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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Delicacy' Delves Into A Memory That Can't Be Forgotten With A Face That Everyone Loves

    At the start of "Delicacy", we meet two lovers, Nathalie (Audrey Tatou) and Francois (Pio Marmai). They are at play, re-creating the memories of their first encounter at a smoky French restaurant, where he gambled as to what she would order, making his move when she proved his thoughts correct. It's the image Francois already had of his future paramour, and, "Delicacy" argues, the one that mattered the greatest. What is love if not a permanent feeling for a temporary state?

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  • Shadow and Act
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    African Cinema Is In Spotlight As New York African Film Festival Returns April 11 to 17

    I remember salivating over last year's eclectic lineup, and I'm certainly looking forward to this year's offerings which include several titles we've covered here on S&A like Andy Okoroafor's Relentless (photo above of the director and star Nneka) and South African noir How To Steal 2 Million.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Video: Reel Soul on "Blaxploitation"

    “We must rid ourselves of the habit, now that we are in the thick of the fight, of minimizing the actions of our fathers or of feigning incomprehension when considering their silence and passivity.  They fought as well as they could, with the arms they possessed then.”

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The FP' A Fun, Ambitious, Over-The-Top Comedy That Isn't Much More Than A Novelty

    A film that feels cobbled together from a "Dance Dance Revolution" arcade machine, that graffiti-covered white room where Will Smith shot music videos during his 'Fresh Prince' days and the desperate need to create a new pop culture catchphrase, “The FP” is a singular pastiche of hip-hop nostalgia, smalltown escapism and dystopian absurdity. But the raw materials from which brothers Brandon and Jason Trost assemble their first feature are so specific that the end result may have trouble appealing to a wider audience, especially if viewers aren’t willing to embed their tongue so deeply in their cheek that they practically choke on it. A fun and ambitious if over-the-top and overlong comedy about a world where gangs work out their differences via dance fights to the death, “The FP” is one of the most unique films made in years, but that novelty value also often makes it more of an admirable effort than a truly enjoyable one.

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    More: The FP, Review
  • Press Play
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    The Art of the March Madness Telecast

    Every year narratives play out in NCAA tournament games that are as dramatic and sensational as those in the soap operas that they preempt, and the storytelling strategies used in the broadcasts themselves can be downright fascinating. This game is a perfect example of what I mean: the last few minutes of regulation unfold as if they’re part of a self-contained short film about heartache, redemption, and truth in photography.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'The Hunger Games' Is Thoughtful, Thrilling Popular Entertainment That Genuinely Deserves To Be A Franchise

    Complexity and understatement are two criminally under-utilized values in most mainstream movies these days, but they’re at the core of, and the chief reason for the success of “The Hunger Games.” Director Gary Ross, screenwriter of the proletariat presidential fantasy “Dave” and writer-director of the social-consciousness-as-sci-fi tome “Pleasantville,” has always engaged his subjects with a light and yet substantial touch, but his adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ acclaimed young-adult novel is a truly remarkable achievement: he turns escapism into a deeply emotional experience. Instantly razing comparisons – qualitative especially -- to other female-friendly series such as “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games” is the first film in a long time that deserves Hollywood’s instant-franchise ambitions because it appeals to genre fans regardless of gender by crafting a story that’s both epic and intimate, spectacular and subtle.

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  • Criticwire
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    SXSW So Far: Criticwire Highlights from Austin

    See how some of the biggest films at SXSW fared with critics.

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  • Caryn James
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    Will Ferrell Sings, Rides, Says Hola In Casa de Mi Padre

    Over time I’ve come to recognize my reaction to Will Ferrell comedies – they’re funny on first viewing, though not relentlessly laugh-til-you-cry hilarious. But on second or third viewing their cleverness kicks in even more, scene-for-scene, and their humor seems to grow. (That’s especially true of the praying to the Baby Jesus scene in Talladega Nights.) So while there is plenty to laugh at in Casa de Mi Padre, his Spanish-language spoof of bad old Western movies, I suspect its many moving parts will seem even more comic over time.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    21 Jump Street—movie review

    Following in the hallowed footsteps of 'The Brady Bunch Movie', '21 Jump Street' revives a vintage TV series and subverts it at the same time. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who have written and directed TV and theatrical animation such as 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs', resist the temptation to turn this into a live-action cartoon, which is all to the good. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are well cast as former high school rivals who meet up again as police academy students and become friends.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Jeff, Who Lives At Home—movie review

    When micro-indie filmmakers Jay and Mark Duplass spun their success with movies like 'The Puffy Chair' into an opportunity to work with full-scale crews and name actors, there were doubts that they could maintain their spontaneous approach and indie credibility. 'Cyrus' dispelled those feelings, and 'Jeff, Who Lives at Home' confirms their ability to make pictures that don’t look or sound like anyone else’s.

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