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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Best of the Decade #8

    Somewhere in the middle of Hou Hsiao-hsien's Flight of the Red Balloon, the film’s protagonist, Suzanne, is sharing a quiet train carriage with her son’s Taiwanese nanny, Song, and the puppet master Ah Zhong, who has just given a lecture on Chinese puppetry techniques. Suzanne, who has been gazing out of the window absently, suddenly pulls a postcard from her scrapbook. It’s a gift, she tells Song to translate to Ah Zhong, an image of something she saw at the British Museum in London when she was working there as a nanny. It is deeply personal to her, she explains, but also something she feels is quintessentially Chinese—“la Chine profonde”—and so she feels Master Ah Zhong should have it.

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Shadow Play: Corneliu Porumboiu's "Police, Adjective"

    Less is more in the sophomore feature by Cannes Camera d’or winner Corneliu Porumboiu (12:08 East of Bucharest), a filmmaker attentive, like his fellow under-40 countrymen Cristi Puiu and Cristian Mungiu, to the ironies of bureaucracy in post-totalitarian Romania. Police, Adjective is a slow-burning, intriguingly subtle tweak on the crime procedural. But the arc of this story, unlike most classic policiers, is almost bewilderingly straightforward: Cristi (Dragos Bucur), a young plainclothes cop in an unnamed provincial town, stakes out a high-schooler suspected of dealing hashish, yet is reluctant to haul him in on the testimony of a dubious informant. Despite its resemblance to a character-driven psychological suspense film, however bare-bones its approach—it’s no Zodiac, and doesn’t aspire to be—Police, Adjective is more a showcase for Porumboiu’s formal precision with urban anyspace and penchant for mordant, slice-of-life humor, its wry punchline ultimately hinging (as the title boldly hints) on the vagaries of language. Read Damon Smith's review of Police, Adjective.

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  • Matt Dentler's Blog
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    A Christmas (or any day) Tale

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Trailer Watch: Sex and the City Meets Road to Morocco

    In Sex and the City 2, set for May 28 release, Michael Patrick King takes the girls on the road to Morocco. Here's the trailer.

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  • Enzian Theater
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    The Inevitable List

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    More: General
  • The Lost Boys
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    The 20 Best Films of 2009

    So after much tinkering, this is what I've decided to go with. You could catch me on another day and in another mood and this list - particularly the top 6 or 7 - could be completely flipped upside down. But I'm happy enough with this to let it go. In lieu of having sufficient time for commentary due a ridiculous pre-going-home-for-Christmas to do list breathing down on me, let me just quickly brief on what I would have expanded on:

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  • The Lost Boys
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    How's This For Category Fraud?

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Fassbender Talks Fish Tank, Inglourious Basterds, Jane Eyre, Centurion, Jonah Hex

    Fassbender Talks Fish Tank, Inglourious Basterds, Jane Eyre, Centurion, Jonah Hex

    The second I saw Michael Fassbender's performance in Steve McQueen's Hunger, in which he starred as an IRA fighter on hunger strike, I knew the Irish actor would be a star.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    DreamWorks vs. Paramount Lives On

    DreamWorks has moved on.

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  • Matt Dentler's Blog
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    Golf Digesting with Tiger and Barack

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