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Jim Ridley

Calendar, Night&Day <i>Thirst</i>

Thirst

Finally, there’s a vampire movie worthy of the title The Hunger—even if it arrives under a more potable name. Carnal appetite, not a parched palate, is the accelerant that fuels this perverse, prankish, and merrily anti-clerical exercise in bloodletting from…
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Film, <i>Thirst</i>: A vampire movie worthy of <i>The Hunger</i>

Thirst: A vampire movie worthy of The Hunger

Finally, there's a vampire movie worthy of the title The Hunger — even if it arrives under the more potable name Thirst. Carnal appetite, not a parched palate, is the accelerant that fuels this perverse, prankish, and merrily anti-clerical exercise…
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Film, John Travolta plays the ringleader in <i>The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3</i>

John Travolta plays the ringleader in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Want to know how a city works? Start by watching 1974's The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, a primer in which subway hijackers test how long it'll take a million bucks to pass through Gotham's plumbing. Turns out an…
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Film, Peter Pans head for the Strip in Todd Phillips' <i>The Hangover</i>

Peter Pans head for the Strip in Todd Phillips' The Hangover

What Fletch was to plaid-checked water-cooler wits in the '80s, what National Lampoon's Van Wilder was to college-bound douches at the dawn of Dubya, that's what 2003's Old School is to Gen-X frat rats — a secret-handshake movie. A shaggy,…
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Calendar, Night&Day 30 Century Man

30 Century Man

Possessed of a lugubrious, histrionic baritone that could make the most trifling of pop ditties sound like a slow dance on the brink of apocalypse, Scott Walker may be the unlikeliest figure to maintain any presence on oldies radio, thanks…
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Calendar, Night&Day All That Show Must Go On

All That Show Must Go On

In interviews, Charlie Kaufman has floated the idea of building a scale-model Las Vegas in Las Vegas—which would entail building a scale-model scale-model Las Vegas, and within it a . . . well, you get the picture. That’s probably the…
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News, Feature Our critics name the best films of 2008

Our critics name the best films of 2008

Is it a sign of the apocalypse? Something in the water? Or is it just the way the wind is blowing? Whatever the case, when our often-contentious quintet of film critics put their heads together about the best movies of…
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Film,

The Sound of One Audience Member Clapping

Michael Jacobs, a filmmaker based in San Francisco, is the director of a movie called Audience of One. It's a documentary about a Pentecostal minister who says he's gotten the divine green light to make a megabudget, religious science-fiction epic.…
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Calendar, Night&Day <i>Timecrimes</i>

Timecrimes

Less a mindfuck on the level of 2004’s ingenious Primer than a sort of mental canoodle, this modestly diverting slice of shoestring Spanish sci-fi from writer/director/co-star Nacho Vigalondo proves yet again that time travel is an ambitious low-budget filmmaker’s jumbo…
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Calendar, Night&Day The Exiles

The Exiles

For the length of Kent MacKenzie's rediscovered 1961 feature, the past is not distant: It's vital, concrete, immediate—a record of vanished sites and vanquished dreams suspended in an eternally looped present. An account of 14 dusk-to-dawn hours in a community…
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Calendar, Night&Day In Deep

In Deep

By following Scott and Kimberly Roberts, a couple from New Orleans' stricken Ninth Ward, through Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, directors Carl Deal and Tia Lessin create an eyewitness epic of history in miniature. Trouble the Water’s first and most…
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Calendar, Night&Day I Can't Think Straight

I Can't Think Straight

Fall asleep flipping channels between Oxygen, Here!, and Lifetime, and you’re likely to find Shamim Sarif’s slickly innocuous lesbian romance now showing on your eyelids. (“Slick” isn’t the half of it—every image seems to have been Scotchgarded.) On neutral ground…
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Calendar, Night&Day High Wire Act

High Wire Act

Even as the first girders were laid in the mid-1960s, something about the World Trade Center -- that twin-pronged erection jutting from the loins of Western commerce -- inspired fantasies of lustful conquest. As James Marsh's documentary Man on Wire…
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Calendar, Night&Day A Wiry Guy

A Wiry Guy

Part caper movie, part real-life superhero saga, and entirely engrossing, James Marsh's documentary recounts in Rififi-like detail how a Parisian street performer and wire walker named Philippe Petit dodged cops, fought the elements, and defied seemingly impossible logistics to pull…
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Calendar, Night&Day Brokeback Mohammed

Brokeback Mohammed

Muslims, Jews, and Christians may have their, oh, occasional differences, but as an Islamic scholar observes in Parvez Sharma’s documentary A Jihad for Love, there is one point on which the religions agree: Homosexuality is a crime. In his fine…
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Film, Towering Cinema

Towering Cinema

Even as the first girders were laid in the mid-1960s, something about the World Trade Center — that twin-pronged erection jutting from the loins of Western commerce — inspired fantasies of lustful conquest. As James Marsh's documentary Man on Wire…
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Film,

Soul and the City

"The old people remember the past," a narrator says early in The Exiles over a prologue of Edward S. Curtis photographs — faces of aged Native Americans who may have had their lands taken away, but not their history or…
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Film, FilmCap

Kabluey

From the film appearances of the San Diego Chicken to the penguin-suited thug who gave Jean-Claude Van Damme a flipper-smacking in Sudden Death, I can't think of a single instance in film history where a giant padded suit hasn't been…
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Calendar, Night&Day <i>Kabluey</i>

Kabluey

From the film appearances of the San Diego Chicken to the penguin-suited thug who gave Jean-Claude Van Damme a flipper-smacking in Sudden Death, I can’t think of a single instance in film history where a giant padded suit hasn’t been…
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Film, Beyond Gonzo

Beyond Gonzo

"In a nation of frightened dullards, there is always a sorry shortage of outlaws, and those few who make the grade are always welcome." So wrote Hunter S. Thompson of the Hells Angels after riding with California's motorpsycho Mongol hordes…
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