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Movie Reviews

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    SXSW Snapshot: What Zombies? Bruce McDonald's "Pontypool"

    I'm in the minority thinking that Bruce McDonald's "The Tracey Fragments" made for one of the niftiest avant-garde movie experiences of 2008, but McDonald doesn't try to please a large crowd, anyway. For years, the director has worked with complete autonomy, thriving off his community in Canada while still managing to attract stars to his projects. He does what he wants for whoever cares to pay attention. At the same time, there's generally something familiar about the genres McDonald chooses to play around with; he just tends to rejiggle the pieces, and boldly leave a few of them out of the picture. "Tracey Fragments" was a visually jagged t...

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    SXSW Snapshot: Michael Paul Stephenson's "Best Worst Movie"

    Despite all the fantastic literature on cult movies, the phenomena generally speak for themselves. Outside of J. Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum's classic "Midnight Movies" tome, cultural analysis of cult movies tends to adopt an outsider's gaze, observing the ongoing niche engagement with oddities like "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" but not expressing any appreciation for the product. The result is somewhat distancing and ultimately self-defeating. The documentary "Best Worst Movie" provides an alternative to that trend by actively participating in the cult sensation at its center: "Troll 2," widely regarded as one of most spectacularly bad...

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    SXSW Snapshot: Joe Swanberg's "Alexander The Last"

    Joe Swanberg's earlier films reveled in aimlessness to achieve their thematic intentions. As characters hung out, had sex, and talked about the pithy details of their twentysomething lifestyles, Swanberg would gradually assemble portraits of relationships that naturally arose from the settings. That...

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    Review Round Up: Critics Consider "Cleaning"

    "Following her beautifully impressionistic debut 'Rain' and the Gwyneth Paltrow vehicle 'Sylvia,' New Zealand director Christine Jeffs lands somewhere in between with 'Sunshine Cleaning,' an affecting, well-acted drama that casts an even brighter spotlight on rising starlet Amy Adams," indieWIRE's Anthony Kaufman wrote upon the film's world premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. "First seen in slow-motion, dressed in a pink uniform and determinedly carrying an array of cleaning supplies as she charges forward, she is a priceless picture of feminine distress—one that helps carry the film, in its manic alterations between perky and pathe...

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    Pagan Poetry: Tony Stone's 'Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America'

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    A Sparkling Tale of Loss: Christine Jeffs' "Sunshine Cleaning"

    EDITOR'S NOTE: This review was originally published as part of indieWIRE's coverage of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

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    Unlikely Beauty: Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Tokyo Sonata"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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    Review Round up | Talking "Tokyo!"'s Ups and Downs

    "A cramped metropolis of xenophobes and eccentrics living in a futuristic present: that is the image evoked in 'Tokyo!,'” a three-part film, directed by Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Bong Joon-ho, is how New York Times critic Stephen Holden describes the film, being released this weekend via Liberat...

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    Review Round up | Critics On Jan Troell's Latest, "Everlasting Moments"

    Over forty years after his directorial debut, Swedish director Jan Troell has found critical acclaim once again with his latest film, "Everlasting Moments."

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    The Big Shrill: Alan Hruska's "Reunion"

    [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]

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