• The standard line about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers? "She gave him sex, he gave her class." Sure, writes John Rockwell, but Ginger was also a fine actress who "brought [Astaire] emotion and romance."
  • Takeshis, the "are-you-kidding-me?" new film by Takeshi Kitano, "looks like a serial nightmare, the kind of potent stuff that holds you in thrall with dreadful repetition."Joan Dupont talks to the sometime Beat Takeshi about comedy, nightmares, and tap dancing.
  • "If Ang Lee and Jane Austen aren't precisely soul mates, they have in common a keen, assessing eye for the tension between human behavior and the conventions, mores and taboos that are meant to keep it in check." Karen Durbin talks to the director on the eve of the Venice Film Festival premiere of his latest, the gay cowboy saga Brokeback Mountain.
  • New York is about to be inundated with Japanese film. Dave Kehr, with the help of Donald Richie, takes you through the various programs.
  • Garry Marshall, the man who brought us Pretty Woman, a social issue film directed as if it were a screwball comedy, is now directing a French opera as if it were a sitcom. At least M. G. Lord gets the joke: "Mr. Marshall is far from the first entertainment industry veteran to try his hand at opera, though he may be the first Mork and Mindy writer to do so."
  • Judging by the trailer, the original cast members who reprise roles in Chris Columbus' Rent appear horribly old for their roles. Catherine Billey takes a look at what each has been doing in the intervening decade since the initial Broadway smash.