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Review

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    Review: Imperfect Yet Understated & Tender 'Swell Season' Digs Under The Skin Of 'Once' Co-Stars

    “Once” was the little movie that could get you out of a rut, provided the mind and heart remained open to the maudlin yet unstrained love that sprung up between a guitar player and a flower seller of few words. Much of the film’s success can be justifiably attributed to the immense charm of the two ...

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    NYFF '11 Review: '4:44: Last Day On Earth' Envisions The Apocalypse Without Much Imagination

    There's something very wrong in Abel Ferrara's "4:44: Last Day On Earth." The world, as the title would suggest, is coming to an end, and Ferrara, the fuck-you auteur behind "King of New York" and the non-Nic Cage-adorned "Bad Lieutenant," is content with keeping things inside a spacious apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There aren't any fireballs ascending heavenward, or steely buildings splintering into a million computer generated pieces. The anguish here isn't global, but personal, and instead of millions of people, Ferrara zeroes in on an arty couple, played by Willem Dafoe (channeling his "Antichrist" persona of earnest con...

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    NYFF ’11 Review: ‘Corpo Celeste’ Is A Quietly Moving Coming-Of-Age Tale

    The subtle, affecting “Corpo Celeste” is the story of Marta (Yle Vianello), a 13-year-old Italian girl who has spent the last decade growing up in Switzerland. She returns to Calabria (an act that’s described in the press materials as a “return emigration”), in southern Italy, to be bombarded with f...

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    NYFF '11 Review: 'Tahrir' Is A Must-See Account Of The Egyptian Uprising

    The "Arab Spring" -- a term frequently used to describe the various countries in the Middle East rising against their much-maligned leaders -- rages on in full force. Though the wave of revolution is powerful, the media tends to be very selective in its coverage, focusing on one country before quick...

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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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