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    New on Video: ‘Breaking the Waves’

    “This remarkably affecting film is a powerful work that delves deeply into often unspoken and unconventional recesses of faith and love. Its themes are profound, its performances staggering throughout, and its visual palette and filmic technique are replete with saturated hues, vigorous camera work, and an unabashed intimacy.” More

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    ‘The Book Thief’ a well-acted but ill-intentioned WWII drama

    We have, by now, seen so many stories set during the Second World War that to attempt a new one means that a writer has to come up with a new angle, something so fresh that no one’s seen it before. Anyone can craft a tale of a young girl’s coming of age in Nazi Germany; even if the intent is to create and develop multi-faceted characters, not just howling, evil goose-steppers, there has to be a hook. For better or worse, The Book Thief, based on the popular young adult novel of the same name, does have a hook to set itself aside from every other World War II drama. The problem is, unfortunately, that the hook is massively misguided. More

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    ‘Anna Karenina’ is a mostly successful aesthetic treat

    Anna Karenina Written for the screen by Tom Stoppard Directed by Joe Wright UK/France, 2012 For most of its running time, Joe Wright’s version of Anna Karenina takes place within interior confines, with nearly every scene occurring on a set of noticeable stages. There are no attempts to disguise the artificiality of the film’s appearance: […] More

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    TIFF 2012: ‘Anna Karenina’ is an aesthetic marvel that mostly succeeds elsewhere

    Anna Karenina Written for the screen by Tom Stoppard Directed by Joe Wright UK/France, 2012 For most of its running time, Joe Wright’s version of Anna Karenina takes place within interior confines, with nearly every scene occurring on a set of noticeable stages. There are no attempts to disguise the artificiality of the film’s appearance: […] More

  • Top 5 Manic Pixie Dream Girls

    On January 25, 2007, Onion A.V. Club critic Nathan Rabin inadvertently added a phrase to the movie lexicon. One that would eventually get it’s own Wikipedia page and it’s own NPR story. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl. In his review of Elizabethtown, Rabin said the following of Kirstin Dunst’s character: “Dunst embodies a character type I like to call The Manic Pixie Dream Girl (see Natalie Portman in Garden State for another prime example). The Manic Pixie Dream Girl exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is an all-or-nothing-proposition. Audiences either want to marry her instantly (despite The Manic Pixie Dream Girl being, you know, a fictional character) or they want to commit grievous bodily harm against them and their immediate family.” More

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    Trailers: Cold Souls

    There has been much discussion on the debut film by Sophie Barthes, Cold Souls.  There is the inevitable comparison to Charlie Kaufman and the trailer is definitely reminiscent of Being John Malkovich.  But I think this film deserves a chance to be seen and word has been very positive so far.  I Heart Huckabees this […] More

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    Festival Nouveau Cinema 2008: Synecdoche, New York

    Synecdoche, New York Directed by Charlie Kaufman Perhaps the apt comparison to make is not to Fellini’s 8 1/2, as a few have been in a mad dash to do. It’s actually only necessary to turn the clock back a couple of years in order to find an appropriate bedfellow for superstar screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s […] More