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Movie Reviews

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    REVIEW | Missing Persons: Jia Zhangke's "Still Life"

    Jia Zhangke, who has emerged as one of the great artists from the "Sixth Generation" of Chinese filmmakers, is one of those directors whose work will always be embraced and discussed by a number of devoted followers but whose discursive, searching approach to narratives and the people who inhabit th...

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    REVIEW | Dental Damned: Mitchell Lichtenstein's "Teeth"

    Writer-director Mitchell Lichtenstein's feature debut takes high-concept to its zenith with "Teeth," a story about the myth of vagina dentata manifest in a teenage girl named Dawn. With an opening bird's-eye view onto a family home scored to Danny Elfman-esque music, the film quickly establishes th...

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    REVIEW | You've Got Male: Hong Sang-soo's "Woman on the Beach"

    It's clear that South Korean director Hong Sang-soo knows a thing or two about human relationships, of longings, self-delusions, attitudinal dead ends, and, once in a very miraculous while, he has a revelation or insight suggesting a new way to conduct them. On the basis of six heralded films, inclu...

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    Reverse Shot's Best of 2007: "Syndromes and a Century" and 9 More

    Despite the tortured self-analysis some critics feel the need to use as ostensibly humbling preface for their top tens, at Reverse Shot we're thankful for best-of-year round-ups -- we savor any chance we get to reiterate our love for films that might not have had the benefit of a massive marketing t...

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    REVIEW | Middle of the Road: John Sayles's "Honeydripper"

    Because John Sayles specifically sets his latest film, "Honeydripper," in rural Alabama in the year 1950, one would assume the socially conscious writer-director means to explore racial tensions in the South, by focusing on the titular bar run by Danny Glover's Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis. But black-w...

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    REVIEW | Scare Quotes: Juan Antonio Bayona's "The Orphanage"

    The organic foreboding conjured by an opening prelude torn from the past -- depicting children at play outdoors on a beautiful summer day full of pollen and petals, their caretakers looking on from inside a looming manor -- calls to mind elusive, unclassifiable films like Lucile Hadzihalilovic's "I...

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    REVIEW | Design for Living: Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's "Persepolis"

    At a moment in history where Iran, famously dubbed one-third of an "Axis of Evil" by Dubya, has again been making headlines as the next country with whom the Republicans wanna preemptively rumble (though the NIE's latest report on its lack of a nuclear weapons program throws this political gambit in...

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    REVIEW | Monkey See . . . Adam Rifkin's "Look"

    The gimmick of Adam Rifkin's forgettable "Look" is that it's comprised entirely of footage from surveillance cameras, or at least footage from cameras meant to simulate surveillance cameras. So guess what happens in its very first scene? Two teenage girls strip and cavort in a clothing store dressin...

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    REVIEW | Time Out of Mind: Francis Ford Coppola's "Youth Without Youth"

    Francis Ford Coppola has been quietly touting "Youth Without Youth," his first film in a decade, as a return to his independent roots, an experimental project for which he once again became a "student of cinema." It's a nice thought, one thematically linked to the film in its evocation of regenerati...

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    REVIEW | Match Point: Stefan Schaefer and Diane Crespo's "Arranged"

    "Arranged," the film itself and the story behind its conception, makes for a feel-good holiday story. Inspired by the experiences of Yuta Silverman, "Arranged" was written by Stefan Schaefer after he met with the young Orthodox Jewish woman, who had no previous connections to the New York film world...

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