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Thompson on Hollywood

Now and Then: After the Storm, Portraits of Tenacity in Recovery

As a resident of a city whose history of storms — and their concomitant unnatural disasters — is troubled at best, I watched Sandy warily but distantly. Thing always look different outside the "cone of uncertainty." The images coming in from the Northeast this morning put me in a more solemn frame of mind.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • October 30, 2012 12:02 PM
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Weekend Preview: Julia Loktev's Psychological Slow Burner 'The Loneliest Planet,' An Ambitious but Flawed 'Cloud Atlas'

While "Cloud Atlas" gets all the attention this weekend (good and bad), several other films are worth checking out for those not interesting in spending nearly three hours watching movie stars play multiple parts (races, genders, etc) to a mostly unsatisfying conclusion. While ambitious and epic, "Cloud Atlas" offers few characters with emotional impact: Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw and Jim Broadbent are stand-outs.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 26, 2012 12:09 PM
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Film World Salutes Andrew Sarris UPDATE (VIDEO)

Some of the top figures in New York film culture of the past five decades paid tribute to the late Andrew Sarris, the iconic film critic most noted for championing the “auteur” theory in America. Sarris died in June at the age of 83. The afternoon tribute, which played to a packed house at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, included speeches by friends of Sarris as well as an eclectic amalgam of classic film clips from films that Sarris loved.
  • By Charles Lyons
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  • October 25, 2012 1:34 AM
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Now and Then: 'Four,' Moving Portrait of Love and Sex in the Time of Craigslist

"Four," director Joshua Sanchez's remarkably honest, empathic adaptation of Christopher Shinn's play about a quartet of lovelorn folks in a modern age, works on you slowly. It's taken me about a week since seeing it at the New Orleans Film Festival to suss out just how complex and world weary it is, and how surprisingly beautiful.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • October 23, 2012 12:47 PM
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'Holy Motors' Trailer, Review ("bonkers, delirious, pretentious"); Carax Q & A (VIDEO)

Indomina has released an exhilarating U.S. trailer for Leos Carax's "Holy Motors," which debuted on the fest circuit last May in Cannes (where it did not score a prize) and wound up playing Fantastic Fest as well as New York, which tells you something. Matt Mueller's review calls the film "bonkers" and "equal parts delirious and pretentious." Indiewire's Eric Kohn draws some answers out of the notoriously press shy Carax here.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • October 21, 2012 2:20 PM
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Review: Prieto Remakes Refn's 'Pusher'

Luis Prieto’s remake of "Pusher" is of interest because Nicolas Winding Refn's original offers such promising source material. But even with Refn's blessing, Prieto makes plenty of his own mistakes, delivering a stylish but perfunctory copy of his predecessor.
  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • October 20, 2012 3:24 PM
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Weekend Preview: Awards Contender 'The Sessions,' Tyler Perry's Rotten 'Alex Cross'

This weekend, you can see Tyler Perry's attempt at movie-stardom (sans the Medea drag getup) in "Alex Cross," which is being slaughtered by critics...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 19, 2012 8:43 PM
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Immersed in Movies: 'Skyfall' Is Both Homecoming and Breakthrough

James Bond has always been about looking forward and back at the same time, but never more so than in "Skyfall," which is both a homecoming and a breakthrough for the 50th anniversary. In fact, it's all about exploring the old and the new. That's the central metaphor; it's embedded in every ambiguous moment. It was worth the extra year taken to craft the script, do the prep, and hone every delicious detail into an organic whole.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • October 19, 2012 4:29 PM
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Mill Valley Film Fest Highlights: 'Life of Pi,' 'Central Park Five,' 'In Another Country,' 'The Sessions,' 'Strutter,' "Rent-a-Cat,' 'Starlet,' 'Quartet'

Despite the fact that it’s located less than an hour from my house in Berkeley, I have never actually attended the Mill Valley Film Festival in a serious fashion. But this year the Festival seemed unusually festive. Perhaps this was occasioned by its 35th anniversary. Perhaps because film festivals are increasingly becoming the default method of distribution in an era when art houses are diminishing.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • October 17, 2012 8:44 PM
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Review: Rory Kennedy's 'Ethel' -- A Tribute to a Mother and Survivor

Documentarian Rory Kennedy is the youngest of Senator Robert Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy's 11 children, born seven months after her father's assassination in 1968. Never having known her father, except via the scratchy footage of history, home movies and stories from family members, yet also inevitably identified as a "daughter of Robert Kennedy," she set out to make a film about the unsung leading influence in her life -- her mother.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 16, 2012 12:00 PM
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