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Movie Reviews

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    REVIEW | Living in the Present: "The Imperialists are Still Alive"

    Records of post-9/11 Middle Eastern life have been virtually absent in Western cinema for obvious, if deplorable, reasons. Zeina Durra mercifully comes to the rescue with a sharp contemporary yarn sporting an appropriately alarming title: "The Imperialists Are Still Alive!" The first-time director's...

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    REVIEW | The Toxic Avenger: Josh Fox's "GasLand"

    This review was originally published as part of indieWIRE's coverage of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. "GasLand" premieres on HBO Monday, June 21st.

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    Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast At Tiffany's, And The Dawn Of The Modern Woman

    by Sam Wasson (HarperStudio) This splendid new book is more than a mere “making-of” chronicle. It examines Breakfast at Tiffany’s in a variety of contexts, including the careers of its principals (Truman Capote, Audrey Hepburn, Blake Edwards, Henry Mancini, Edith Head, et al),...

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    REVIEW | Emotional Style: Luca Guadagnino's "I Am Love"

    Form and content are often viewed as two distinct ingredients that, when joined together, form a coherent work of art. In the lavishly stylized family drama "I Am Love," however, direct Luca Guadagnino constantly pits form against content and vica versa. The story of a desperate housewife (Tilda Swi...

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    Big Screen | "Love," "Killer" and "Cyrus" Heat Up Summer Art Houses

    An eclectic trio of indie films featuring some consider star power are looking to continue the specialty box office surge that - of all things - Joan Rivers and a dark drama set in the Ozark Mountains started last weekend. This Friday, Luca Guadagnino's "I Am Love," Mark And Jay Duplass's "Cyrus," and Michael Winterbottom's "The Killer Inside Me" will all hit theaters and, between them, feature casts that include Tilda Swinton, Catherine Keener, John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, Kate Hudson, Casey Affleck and Jessica Alba. Like last weekend's "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" and "Winter's Bone," they all also hail from Sundance 2010 (t...

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    REVIEW | Anatomy of a Psychopath: Michael Winterbottom's "The Killer Inside Me"

    Notorious from the moment it first unspooled at the Sundance Film Festival in January, Michael Winterbottom's "The Killer Inside Me" certainly has a fair share of brutal indulgences. However, as much as the controversy may scare off the faint of heart, the viciousness comes and goes -- which could a...

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    REVIEW | In Search of Happiness: Agnes Jaoui's "Let It Rain"

    "I'm basically really happy," says the genial hotel clerk Karim (Jamel Debbouze) in the first scene of Agnes Jaoui's "Let It Rain," a brisk French dramedy in which happiness constantly lurks just barely outside the frame. Looking for an escape his unremarkable life, Karim joins forces with self-described "reporter" Michel (Joui's ongoing writing partner, Jean-Pierre Bacri) to make an ill-fated documentary about the established feminist writer Agathe Villanova (Jaoui), whose long-standing family maid happens to be Karim's Algerian mother. There are tensions of both racial and professional natures in this arrangement, but they lurk in the nuanc...

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    film review: The Karate Kid

    In today’s risk-averse movie business, we’re seeing more remakes than ever, including retreads of films that don’t seem that old (to some of us). After a screening of the new Karate Kid I asked a couple of ten-year-old boys if they knew the 1984 movie, and they did, thanks to DV...

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    REVIEW | Music & Fashion Love: "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky"

    The second movie released in a year's time to involve fashion designer maven Coco Chanel, the brooding drama "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky" delivers its goods on constant repeat. A fictionalization of the rumored liaison between Chanel (Anna Mouglalis) and the famed Russian composer (Mads Mikkelsen) in the 1920s, this spare, elegantly-made period piece creates a visually dazzling portrait of misguided passion. But the remarkable sights and sounds, which culminate with Stravinsky composing a masterpiece after the conclusion of his torrid affair, don't quite overwhelm the lack of story. Instead, we get continuous overstatement: Sex! Art! Tortu...

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