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Movie Reviews

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    Fantasy on the Croisette: Cannes in a Nutshell

    As it does every year, the Cannes Film Festival developed gradual momentum over the course of the last two weeks. The main competition, though really only one part of the annual story, nabbed the spotlight with a culturally diverse selection deemed spotty before it even started. Once the program beg...

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    dvd review: Stagecoach

    (Criterion Collection)

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    CANNES REVIEW | Oh God(ard): Is "Film Socialisme" the Scandale au Festival?

    On the eve of Cannes, I sat with some colleagues around a dinner table overlooking the sea and the hulking Palais des Festivals beside it. The topic was the upcoming program and its potential for controversy. When movies screen under these grandiose conditions, they tend to meet wildly polarize...

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    CANNES REVIEW | Spirituality and Goats: "Le Quattro Volte"

    A story of anarchic goats, lively spiritual celebrations and reincarnation, Michaelangelo Frammartino's "Le Quattro Volte" (which won the Europa Cinemas Label in Cannes's Directors' Fortnight) has a heavy philosophical load. Nevertheless, this painstakingly constructed, quasi-documentary about a she...

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    film review: Holy Rollers

    A good movie starts with an idea. In the case of Holy Rollers, a news item about a drug bust involving Hasidic Jews from Brooklyn, New York inspired a novice producer to believe that this could be the springboard for a film…and he was right. Holy Rollers is a piece of fiction inspired by t...

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    CANNES REVIEW | Bonnie and Clyde on Drums: The Swedish Musical Comedy "Sound of Noise"

    Light on story but heavy on ingenuity, the Swedish musical comedy "Sound of Noise" portrays musicians as the ultimate outlaws. In truth, the movie only incidentally relates to the musical genre, since everything onscreen is ostensibly diegetic - but magically so. An account of several villainous dru...

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    The Original King of Comedy

    Book Review: MACK SENNETT’S FUN FACTORY by Brent E. Walker (McFarland)

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    Big Screen | "Holy," "Man" Offer Jesse Eisenberg Double Feature

    American indie staple Jesse Eisenberg is the main opening attraction at art houses this weekend - starring in not one but two debuting films: Kevin Asch's Sundance premiere "Holy Rollers" and Brian Koppelman and David Levien's Toronto alum "Solitary Man." Both receiv...

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    CANNES REVIEW | The Drama of Ambiguity: Kiarostami's "Certified Copy"

    If the couple featured in Richard Linklater's "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset" got married, grew old, divorced and reunited, the resulting confrontation would probably look a lot like Abbas Kiarostami's "Certified Copy." Possibly the Iranian director's most accessible work, this elegant, stream-...

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    CANNES REVIEW | Misguided Melodrama: Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu's "Biutiful"

    There's a difference between understanding the tools of melodrama and successfully putting them together. Over the course of his career, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has repeatedly demonstrated ignorance of this distinction. With "21 Grams" and "Babel," Inarritu enforced sentimental hooks by drawing ...

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