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Film, "Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish": An Ethnic, Attitudinous Riff on the Bard

"Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish": An Ethnic, Attitudinous Riff on the Bard

Sixty years have passed since the last American Yiddish talkie, Catskill Honeymoon, enjoyed a premiere theatrical run, and although a few postmodern (or post-Yiddish) examples have bloomed there's been nothing like Eve Annenberg's rambunctious wild flower Romeo and Juliet in…
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Film, "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia": Investigating Deaths and Meaning

"Once Upon a Time in Anatolia": Investigating Deaths and Meaning

A 157-minute police procedural, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia elevates Turkey's leading filmmaker, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, to a new level of achievement. Like Ceylan's earlier films, it's an impeccably beautiful representation of the everyday — as demonstrated by the…
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Calendar, Night&Day Gorgeous and Gruesome Coexist

Gorgeous and Gruesome Coexist

As stripped down and propulsive as its robotic title, Drive is the most "American" movie yet by Danish genre director Nicolas Winding Refn. The film is a sleek, tense piece of work that, as a vehicle for Ryan Gosling, has…
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Film, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo": Rooney Mara Takes Control

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo": Rooney Mara Takes Control

Set in a freeze-your-blood land of streamlined chrome and steely dawns, David Fincher's Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, a malevolent remake of the 2009 Swedish blockbuster directed by Niels Arden Oplev from Stieg Larsson's thriller, follows a cold trail of…
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Film, "War Horse": WWI Gets the Spielberg Treatment

"War Horse": WWI Gets the Spielberg Treatment

It might be perverse to accuse a tearjerker as accomplished as Steven Spielberg of being unfeeling. But the overcalculation with which he mechanically trots out one of his most familiar tropes for what amounts to a generic Disney animal story…
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Calendar, Night&Day The Life of the Mind

The Life of the Mind

David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method is at once a lucid movie of ideas, a compelling narrative, and a splendidly acted love story involving Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), and Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), the near-forgotten patient-turned-disciple who…
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Film, "A Dangerous Method": Cronenberg Examines the Birth of Psychoanalysis

"A Dangerous Method": Cronenberg Examines the Birth of Psychoanalysis

David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method is at once a lucid movie of ideas, a compelling narrative, and a splendidly acted love story involving Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), and Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), the near-forgotten patient-turned-disciple who…
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Film, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy": An Atmospheric Return to the Cold War

"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy": An Atmospheric Return to the Cold War

John le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the 1974 spy novel generally regarded as the writer's finest, is predicated on a pair of enigmatic personalities: the colorless bureaucratic master-spook George Smiley and the double agent the Soviets have planted near…
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Film, "Young Adult": Charlize Theron's Bitchy Former Prom Queen Is Forever Young

"Young Adult": Charlize Theron's Bitchy Former Prom Queen Is Forever Young

Described as a "psychotic prom-queen bitch," the anti-heroine of Young Adult, directed by Jason Reitman from a Diablo Cody screenplay, is a prize part for Charlize Theron. She plays Mavis, a 37-year-old writer of high school romance fiction, as well…
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Film, "Shame": Body Horror Underlines Chronicle of Extreme Sex Addiction

"Shame": Body Horror Underlines Chronicle of Extreme Sex Addiction

Steve McQueen's first two films both star Michael Fassbender, feature virtually interchangeable titles, and are nearly as grueling to watch as they must have been to make. But where Shame might be nearly as excruciating as 2008's Hunger, it's a…
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Film, "The Descendants": Alexander Payne's Latest Is Surprisingly Predictable

"The Descendants": Alexander Payne's Latest Is Surprisingly Predictable

Why has it taken Alexander Payne seven years to follow up on Sideways? And what's blunted his edge? Payne's earlier movies have been driven by richly flawed characters — Reese Witherspoon's monstrous high school striver in Election, Jack Nicholson's thoroughly…
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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"

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