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Friday, May 2 2014

‘Documented’ Shows How Becoming Documented Is a Life’s Process

Documented shows that US immigration policy is impossible to negotiate and it makes impossible any coherent sense of identity for those trying to negotiate it.


‘Belle’: Between Worlds During Slavery

Dido Belle must serve both as an embodiment of a terrible history and as a vessel of sentimental period romance.


‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’: Emocore Superhero

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a pulpy and mostly winning combination of spandexed superheroics and the complicated yearnings of young romance.


D.W. Griffith’s Cinematic Continuity Influences the Danish Classic, ‘Master of the House’

Carl Theodor Dreyer's mastery of film technique makes Master of the House (1925) rewarding viewing today.


Thursday, May 1 2014

Meryl Streep’s Incomparable Performance in ‘Sophie’s Choice’

No matter how you may feel about the story, Sophie's Choice is worth watching simply for the pleasure of watching Meryl Streep act.


Wednesday, April 30 2014

Tribeca Film Festival 2014: ‘Zero Motivation’ + ‘Güeros’

A deft, award-winning Israeli comedy mashes up M*A*S*H* and Office Space, while a Mexico City night-ramble dismantles its own mythology as it goes.


‘Grudge Match’ Proves It Ain’t Over for De Niro or Stallone

Three decades later, Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro are still the stars they were at 35, and it's their efforts that carry Grudge Match over the top.


‘Labor Day’ Is a Labor-Intensive Watch

Even with all of the talent on display, Labor Day is a major disappointment.


Tuesday, April 29 2014

Tribeca Film Festival 2014: ‘Match’ + ‘1971’

A dance choreographer and former rake must own up to his past, and a band of activists risk life in prison to expose the FBI’s domestic surveillance program.


It’s the End of Paris as We Know It in ‘Dead Shadows’

The hazards run the gamut from the predictable to the grotesque, but at least they're set to a cool Francophone hip-hop soundtrack.


‘The Borderlands’ Is Where Faith Goes to Die

Just like the unfathomably popular Paranormal Activity, The Borderlands often relies on tired old horror film tropes to generate frights.


Monday, April 28 2014

Tribeca Film Festival 2014: ‘All About Ann’ + ‘Art and Craft’

A documentary on the Texas firebrand, Ann Richards, and another on an art forger addicted to fake philanthropy, both question authenticity.


‘Big Bad Wolves’ Is Designed to Scare the Parents, Instead of the Children

Unpredictable, twisted, and energetic, Big Bad Wolves is a unique, writhing beast that constantly subverts your expectations.


‘Earth Flight’ Brings You Right Into the Flock

Although this isn’t the best that BBC Earth series has produced, nevertheless, it’s solid and engaging.


Friday, April 25 2014

Tribeca Film Festival 2014: ‘An Honest Liar’ + ‘In Order of Disappearance’

These two very different films track the efforts of men to right wrongs; one is about a magician and debunker of magicians, the other is a revenge comedy set in Norway.


‘Who Is Dayani Cristal?’: Perils of Crossing the US-Mexican Border

This film shows how the desert too often produces skulls and spines preserved in drawers, torn photos or handwritten notes or cash money saved in plastic bags.


‘Persona’ Doesn’t Need to Be Understood to Be Loved

Ingmar Bergman’s film is profoundly mysterious, and the more we try to comprehend it, the farther away we move from its magic.


Thursday, April 24 2014

‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ Is an Ode to the Eternally Undead City of Detroit

These vampires anticipate and understand death, and yet they mean to avoid it. Just so, Detroit -- decaying, yet vivid and eternal -- is their most perfect self-reflection.


‘Sensation: The Story of the Who’s Tommy’ Lives Up to Its Name

What more is there to say about the rock opera, Tommy? Quite a lot.


‘The Great Beauty’ Is a Magnificent, Sensory-Rich Visual Poem that Pulsates with Life

Rome has mastered a balletic balance in chaotic dichotomy, where ruin and exultation beg for a kind of seduction that only film can provide.


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