film has allegedly sparked. Responding empathetically to […]

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Inland Empire

Inland Empire

| February 22, 2007 | 0 Comments

Inland Empire, David Lynch’s latest plunge down the rabbit hole, brings to mind that moment in Being John Malkovich where the titular character crawls through the wall and into his own brain. It’s Lynch diving headfirst into his own brain–Lynch on Lynch, the purest distillation yet of the artist’s warped psyche. It’s like a fever […]

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Fast Food Nation

Fast Food Nation

| December 31, 2006 | 0 Comments

If one were to compile a list of the most radical filmmakers working today–the political provocateurs and counter-cultural firebrands of our time–it’s a pretty safe bet that you wouldn’t find Richard Linklater near the top of it. A sardonic, Gen-X beat-poet, the writer-director of Dazed and Confused and subUrbia has always put character and conversation […]

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Little Children

Little Children

| November 17, 2006

Suburbia sucks. It’s a plastic purgatory, a Mecca of consumerism and conformity. It’s white picket fences, mini-vans and Wal-Mart. The women are peppy Stepford Wives, the men alpha-male drones. Everything is shiny and clean and sterile. And those who dare to be different, to have their own dreams and ideas, are either destroyed or assimilated. […]

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L’Enfant

L’Enfant

| May 22, 2006

Bruno, the arresting young subject of L’Enfant, is not your average movie hero. In fact, rarely has the word anti-hero seemed more appropriate. As played by the blonde and blandly handsome Jérémie Renier, he’s a Eurotrash James Dean, sans the charisma: a rebel without a cause, a clue, or a moral compass. Selfish and apathetic […]

Mysterious Skin

Mysterious Skin

| June 13, 2005

When last I caught up with Gregg Araki here at Filmmonthly, it was in a review of his Splendor, his 1999 variation on screwball comedy. I noted in that review, “Splendor is an excellent sign that Araki is going to be with us for a while, and is only going to keep getting better.” His […]

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Hellbent

Hellbent

| April 10, 2005 | 0 Comments

To properly cover Hellbent, I really have to write two reviews. Being a sub-genre of a sub-genre movie to start out with, I have to ask myself, “Did the filmmakers succeed at what they were trying to do?” But, as just a movie, I also have to ask, “Was it enjoyable as a film?” Hellbent […]

Children of the Revolution

Children of the Revolution

| February 20, 2005

Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s humungous 1975 The Illuminatus! Trilogy, a dark satire that takes every conspiracy theory of its time to the extreme, has never been made into a movie, and probably never will be. It was adapted into an over ten hour stage play at about the same time Jim Jones was […]

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A Dirty Shame

A Dirty Shame

| September 25, 2004 | 0 Comments

In the course of a film career that now spans forty years, John Waters hasn’t gotten any more mainstream. Rather, the mainstream has caught up with him. He may have seemed to have dabbled in that territory with films like Hairspray and Cry-Baby. Happily, though, he returns to his earlier subversiveness with his latest, A […]

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

| June 24, 2004 | 0 Comments

I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books. Other than having scanned through the first volume for research purposes, I’ve yet to crack a cover on any of J.K. Rowling’s works. (Full disclosure: I spent several years at Warner Home Video, and was intimately involved with the creation of the DVD versions of the […]

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