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Living in Ghost World: Washington, DC

With US Presidential candidates vying for the best seat in the White House in mind, we revist an essay on what living in DC is like for the common man.

Elbert Ventura
Culture

Ghost World

The irony of Washington, DC, repository of the nation's nostalgia, is that it is has no sense of its own past. For those who come, living here is just something that you have to do to get to where you eventually want to go. No one who stays is anyone of real power.

Elbert Ventura
Reviews

Millennium Mambo (2003)

A filmmaker fixated on the continuing past, Hou has become the foremost chronicler of our mortality.

Elbert Ventura
Film

The 18th Annual Washington, DC International Film Festival

This year's Filmfest DC, the 18th, was mild cause for excitement among locals and hardly at all for international cinephiles. Thus, it seems, it will always be for a film festival located in the capital, where the national soap opera invariably drowns out everything in its radius.

Elbert Ventura
Film

Top 10 Films of 2003

Elbert Ventura
Film

The Triplets of Belleville (2003)

Sylvain Chomet's first feature is a doggedly strange, if effortlessly whimsical, movie that fuses vaguely recognizable elements to form an exceedingly alien universe.

Elbert Ventura
Film

Once Upon a Time in the West: Special Collector's Edition (1968)

Sergio Leone never met a portentous entrance he didn't like.

Elbert Ventura
Film

Carnages (2002)

Carnages' denizens spin into each other's orbits and offer the prospect of communion and regeneration.

Elbert Ventura
Film

In This World (2002)

Attempting to put a human face on the refugee crisis, Winterbottom puts a premium on legibility.

Elbert Ventura
Film

The School of Rock (2003)

A welcome reminder that studio comedies need not be shoddy, dumbed down, vulgar, and impersonal, the movie is unimaginable without Jack Black.

Elbert Ventura
Film

The Secret Lives of Dentists (2003)

Eschewing the loopy romanticism of his past efforts, Alan Rudolph displays admirable restraint in representing domestic drudgery.

Elbert Ventura
Film

Camp (2003)

A patchwork quilt for the unloved misfits it glorifies and indulges, Todd Graff's 'Camp' has a quarter of the polish of 'Chicago', but three times the humanity.

Elbert Ventura
Reviews

Little Big Man (1970)

It didn't just dispel the cloudless America of Westerns past -- it dismembered the genre, threw the parts in a trench, and spit on the tombstone.

Elbert Ventura
Film

The Sea (Hafið) (2002)

Shooting for King Lear, Kormákur instead gives us much ado about nothing.

Elbert Ventura
Film

17th Annual Washington, D.C. International Film Festival

Less a curated collection than an eclectic grab bag, the films defied audience expectations and easy categories, even the ones its organizers devised.

Elbert Ventura
Film

Ten (2002)

Abbas Kiarostami has made a career of demolishing our complacency as viewers, blurring the divides between fiction and documentary, spectator and screen.

Elbert Ventura
Film

Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary (2002)

The lasciviously titled Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary is a reliably unhinged exponent of Maddin's antiquarian vision.

Elbert Ventura
Film

Raising Victor Vargas (2003)

At once affectless and affecting, 'Raising Victor Vargas' is remarkably self-possessed for a first-time feature.

Elbert Ventura
Reviews

The Awful Truth (1937)

Never sappy, The Awful Truth is at once light on its feet and grounded at heart.

Elbert Ventura
Film

Open Hearts (Elsker Dig For Evigt) (2002)

Distinguishes itself with its fondness for its characters -- hardly a trademark of the Dogme movement.

Elbert Ventura
Film

Old School (2003)

Peddling the same jokes and ideas as countless other undistinguished 'Animal House' wannabes, 'Old School' is too dutiful for its own good.

Elbert Ventura
Film

Divine Intervention (2001)

Suleiman proves himself an essential voice in world cinema because his formalism is inextricable from the political moment it documents.

Elbert Ventura
Film

The Other Network - PopMatters Film Review )

Driven by instant gratification and a bottom line ethos, the networks have all but abandoned the cause of great TV comedy.

Elbert Ventura
Film

Tully (2002)

Locating its story of familial disquiet in the locus of the American myth, Tully doesn't quite go so far as to debunk the idealized heartland.

Elbert Ventura
Reviews
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