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Film, "Blue Is the Warmest Color": Did You Know It's About More Than Lesbian Sex?

"Blue Is the Warmest Color": Did You Know It's About More Than Lesbian Sex?

So here's another male hetero critic chiming in on the greatness of Blue is the Warmest Color. I will at least keep it brief. This NC-17 coming-of-age drama from France, where it won the top Cannes prize, is based on…
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Film, Feature The Year in Film: Quentin Tarantino Goes Big

The Year in Film: Quentin Tarantino Goes Big

Illustration by Justin Crutchley Quentin Tarantino has been Googling himself, and it's starting to become a problem. The filmmaker, whose eighth feature, Django Unchained, opened on Christmas Day, is famously an analog evangelist: He writes his scripts in longhand;…
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Film, "Holy Motors": Hark, Behold, Watch the Uncategorizable

"Holy Motors": Hark, Behold, Watch the Uncategorizable

Unclassifiable, expansive, and breathtaking, Holy Motors, the first feature-length film from Leos Carax since Pola X (1999) — and only his fifth in 28 years — received a log line of sorts from its writer-director at the press conference following…
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Film, "Wake in Fright": The Wickedest Walkabout Returns, Lurid as Ever

"Wake in Fright": The Wickedest Walkabout Returns, Lurid as Ever

As director Ted Kotcheff told Senses of Cinema magazine, when Aussie grindhouse creeper Wake in Fright premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1971, "There was an American seated in one of the rows immediately behind me, and he kept…
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Film, Cannes 2011: What to See from the Best Festival in Years

Cannes 2011: What to See from the Best Festival in Years

CANNES, FRANCE. The last day screening of Nuri Bilge Ceylan's ruminative, challenging Once Upon a Time in Anatolia strengthened an exceptionally ambitious and coherent competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival — although Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life won…
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Film, Early Cannes Report: Troubled Parents, Troubled Kids Aplenty

Early Cannes Report: Troubled Parents, Troubled Kids Aplenty

Midway through the Cannes Film Festival, the competition has been all about family — more specifically all about parents (and parent surrogates) and their troubled children, many of both types pretty much from hell. Brad Pitt seems a good bet…
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Calendar, Night&Day <i>Breathless</i>

Breathless

While critics at Cannes break their heads parsing Jean-Luc Godard's latest enigma, his 1960 first feature Breathless marks its 50th anniversary in a freshly subtitled print from a restored negative supervised by the original cinematographer Raoul Coutard. For those old…
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Film, Cannes crew picked a winner, but the best of the fest wasn't allowed to compete

Cannes crew picked a winner, but the best of the fest wasn't allowed to compete

CANNES, France — The jury has its awards, and I have mine. Sometimes they even coincide. Palme d'Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul's modest Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives — the acme of no-budget, Buddhist-animist, faux-naïve magic realism —…
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Film, A week into Cannes and our critic sends his best regards

A week into Cannes and our critic sends his best regards

CANNES, France — Midway through the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, it's clear that, although the competition oozes glamour and Wall Street never sleeps, the action this year (even more than in the past) is to be found in its less…
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Film, History repeats: Certainty at the end of <i>The White Ribbon</i>'s unsolved mystery &#151; and a sure hand behind it

History repeats: Certainty at the end of The White Ribbon's unsolved mystery — and a sure hand behind it

The White Ribbon is Michael Haneke's first German-language film since the original Funny Games (1997) and, addressing what used to be called "the German problem" while dodging the filmmaker's own likeability issues, it's his best ever. A period piece set…
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Film, Up close and personal with <i>Humpday</i> star Joshua Leonard

Up close and personal with Humpday star Joshua Leonard

Joshua Leonard came undone at Cannes. It wasn't just that Humpday, the film in which he stars, had made it into the festival's prestigious Directors' Fortnight — unlikely enough for a movie about two straight friends who decide to shoot…
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Film,

Lars von Trier's Antichrist can't save this year's Cannes

CANNES, France — It's been a blood-soaked first week at the Cannes Film Festival — at least onscreen. Six festivals ago, Lars von Trier galvanized a mediocre competition with his coup de cinéma, Dogville. Returning this year, again in the…
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Film,

Cannes 2009: This time, it's visceral

CANNES, France — Memorable for its in-your-face sensationalism, the 62nd Cannes Film Festival opened with the 3-D computer animation Up, saving the "Yours" for the final minutes of the competition's penultimate movie, Gaspar Noé's "psychedelic melodrama" Enter the Void. The…
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Calendar, Night&Day Sunshine of Your Love

Sunshine of Your Love

The astonishingly gutsy filmmaker Lee Chang-Dong doesn't set out to shock viewers. He's just unwilling to flinch from hard truths, be it the taboo love affair between an ex-con and a woman with cerebral palsy (Oasis) or the dashed-to-suicide dreams…
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Film, Richard Kelly Follows <i>Donnie Darko</i> with Terrorizing <i>Southland Tales</i>

Richard Kelly Follows Donnie Darko with Terrorizing Southland Tales

A doom-ridden pulp cabalist with a dark sense of purpose as well as humor, Richard Kelly shoots the moon with Southland Tales, his rich, strange, and very funny sci-fi social satire. Kelly's debut, Donnie Darko, was the first postmillennial cult…
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News, Feature Revenge of the Sequels

Revenge of the Sequels

You can always count on Hollywood to fill the summer with re-heated leftovers. So pull that fork out of your eyeball (the one you stuck in there after watching last summer's sequel orgy) and dig in! Mmmmm, no nutritional value,…
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Film,

We Aren't the World

Cannes, France — The Coen brothers' pulpy, ultimately pretentious neo-western No Country for Old Men screened early in the Cannes Film Festival and, by the end, had maintained its standing as the most widely approved Yankee feature to bow here…
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Film, The Art of Dying

The Art of Dying

If there's a tougher sell than a Romanian movie by a hitherto unknown director, it's a Romanian movie by an unknown director that takes two and a half hours to tell the tale of a 62-year-old pensioner's final trip to…
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Dining, Eat

Will Nopa Be the New SOMA?

In rapidly gentrifying cities, where a search for affordable housing turns every neighborhood, no matter how sketchy, grubby, or charmless, into a possible one, it's the amenities that follow that make those areas not just possible, but alluring — complete…
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Film, Belgian Waffling

Belgian Waffling

Amid brutal competition from A History of Violence, Cache (Hidden), and Last Days, the top prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival went to L'Enfant (The Child), a Belgian drama about a 20-year-old hustler who sells his infant son like…
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