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Movie Reviews

  • 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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    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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    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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    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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    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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