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ReelPolitik

How Overrated is "Beasts of the Southern Wild"?

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • January 31, 2012 10:49 AM
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  • 10 Comments
One of the best films to play at Sundance in two decades? I don't think so. Admittedly, I'm no Manohla Dargis, who made such a pronounced vote of confidence for the rough-and-tumble fantastical indie feature, "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which was a triple threat at this year's Sundance, winning the Grand Jury Prize, a Fox Searchlight deal, and was ranked the number one film of the fest by many critics. Consider this the beginning of the backlash.

Strong Sundance Docs Raise Specter of Racism in U.S. and Abroad

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • January 23, 2012 4:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments
I haven't yet seen "Slavery by Another Name," a new documentary that's premiering in Sundance this week, but the title evokes a theme I've seen running through a number of docs at this year's festival: the prevalence of racism in the histories of America and other countries. While economic-themed docs drew headlines prior to the festival, strong nonfiction films such as "Searching for Sugar Man," "Under African Skies," "The House I Live In" and "The Law In These Parts" suggest darker, and more disturbing undercurrents about discrimination in societies--as well as, in some cases, the power to counteract it.

Will Sundance 2012 Be Any Good? 4 Films to Watch

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • January 17, 2012 11:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments
As I've written before, I'm not crazy about Sundance as an experience, but I do like a number of the films that play there. Last year, my favorites included "Perfect Sense," "The Future," "Martha Mary Marcy Marlene," "Project Nim" and "Terri." What will be great this year? I've been inspecting the lineup closely over the last few days, planning my schedule and talking to a few people, and while I'm going in with low expectations -- it's always best to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed -- here are 4 films that I have high hopes for at this year's snowy morass. And anyone will tell you 4-5 terrific films at Sundance is about the best you can hope for.

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