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    New Directors/New Films '10 | Director Radu Jude on his No Fuss Approach Directing "Happiest Girl"

    The Romanians are back with another bone-dry, pitch-black comedy—this time bearing a particularly cynical view on happiness, the cruelty of families, and the making of inept television commercials. In his feature-film debut, Radu Jude is already a master of uneasy hilarity. When a plucky provincial ...

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    New Directors/New Films '10 | “The Oath” Director Laura Poitras On Her Portrait of Post-9/11 U.S

    Filmed over a two-year period, The Oath interweaves the stories of Abu Jandal, Osama bin Laden’s former bodyguard (now driving a cab in Yemen), and Salim Hamdan, a Guantanamo Bay prisoner charged with war crimes. Filmmaker Laura Poitras (My Country, My Country, ND/NF 2006) takes us deep inside the world of Al Qaeda, Guantanamo, and U.S. interrogation methods through a dramatic structure filled with plot reversals, betrayals, and never-before-seen intelligence documents.The second in a planned trilogy on America post–9/11, The Oath is an intricately constructed work that keeps the viewer off balance and works on several levels. Shading the com...

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    New Directors/New Films '10 | Lixin Fan Pays Tribute to China's Migrant Workers in "Last Train Home"

    Each year the largest migration of people in human history happens over New Year’s in China, when city workers leave en masse for their hometowns in the countryside, often traveling days by train. For the first half of this remarkable documentary, you’ll wonder how the filmmaker even shot it. But as...

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    New Directors/New Films '10 | "Down Terrace" Director Hopes to Shock Audiences

    Mike Leigh meets "The Sopranos" in this extraordinary family crime drama, shot in eight days largely in one location. Fresh out of jail, Bill (Robert Hill) is obsessed with finding out who snitched on him. His son, Karl (Robin Hill), also just released, is similarly concerned but has other things on his mind—namely, what to do about his pregnant girlfriend. Bill, eager to ferret out the informer, lays out a series of traps and ruses for his associates—that is, when he’s not singing old Fairport Convention songs while accompanying himself on guitar. Director Ben Wheatley (BBC’s "The Wrong Door") makes a powerful feature-film debut, creating an...

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    Chuck Norris Kicks Down the Door of NC's First ActionFest

    ActionFest, the first film festival devoted exclusively to action films, has announced 25 films that will be featured in its inaugural edition. The films announced include 3 world premieres, 3 North American premieres, 2 U.S. premieres, 9 regional premieres, special retrospectives and rare theatrica...

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    New Directors/New Films '10 | Robin Hessman On Her Deeply Personal "My Perestroika"

    The history of the 20th century was bookended by the Bolshevik Revolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in between came the era-defining Cold War. But for Russians who grew up during this history and now live beyond it, what does it mean to be Russian today? Robin Hessman’s thoughtful an...

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    Singing the Praises (and a few laments) at New Directors/New Films

    Here are the stars of this year's New Directors/New Films, an invaluable festival of mostly first or second features (the criteria have become rather elastic). I like the general edginess of the most inspired choices, even prefer these kinds of films, which are sometimes unpolished, but these gifted...

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    New Directors/New Films '10 | Producer Jeremiah Newton Aids in Uncovering "Candy Darling"

    Born James Slattery in Massapequa, Long Island, in 1944, Candy Darling transformed herself into a stunning blonde actress who in the mid-Sixties became an active player in New York’s “downtown” scene. In her passionate act of self-creation, Candy Darling mesmerized. A party fixture, she appeared in ...

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    ND/NF Shorts: Longer Is Better

    Short films should be short, especially when they play in front of features, right? The 2010 edition of New Directors/New Films breaks that cardinal rule by programming eleven shorts, the majority of which clock in at 20 minutes and over. This rule breaking pays off in spades as every single one o...

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    New Directors/New Films '10 | "The Red Chapel" Director Mads Brugger: "I am the evil white clown..."

    Denmark launches an all-out attack on North Korea in this has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed documentary that ventures into territory somewhere between Michael Moore and Borat. Bankrolled by Lars von Trier’s Zentropa production company, the aptly named Mads Brügger travels to Pyongyang on a feigned missi...

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