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Review

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    NYFF '11 Review: 'We Can't Go Home Again' Is A Maddening, Fascinating Effort From Nicholas Ray

    In 1971 Nicholas Ray, former Hollywood director of "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Bigger Than Life," accepted a teaching position at Harpur College of Arts and Sciences at SUNY Binghamton University in upstate New York. At the time the university was seen as the epicenter of experimental and avant-garde art (the film program at Binghamton having been started by renowned experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs). At some point during his two-year tenure, Ray moved into a house off campus with a group of his students and began collaborating on "We Can't Go Home Again," a project that would screen at Cannes in 1973 but was tinkered with, by Ray, until hi...

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    Review: ‘Finding Joe’ Visually Explores Influence Of Mythologist/Teacher/Writer Joseph Campbell

    “I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” - Joseph Campbell

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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embracement by cinema-goers, it was only a matter of time before film festivals actually started programming pieces originally made for the tube.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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    Review: 'Dream House' Is An Awful Nightmare

    Universal has gone out of its way to market the unfortunately dour "Dream House" as a gooseflesh-raising thriller, emphasizing a pair of ghostly girls and positioning them on a decaying staircase in an image eerily evocative of Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining." The fact that this image is so fleeting that its presence in the movie could easily be counted in the milliseconds didn't matter to them. After being delayed due to reshoots and nearly every creative principle publicly distancing themselves from the film (including director Jim Sheridan and stars Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz), they needed to drum up all the sizzle they could for this s...

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    Fantastic Fest Review: 'Elite Squad 2' A Sprawling, Exciting Look At The Depths Of Corruption

    More of a “Red Riding Hood” or “Millennium Series” installment than a traditional sequel, “Elite Squad: The Enemy Within” doesn’t require viewers to have seen the original “Elite Squad” because it builds upon its predecessor’s themes and ideas rather than the strict details of its plot. Director Jos...

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    Review: SXSW Hit 'Surrogate Valentine' Charms At A Low Frequency

    Singer-songwriter Goh Nakamura stars in “Surrogate Valentine” as a thinly veiled version of himself, a struggling West Coast musician with a wry deadpan humour and a gentle spirit. His open face suggests an innate patience with the fools that surround him as he soldiers thanklessly through underpaid...

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    Review: 'Sarah Palin: You Betcha!' Is A Surprisingly Toothless Bore

    Nick Broomfield is a British documentarian with a reputation for being boldly unafraid to ruffle people’s feathers. In films like “Biggie & Tupac” and, most notoriously, “Kurt and Courtney,” he seemed unconcerned with the status quo (or possibly lawsuits), making inflammatory claims and taking part in gleeful provocation, a welcome change of pace from the overtly mannered realm of current documentary filmmaking. Which makes “Sarah Palin: You Betcha!,” his new film about America’s one-time potential Vice President and former Governor of Alaska, so odd – it’s boring, toothless, and genial. Anyone (like me) smacking their gums in anticipation of...

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    Review: 'Tucker & Dale' The Hillbilly Horror Buddy Comedy You Never Knew You Wanted

    The following is a reprint of our review prior to the VOD release. The film hits theaters in limited release starting Friday, September 30th.

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    Fantastic Fest Review: 'Sleepless Night' A Deceptively Simple Thriller That Packs A Punch

    Containment thrillers can often be limited by the landscape of their locale, but in the French film “Sleepless Night,” the nightclub where corrupt cop Vincent (Tomer Sisley) races to rescue his son is expansive enough to make it seem like a mini-mall. Writer-director Frederic Jardin somehow manages to squeeze every last drop of claustrophobia from the massive, multilevel building, even after he’s filled it wall-to-wall with clubgoers, diners, socialites, and especially the odd assortment of cops and crooks who all have a stake in Vincent’s future. Although it’s quite deservedly scheduled for an American remake via the folks at Warner Brothers...

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