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Is There a Connection Between Baumbach's 'Frances Ha' and Bujalski's 'Funny Ha Ha'?

It seems so obvious. “Frances Ha.” “Funny Ha Ha.” Coincidence? We think not. But wait… One is about an awkward 20-something delaying adulthood, while her romantic planets fail to get in line. The other is ... well, yeah, pretty much about the same thing. Except that one rocketed to obscurity in 2002, and the other seems poised, based on reviewers more or less genuflecting since its U.S. premiere at Telluride last fall, to become an indie hit of major (albeit relative) proportions.
  • By John Anderson
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  • May 15, 2013 1:48 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Now and Then: In Two 'Steel Magnolias,' the Times Are Not A-Changin'

The first thing one notices about "Steel Magnolias" (Herbert Ross, 1989) is the hair. Truvy's Beauty Shop overflows with tight-rolled pastel curlers and foot-high teases, held in place by enough hairspray to commit arson -- a style so far out of fashion it seems historical, as rococo as Marie Antoinette's bedsheets.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • May 14, 2013 3:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Review: 'Aftershock,' Starring a Nebbish Eli Roth, Plays with Religious Cliches While the Blood Spurts

When he hasn’t been writing directing or producing some of the more notorious entries in the horror/torture porn catalogue (like “Cabin Fever,” “Hostel,” and the two “Last Exorcisms”) Eli Roth has worked on his parallel career as screen star -- perhaps most notably as the Bear Jew, the baseball bat-wielding, Nazi-dispatching, one-man-Jewish-revenge-fantasy of Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds.”
  • By John Anderson
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  • May 10, 2013 2:42 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Preview: Sarah Polley's Must-See Doc 'Stories We Tell,' Baz Luhrmann's Showy but Sagging 'Great Gatsby'

Canadian writer-director-actress Sarah Polley's brilliant documentary on her enigmatic family history, "Stories We Tell," leads the pack of a slew of top-reviewed limited releases this weekend. Ben Wheatley's "Sightseers," the follow-up to frightfest "Kill List," also hits theaters and VOD, along with Irish director Lenny Abrahamson's coming-of-age drama and fest favorite "What Richard Did," and Maiken Bird's fest-circuit sports biodoc "Venus and Serena."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 10, 2013 2:08 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Review Roundup: 'The Great Gatsby' A Swooning But Excessive Piece of Cinema (TRAILER)

The reviews are in for Baz Luhrmann's epically mounted display of bacchanalia "The Great Gatsby," which opens in the US on Friday before premiering again at Cannes on May 15. As expected, the film is incredibly divisive.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • May 6, 2013 1:07 PM
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  • 3 Comments

REVIEW: Luhrmann's 'The Great Gatsby' Wows with Audacious 3-D Visuals, Sags Dramatically

"The Great Gatsby" is a guilty pleasure, a swirling, audacious piece of cinema --in 3-D!--that could prove a crowdpleaser for young audiences. Set during the Roaring Twenties, the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel has been a fave of high school and college kids for decades. It plays young, partly because it's about young people in love--or their idea of love, which judging from this latest take on the story, makes people incredibly stupid.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 6, 2013 1:04 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Docs – Life After Tribeca? These Titles Deserve It

A few good docs always emerge from Tribeca. Yet emerging from any film festival with strong reviews and a distribution deal doesn’t mean that anyone will see the film.
  • By David D'Arcy
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  • May 5, 2013 6:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Tribeca Review: Experimental Shorts Series 'Let There Be Light' Turns the Simple Into the Intense

Thirteen experimental short films screened in the "Let There Be Light: The Cycles of Life" series at the Tribeca Film Festival. Each of the films was loosely connected by the "profound artistic influence of light" in film. Some of the films highlighted the power of sunlight, flickering through trees or dousing harvests. Others took inspiration from artificial light sources or the moon's glow. Each of them relied on relatively simple imagery and narration in order to tap into something mythic and intense.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • May 4, 2013 4:21 PM
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  • 0 Comments

San Francisco Festival Diary: Kate Bosworth and Michael Polish Talk Falling in Love on 'Big Sur'

SFIFF programmer Sean Uyehara, who's been hanging out with Michael Polish in the bar upstairs, dares to ask, "what was it like to fall in love on the set?" Polish replies, "It took me ten films to fall in love on the set!," whereupon Kate Bosworth says "I wish I had gone to the bar!" But Polish continues, saying that he said to his first AD, "I'm going to marry this girl!" during her first scene.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • May 3, 2013 4:01 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Review: Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen Shine in James Marsh's IRA Drama 'Shadow Dancer' (TRAILER)

Andrea Riseborough is a chameleon actress who makes her mark in everything she does, from Madonna's "W.E." as fashionplate Wallis Simpson and Tom Cruise's seductive housemate/overseer in "Oblivion" to terrorist in James Marsh's elegantly crafted IRA thriller "Shadow Dancer," which played the Sundance Fest in January. The movie is available now on iTunes and On Demand and hits theaters May 31.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 3, 2013 2:20 PM
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  • 4 Comments

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