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Movie Reviews

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    Living for the City: Barry Jenkins's "Medicine for Melancholy"

    The structure of Barry Jenkins's "Medicine for Melancholy" allows for a terrific twist right off the bat. Like many other modestly budgeted American indies, Jenkins's film follows two people getting to know each other, as they wander an expressive cityscape, over the course of one day -- aloofness gives way to intimacy, flirtation transitions into intellectual probing, daytime turns to night. The major difference here lies in the deployment sexual tension: this man and this woman aren't looking to sex as the endpoint, for this day is already the aftermath of an anonymous one-night-stand. The goal, as it were, has already been met; now if they...

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    Portraying Chaos: Ondi Timoner's "We Live In Public" (Sundance '09)

    According to documentarian Ondi Timoner, Josh Harris -- the Internet pioneer at the center of "We Live in Public" -- didn't mind revealing the more twisted aspects of his web-fueled career. "I don't care how you portray me," he said, "as long as you make a great film."

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    24 Sundance '09 Snapshot Reviews

    EDITORS NOTE: Below are a series of snapshot reviews provided for indieWIRE by film critic Eric Kohn, offering first looks at the films being shown at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

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    Youth Rebellion: Cary Joji Fukunaga's "Sin Nombre" (Sundance '09)

    At different times, "Sin Nombre" is a harsh coming-of-age tale, a gripping man-on-the-lam thriller, a social drama, a road movie, and a love story. Sometimes, it's all of those things. That's not to say the first feature written and directed by Sundance Lab alumnus Cary Joji Fukunaga suffers from an...

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    Bad Trip: Olly Blackburn’s “Donkey Punch”

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    A Tender Urban Love Story Grows During 9/11: 'Don't Let Me Drown" (Sundance '09)

    Other independent dramas use the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks as emotional background but few with the skillful subtlety as first-time director Cruz Angeles in "Don't Let Me Drown." While primarily a young love story, arguably the most overly familiar of movie genres, "Don't Let Me Drown,...

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    An Engaging Portrait of Obsession: Robert Siegel's "Big Fan" (Sundance '09)

    A comic formula wrapped in lonely sentiments, Robert Siegel's "Big Fan" is an engaging portrait of obsession. Siegel, the former editor of "The Onion," wrote "Big Fan" several years ago while attempting to launch his screenwriting career; the darkly humorous story of a New York Giants aficionado cau...

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    Chancy, Over-The-Top 'Vicious Kind' is a Mixed Success (Sundance '09)

    Risky material matters more than the skilled technique and earnest performances throughout writer/director Lee Toland Krieger's battling brothers drama "The Vicious Kind." Granted, all the core ingredients of a quality dysfunctional family drama are here: family conflict, violence, sexual impropriet...

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    Coming-of-Age Drama "An Education" Is a Triumph for Director and Star (Sundance '09)

    Much is remarkable about the sweet and wonderful coming-of-age period drama “An Education,” the latest from Danish director Lone Scherfig and the first unqualified breakout at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. For Scherfig, who remains best known for her 2000 foreign-language comedy “Italian for Beginners,” “An Education” reveals a filmmaker talented at quality, mass-appeal storytelling. Veteran novelist and screenwriter Nick Hornby (“High Fidelity,” “About a Boy”) adapts a short memoir by journalist Lynn Barber and expands it into a distinct, full-fledged script as satisfying as any of his previous stories. But its greatest surprise revol...

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    Man Out of Time: Terence Davies' "Of Time and the City"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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