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Movie Reviews

  • Shadow and Act
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    PAFF 2013 Review - Alí Allié's & Ruben Reyes' Thoughtful, Enlightening 'Garifuna In Peril'

    Screening at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, now in the latter half of this year's run, the film's title Garifuna in Peril is suggestive enough, and should clue you in to what the the film's focus is - in short, the fight for the preservation of a culture (by those w...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Review: Noah Baumbach's 'Frances Ha,' Starring Muse Greta Gerwig (VIDEO)

    Noah Baumbach's "Frances Ha" (May 17) follows a young woman drifting through the generous definition of "coming of age" that has become en vogue with the advent of Mumblecore and American indie films over the past decade. Frances Halliday (Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the film and also starred in Baum...

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Beautiful Creatures' A Stylish Southern Gothic Riff On 'Twilight' That Gets Tangled In Its Own Mythology

    Just as the "Harry Potter" franchise begat a number of costly imitators that failed to catch on (just think: "Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events," "The Spiderwick Chronicles," "Cirque du Freak"), so too will the unstoppable "Twilight" franchise breed countless would-be successors, each wi...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    PAFF 2013 Review: 'Nairobi Half Life' Offers Engaging Spin on Big City Tale

    I didn't really know what to expect when I sat down in the theater to watch Nairobi Half Life at this year's Pan African Film Festival. I heard about the film in passing, but not much beyond that. The storyline is familiar, a young man from a small town ventures to the big city in hopes of pursuing ...

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  • The Playlist
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    Berlin Review: 'Interior. Leather Bar' Is A Surprisingly Successful James Franco Experiment On Male Sexuality & Filmic Process

    So let's clear up a few misconceptions about this film -- and of course there are misconceptions, it's a James Franco project. In fact it's the third title to boast his involvement at this Berlin Film Festival (after "Lovelace" and "Maladies"), but here he is pulling double duty as co-director with ...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    PAFF 2013 Review: 'Stones In The Sun' Is A Gripping Tale About Haitian Immigrants In The U.S.

    It’s seldom we get to see authentic, complex and tactful character representations from the West Indies on the screen, especially in cinema. In her compelling and heartfelt feature film debut, Haitian filmmaker Patricia Benoit follows three Haitian immigrant families seeking refuge in Bro...

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  • The Playlist
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    Berlin Review: Jane Campion's 'Top Of The Lake' A Satisfying & Cinematic Crime "Novel" In The Shape Of A TV Show

    Taking the concept of binge-watching to a whole new theatrical level, we were lucky enough to spend most of our Sunday at the Berlin Film Festival in a large auditorium consuming Jane Campion’s six-hour “Top of the Lake” TV series, which will air in seven episodes on The Sundance Channel starting Ma...

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  • Indiewire
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    Berlin Review: Juliette Binoche Delivers Commanding Performance In Bruno Dumont's Powerful Crisis of Faith Drama 'Camille Claudel 1915'

    Berlin Review: Juliette Binoche Delivers Commanding Performance In Bruno Dumont's Powerful Crisis of Faith Drama 'Camille Claudel 1915'

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  • Indiewire
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    Berlin Review: Haunted By His Characters, Jafar Panahi Defies Iranian Government Again With Cryptically Self-Referential 'Closed Curtain'

    In 2011, shortly after he was banned by the Iranian government from making movies for 20 years, Jafar Panahi pulled off the impossible with "This Is Not a Film," a bold, diary-like production shot in the confines of his apartment. Given the circumstances, "This Is Not a Film" looked like the only le...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    PAFF 2013 Review – 'Talking With The Taxman About Poetry'

    My screening of Lamont Pierre’s, “Talking with the Taxman about Poetry,” had all the trappings of a mysterious blind date. I did not know anything about the films storyline, I did not know anything about the director, and I did not have concrete intentions of actually seeing ...

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