Press Play

Vivian Maier, Mystery Woman and Master Photographer

There are two stories being told in "Finding Vivian Maier": that of Maier the enigma, of reveling in her art while constructing a narrative to stand beside it; and that of Maloof’s curatorial pursuit to preserve Maier’s work, to sell her work, and to establish her relevance within the art world—and through her relevance, his own significance.
  • By Anne K. Yoder
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  • April 4, 2014 1:59 PM
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In the Future We Will Have Less of Everything: On HOW I LIVE NOW and Its Predecessors

Has there ever been a film about the future that advocated in favor of progress, rather than against it? "How I Live Now," in its own quiet way, works beautifully and admirably against this trend, pervasive as its gloom might be, in suggesting that the sanctity of human relationships can create a barrier between the self and the crumbling world.
  • By Max Winter
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  • November 20, 2013 7:35 PM
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The Good Struggle: ILYA AND EMILIA KABAKOV: ENTER HERE

"Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here" is less a documentary than a study of the ways we react to tragedy, to trauma, to past suffering--in Kabakov's case, the trauma was the time he spent living under Soviet rule, from 1933 to 1987.
  • By Max Winter
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  • November 16, 2013 4:37 PM
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  • 0 Comments

The Tragic Absorption of THE MOTEL LIFE

There are times, during THE MOTEL LIFE, when it seems as if the film is sustaining itself on pure mood.
  • By Max Winter
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  • November 9, 2013 10:37 PM
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Kubrick in Reverse: The Earthly Pull of GRAVITY

Far from being a mere homage to Kubrick's "2001," Cuarón's "Gravity" offers an ingenious and moving revision and critique of its predecessor, one that begins in the stars but returns us to our own earthly soil.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • October 9, 2013 9:45 AM
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  • 2 Comments

INSIDIOUS, CHAPTER 2: The Haunting of the American Male

The Insidious films take place in an America haunted by faded dreams of a prosperity provided by a loved and respected father. In James Wan’s vision this patriarchal figure has been replaced by a maniacal presence brooding in the dark corners of a house where women are the strongest presence and men have become peripheral.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • September 18, 2013 10:10 AM
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The Axis of Cool in DRINKING BUDDIES, and How It Tilts

Joe Swanberg, as has been duly noted elsewhere, is building a portrait of a generation with his body of work. It's easy to imagine that, as Swanberg's films expand in scope, the crisis his characters face, the crucial question--can my plaid, my organic coffee, and my iPod survive my larger life crisis?--will become a more and more resounding issue.
  • By Max Winter
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  • September 3, 2013 8:36 AM
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Kill the Rich: YOU'RE NEXT and the Discreet Charms of the One Percent

In its by turns disturbing and hilarious portrayal of a privileged family’s reunion gone horribly wrong, You’re Next gives us what is perhaps this year’s most trenchant commentary on an America increasingly riddled by narcissism and greed.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • August 28, 2013 8:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Pablo Larraín's NO: A Movie That Says Yes To Itself

The Chilean film "No," written and directed by Pablo Larraín, is up for a foreign film Oscar this year. I hope it wins, if only to bring attention to an extraordinary film by an increasingly sophisticated director.
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • February 4, 2013 9:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Ramble On: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

From one perspective, it’s ironic that the adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s "Lord of the Rings" books have been so successful; they owe their success to technological progress, and yet an argument against such progress is one of their underlying themes.
  • By Ali Arikan
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  • December 13, 2012 11:55 AM
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  • 10 Comments

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