Rachel Weiner

For all the sex, “Shortbus” is surprisingly tame

In “Shortbus,” strangers meet at an underground salon to fulfill their sexual fantasies, and director John Cameron Mitchell faithfully records these encounters in all their graphic, non-simulated, unobstructed glory. Sounds obscene, doesn’t it? Surprisingly, “Shortbus” – for all its onscreen lewdness – is strangely tame. Mitchell became famous (“a star of stage and screen,” as […]

Searching for style at GW

Normally, all you can buy in Kogan Plaza are cheap earrings and Bob Marley posters. But from Monday to Wednesday, a whole store appeared – complete with music, wood floors, Oriental rugs and fake vintage posters. Has GW turned into a mall? Not quite yet. It’s the Levi’s Style Search, a nationwide hunt for college […]

“Jesus Camp” is a scary place

“Jesus Camp” doesn’t try to explain why Evangelical Christians are a millions-strong group. Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady instead focus on a strange, intense part of this massive movement. The results are frightening, but it’s only a small slice of a morally and politically complicated phenomenon. Ewing and Grady say they set out to […]

“The Black Dahlia” is a cheap bouquet

Loosely based on a true story, “The Black Dahlia” is adapted from a book by James Ellroy, most famous for “L.A. Confidential,” and directed by Brian De Palma, most famous for “Scarface.” The awkward marriage of the two will satisfy fans of neither. Pugilists-turned-policemen Leland “Lee” Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart) and Dwight “Bucky” Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) […]

Energy crisis: Oily conspiracies fuel “Syriana”

In 2000, “Traffic” exposed the war against drugs as naive and hopelessly compromised. Now, the makers of “Traffic” are trying to accomplish the same feat with “Syriana,” a panoramic view of Middle East politics and the oil industry. Syriana is a term the CIA uses to refer to any Middle East hotspot, and “Syriana” tries […]

Bob Saget talks dirty

Bob Saget wants you to know that he’s not Danny Tanner. And he’s definitely not the nerdy host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” either. “Those were just jobs,” he said in an interview with The Hatchet. “I was known as a family guy because that was the image people created.” He said his standup “has […]

Blues brothers – GW siblings bring bluegrass to D.C. music scene

They’re talented, they’re twins, and they go to college together. They’re the Olsen twins! Okay, they’re actually David and Jonathan Kantor, two members of a bluegrass/folk quartet called the Bear Mountain Pickers. “We have an unsaid musical connection,” Jonathan, who plays saxophone and clarinet in the band, said. David plays guitar and banjo and sings. […]

Wallace and Gromit: Heroes who save the clay

Fans of Wallace and Gromit, clay companions created by Nick Park and Aardman Animations (“Chicken Run”), have waited 10 years to see the British duo again and for the most part, it’s worth the wait. The first three Wallace and Gromit movies were shorts; “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” is the first full-length. “I’m always […]

Enron is back

The word Enron has become shorthand for corporate malfeasance, but the scandal itself was forgotten a couple years back. Then along came Alex Gibney’s documentary “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” (Magnolia Pictures) to remind us of all the damning details. It may seem like old news, but Gibney makes a strong case for […]

“Turtles Can Fly”

“Turtles Can Fly” is the first movie to come out of Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein. But the movie doesn’t look at the mess in Baghdad head-on; instead, Iranian-Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi concentrates on Kurdish refugees on the Iraq-Turkey border, who await the U.S. troops with cautious optimism. Ghobadi uses local children as […]