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Movie Reviews

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    Berlin: Ulrich Seidl, Social Activist? The Austrian Director Discusses the Wake-Up Call In His 'Paradise: Hope' and Concluding a Distinctive Trilogy

    The best movie trilogy to encapsulate epic struggles against evil impulses spanning generations isn't "Star Wars." Austrian director Ulrich Seidl, a divisive auteur on the world stage widely considered to produce sadomasochistic provocations, has delivered a grander three-part statement on the human...

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    PAFF 2013 Review: 'La Playa D.C.': An Afro-Colombian Coming of Age Story

    There's an interesting scene in Juan Andres Arongo's La Playa D.C., where main character Tomas and his older brother El Chaco walk through a ritzy mall, and are accosted by security guards who question their presence. After being thrown out of the mall, El Chaco angrily exclaims that he left Colombi...

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    PAFF 2013 Review - Juan Andrés Arango's Quietly Absorbing 'La Playa D.C.'

    Juan Andrés Arango's La Playa D.C. is a familiar tale wrapped in different packaging, we could say, which speaks to the commonly-held belief that, once you strip away what lies at the surface of any work of film art, and get to its core, you'll find themes that are universal...

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    Berlin Review: Denis Côté's 'Vic and Flo Saw a Bear' Is Another Tantalizing Enigma From the Canadian Filmmaker

    Montreal-based filmmaker Denis Côté's work is always both cryptic and heavy with meaning, but his latest narrative feature "Vic and Flo Saw a Bear" stands out because at first it seems deceptively simple. From the purely avant garde "Bestiare" to the restrained father-and-daughter portrait "Curling,...

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    Berlin Review: Touching Chilean Midlife Crisis Dramedy 'Gloria' A Breakthrough For Star Paulina Garcia

    The first and last time we see Gloria (Paulina Garcia), the 58-year-old Chilean divorcee who gives writer-director Sebastián Lelio's touching midlife crisis drama its name, she's lost in the shuffle of the dance floor -- at once buried by the world and free to roam it. Anchored by Garcia's nuanced ...

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    Berlin Review: Haunting Backwoods Noir 'A Single Shot' Returns Sam Rockwell To His Darker Side

    Even before John Moon, the lonely woodsman played by Sam Rockwell at the center of David M. Rosenthal's "A Single Shot," accidentally shoots a young woman while hunting the desolate area near his trailer, his world has fallen apart. Rosenthal's adaptation of Matthew F. Jones' 1996 novel features a f...

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    PAFF 2013 Review - 'Dreams Of A Life' (Harrowing Reconstruction Of A Life From Fragments)

    By now I’m sure we’re all familiar with the story, even if it’s just the broad details of it – young woman dies in her apartment and her body isn’t discovered for a good 3 years, as it lay there putrefying – which actually sounds like it could be a pitch for ...

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    Richard Lormand, Publicist's Best Films

    Richard Lormand's films are always a key to the best films at the festivals of Berlin, Venice and Cannes. If he reps them, you want to see them.

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    Berlin Review: German Klondike Western 'Gold' Is 'Meek's Cutoff' For Dummies

    A universe away from the German bounty hunter roaming the Old West in "Django Unchained," the European adventurers in "Gold" hail from a more traditional playbook. Director Thomas Arsland's watchable oater only maintains a uniqueness for the sheer presence of German characters involved in a plight m...

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