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Movie Reviews

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    REVIEW | Material World: Francois Girard's "Silk"

    Alessandro Baricco's slim, lovely novel "Silk" works through structure and language (and structural and linguistic repetition) rather than character or plot. Sure, there is a plot: Herve, its nominal protagonist, travels to Japan a number of times in search of silkworms and returns to his native Fra...

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    REVIEW | Outer Limits: David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises"

    Filmed in burnished yellows that alternate between the sickly pallor of death and the glossily seductive underworld of organized crime, David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises" is all about surfaces. Those of his characters, their clothes and skin, as well as the dimly lit restaurants and apartments th...

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    REVIEW | Fool's Gold: Mike Cahill's "King of California"

    Michael Douglas is crazy (like a fox!) and lookin' for gold in "King of California," the debut feature from writer-director Mike Cahill. Cahill's a novelist who also happens to be friends with "Sideways" and "About Schmidt" auteur Alexander Payne--and just in case you miss Payne's producer credit he...

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    REVIEW | After Effects: Paul Haggis's "In the Valley of Elah"

    For many, the jury is still out on Paul Haggis. The erstwhile television scribe turned Oscar-winner has certainly built an impressive resume in a short time, including partial or full screenwriting credit on four of the most acclaimed studio movies of recent years: Clint Eastwood's magnificent three...

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    REVIEW | Wild Life: Griffin Dunne's "Fierce People"

    It's rare that a film as initially unfocused and scattershot as Griffin Dunne's mock-ethnographic "Fierce People" would halfway redeem itself through the introduction of an anal rape/revenge narrative--but here we have it. Discussion of redemption in this case is tricky--it's not as if the two halve...

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    REVIEW | Another One from the Heart: John Turturro's "Romance & Cigarettes"

    If John Turturro's "Romance & Cigarettes" had been financed and released by a studio, it would have been a calamity on the level of Francis Ford Coppola's infamous "One from the Heart." That's not meant to be an insult. Though "One from the Heart" was one of many Hollywood productions (Michael Cimin...

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    REVIEW | Return of the Repressed: William Friedkin's "Cruising"

    There are untold artistic benefits to living in a culture of critical reassessment--otherwise, what would current generations think of "Vertigo?" But if the glut of superfluous "special edition" DVD packages over the past ten years is any indicator, then there are also some sorry side effects. Falli...

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    REVIEW | Love Among the Ruins: Eytan Fox's "The Bubble"

    Of course, it would follow that an Israeli filmmaker would center his films mostly around dichotomies, doubles, and impasses. Popular gay filmmaker Eytan Fox, whose previous two films, "Yossi and Jagger" and "Walk on Water," enjoyed healthy limited-run success in the U.S., returns with "The Bubble,"...

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    REVIEW | Slippery Slope: Aaron Katz's "Quiet City"

    Of late, there's been a lot of ink spilled over that new group of filmmakers currently being honored at New York's IFC Center as "Generation DIY" (and inadvertently forever dubbed "mumblecore," in an interview in these very pages at indieWIRE), so it might now be somewhat pressing to put aside quest...

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    REVIEW | True Colors: Ethan Hawke's "The Hottest State"

    Over nearly twenty years, Ethan Hawke, despite playing a variety of roles in disparate genres, has managed to create a recognizable star persona for himself. Perhaps too recognizable for some, as he can be easily pigeonholed and has become a bit of a punching bag for those not on his wavelength. Haw...

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