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Foreign Films

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    NYFF '11 Review: 'Sleeping Sickness' A Morality Tale That Doesn't Fulfill Its Promise

    Poor Ulrich Köhler. His first feature "Bungalow" was a quiet, very reserved tale about a young soldier going AWOL. Instead of finishing his service, he gives into lethargy, laying around and doing nothing while hoping the military doesn't catch up with him. Once he's introduced to his brother's sweetheart, he finally finds his purpose: get in her pants at all costs. No, it wasn't terribly ambitious, but it was a relatively solid debut and was interesting enough to make those who actually saw it keep an eye on the new German filmmaker. Four years passed and finally his sophomore picture "Windows On Monday" was unleashed with a whimper. This fi...

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    NYFF '11 Review: 'Once Upon A Time In Anatolia' A Masterful, Slow-Burn Epic

    Minimalist art filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan spent a long time crafting very personal and breathtakingly photographed tales. His work has never been big on plot, nor have they ever been anything other than glacially paced. Indeed, his general aesthetic isn't very welcoming to the impatient, though those willing to give their attention are always struck by something special. His black and white debut "The Town" is a real toughie, containing less of a story and more of a collection of moments -- but without the presence of a narrative, Ceylan is free to discover and exhibit universal beauty that isn't dependent on deep characters or drama. A "sce...

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    VIFF '11 Review: 'I Wish' The Rare Example Of A Great Kids Film That Actually Understands Kids

    The frustrating thing about most modern "kids films" is that many filmmakers seem like lost balls in tall grass when it comes to portraying what makes children tick. Perhaps it's tougher than we imagine to capture the youth/kid experience, but is it just us or does it seem like nearly all child characters in movies exist in some bizarro world where they're smarter than the all the adults, know just the right thing to say at every moment and hardly ever act like, you know, kids? (See every American indie and Hollywood rom-com from the last 10 years for examples of this annoying, ridiculous trend). That's why, when a thoughtful, intelligent dir...

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    Bernardo Bertolucci Ditches 3D For His New Movie ‘Io e Te’ Saying It's "Vulgarly Commercial"

    With everyone and their Mom rushing to 3D including old school dudes like Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, for a moment there, it seemed like legendary director Bernardo Bertolucci was going to follow his colleagues over the proverbial cliff. Earlier this spring it was announced the filmmak...

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    'Pitbull' Was The Original Title Of 'The Kid With A Bike' But Distributors Turned It Down

    The Dardenne Brothers Hit NYFF '11 And Talk Casting, Scoring & MoreAre there any filmmakers as consistent as our favorite Belgian siblings the Dardenne Brothers? While they won't break any box office records, every instalment of the arthouse duo's output (though as per request and general lack of ac...

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    Watch: This Is What Luc Besson's Oscar Bait Looks Like, The Trailer For 'The Lady'

    It looks like at the age of 52, director Luc Besson is ready to move on from his testosteron- fueled action pics and crayon-outlined children's entertainment. He's ready to get a hug from the folks who give out golden statues, and to try and make that happen, he's delivering "The Lady."

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    NYFF '11 Review: 'Dreileben' Is An Accomplished, Dense Trilogy Spanning Murder, Love & More

    With the recent upsurge in quality TV programming and the ensuing embracement by cinema-goers, it was only a matter of time before film festivals actually started programming pieces originally made for the tube. Both "Carlos" and "The Red Riding Trilogy" were of this ilk; flicks broadcast on the small-screen that retained their cinematic quality but took advantage of the long-form storytelling television provided. "Dreileben," the latest of these undertakings, centers on a murder across three feature films each with their own perspective. Things open innocently with a youthful romance, the loose murderer and subsequent manhunt only lurking in...

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    Review: 'My Joy' Is A Searing Blast On Russian Society Past And Present

    After admiring the mixing process of cement, two men heartlessly drop a dead body into the vat. The sun shines, a bulldozer covers the hole, and people get on with their workday. Wait a second, Sergei Loznitsa, you don't really mean that title sincerely, do you?

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    Sony Pictures Classics Picks Up Surprise TIFF Audience Winner 'Where Do We Go Now?'

    Lebanese actor/director Nadine Labaki came out of nowhere recently and took home the Cadillac People’s Choice Award at TIFF for her comedy "Where Do We Go Now?" While the film was without a U.S. distributor at the time, a big, unexpected win like that meant someone would swoop down in no time and th...

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    Jose Padilha Says 'Elite Squad' Sequel Is His Scorsese-Like Take On Cops & Politics In Brazil

    Brazilian Auteur Talks "Fascist Vs. Marxist" Perspective In Filmmaking, Police Corruption, Social Politics & MoreJose Padilha may currently be best known for directing the upcoming remake of Paul Verhoeven’s “RoboCop,” but rest assured that the Brazilian filmmaker is anything but a purveyor of style brought in to polish off a classic property. His previous work, including the documentary “Bus 174,” the police thriller “Elite Squad,” and its new sequel “The Enemy Within,” was not only hugely successful in his native Brazil, but it was all distinguished by a sophisticated, incisive commentary on contemporary culture which will undoubtedly come ...

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