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Movie Reviews

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    TRIBECA REVIEW | Non-Fiction Innovation: Clio Barnard's "The Arbor"

    Documentaries often toy with the conventions of non-fiction storytelling to the detriment of their content, but Clio Barnard's innovative "The Arbor" provides a welcome exception to the norm. Tracking the experiences of British playwright Andrea Dunbar and her children, Barnard uses actors to lip-sy...

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    TRIBECA REVIEW | The Subtext of Longing: Lee Isaac Chung's "Lucky Life"

    During one of many understated scenes in Lee Isaac Chung’s “Lucky Life,” a character expresses the desire for “a chance to slow down a bit more,” and his friend concurs. Such an abstract wish could serve as the tagline for Chung’s meditative, lyrical and yet hauntingly familiar look at the elusive nature of memory among day-to-day experiences. The movie revolves around the weekend getaway of four friends: Jason (Kenyon Adams), Alex (Richard Harvell) and recently married couple Mark (Daniel O’Keefe) and Karen (Megan McKenna). Although Jason is dying of cancer, he seems pensive rather than sad. The rest of the group attempts to follow his lead,...

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    TRIBECA REVIEW | High School Conventions: "Beware the Gonzo"

    The time has come for a moratorium on high school comedies. Done to death in the heyday of John Hughes knock-offs and poorly resurrected many times since then, the angst-riddled coming-of-age genre invites replication rather than ingenuity, and rarely yields an enjoyable product. Case in point: "Bew...

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    TRIBECA REVIEW | An Off-Key Trainwreck: Olivier Dahan's "My Own Love Song"

    It's no easy task to figure out at what point "My Own Love Song" transitions from a string of basic mediocrities to hilariously awful contrivances. My own theory is that this happens somewhere between the incoherent split-screen car chase and the animated birds. Others may write it off even earlier ...

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    TRIBECA REVIEW | Colombian Squalor: "The Two Escobars"

    The history of Colombia's tattered international reputation is not an unexplored field, but Jeff and Michael Zimbalist's Tribeca Film Festival world premiere documentary "The Two Escobars," provides an original strategy for framing it. A study in contrasts, the movie oscillates between two men with ...

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    REVIEW | Sensational Metaphor: Tom Six's "The Human Centipede (First Sequence)"

    Easy to deride, and easier to dismiss, "The Human Centipede (First Sequence)" nonetheless works as a calculated provocation. Demented in premise and execution, Dutch filmmaker Tom Six's grotesque exercise in shock cinema has enough competence on its own terms to allow for a deeper reading. Put blunt...

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    Big Screen | "Weird" Korean Western is New Critic's Pick

    Perhaps bracing for the upcoming summer season, it's a somewhat slower weekend at the movies on the specialty front (though there should be a significant amount of holdover business). Openers include Kim Ji-woon's Korean Western "The Good, The Bad, The Weird," Michele Mulroney & Kieran Mulroney's R...

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    Big Screen | Acclaimed "Gift Shop" Opens For Business; Oscar Winning "Secret" Is Out

    It looks to be a very busy weekend at art houses across North America, with no fewer than eight releases beginning their platform releases. Among them are two films that were already the subject of considerable conversation earlier this year: Mysterious English street artist Banksy's "Exit Through The Gift Shop," which caused a stir at Sundance in January and is now being released through; and "The Secret In Their Eyes," Argentine director Juan José Campanella's film that surprised many by taking the best foreign language film Oscar over "The White Ribbon" and "A Prophet" (oddly enough, all three films are being released through Sony Pictures...

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    iW Review | An Urban Mystery: Banksy's "Exit Through the Gift Shop"

    From the moment elusive street artist Banksy appears on camera in "Exit Through the Gift Shop," something seems fishy. With his face obscured by shadows and his real voice rendered unrecognizable by mechanical distortion, Banksy remains the mysterious figure he has always been. In "Exit," the contex...

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    Big Screen | Anti-Date Movie "Everyone Else" Opens To Raves

    "If there’s one movie this spring that you shouldn’t see with a date, it’s 'Everyone Else,'" Anthony Lane wrote this week in his New Yorker review of the new film, "unless you are looking for a quick, low-budget way to break up." While that may be the case with Maren Ade's meticulously observed dep...

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