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SIMON SAYS: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN ON VIOLENCE, HUMOR, AND IDENTITY

"Human nature is violent," William Friedkin tells me, going on to say that he also likes Immanuel Kant's phrase "the crooked timber of humanity." As an artist, Friedkin is as blunt, matter-of-fact and masterfully cynical as his initial statement suggests.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • July 26, 2012 9:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, But Not Quite High Enough

"The Dark Knight Rises" is a half-baked success, a finale whose ambitions ultimately exceed the Nolan brothers' abilities.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • July 20, 2012 9:39 AM
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  • 6 Comments

TEN BAT-TAKES: THE TEN BEST INTERPRETATIONS OF BATMAN

No matter how much Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego have changed over the decades, Batman's various incarnations are all related.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • July 19, 2012 9:38 AM
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  • 6 Comments

SIMON SAYS: Could TRISHNA Really Be a Michael Winterbottom Film?

If you sat down to watch "Trishna," a modern-day adaptation of Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" reset in contemporary India, and didn't already know that it was directed by Michael Winterbottom, you probably couldn't tell.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • July 12, 2012 9:16 AM
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  • 2 Comments

SIMON SAYS: Local Heroes: The New York Asian Film Festival Strikes Again (And Again, And Again)

The New York Asian Film Festival, now a pop culture institution unto itself, started eleven years ago.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • July 5, 2012 8:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments

SIMON SAYS: MAGIC MIKE and the Camera

Steven Soderbergh's recent use of digital photography in "Contagion" (2011) and "The Girlfriend Experience" (2009) has a painterly quality. In "Magic Mike," Soderbergh's visual flourishes establish concerns better than anything his characters say.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • June 28, 2012 9:17 AM
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  • 0 Comments

SIMON SAYS: The Roberto Benigni Problem

The imminent release of "To Rome with Love," the latest movie directed and written by Woody Allen, should have you wondering the following: what exactly do people see in Roberto Benigni, and why has his career sustained itself for as long as it has?
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • June 21, 2012 9:24 AM
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  • 2 Comments

SIMON SAYS: Pure Ideas: Dropping Science (Fiction) with EXTRATERRESTRIAL Filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo

Nacho Vigalondo’s films are about ideas.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • June 14, 2012 9:04 AM
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  • 1 Comment

SIMON SAYS: Trying Harder: What PROMETHEUS Gets Right

One character in Prometheus sums up why Ridley Scott's return to his 1979 science fiction milestone is as refreshing as it is, in just two words: "Try harder."
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • June 7, 2012 8:55 AM
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  • 1 Comment

SIMON SAYS: White Men Can't Ninja

In 1981, producer-cum-director Menahem Golan was supposed to direct Charles Bronson in "Death Wish 2." But, as the apocryphal story goes, Bronson didn't want Golan at the helm. So Golan directed "Enter the Ninja"—a movie which, oddly enough, has remote ties to the spaghetti western genre.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • June 1, 2012 9:29 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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