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  • Issue of
  • Mar 24-30, 2004
  • Vol. 24, No. 24

News & Views

Arts & Culture

  • The Scene
  • Good Bye, Lenin!

    Alex’s mother was in a coma for eight months, precipitated by a heart attack that took place in October 1989. By the time she awoke East Germany was no more. Alex, informed by his mother’s doctor that she was still in shaky health and that the slightest surprise could be fatal, set about to protect her from the changes that occurred during her coma. What ensues is a nostalgic drama with a farcical premise, but also a moving exploration of the bittersweet confusion of family ties.
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  • The Scene
  • Yossi & Jagger

    A camp of Israeli soldiers are stationed on a snowy hill not far from the Israeli-Lebanese border, and two of the soldiers are carrying on a homosexual love affair. Yet, it merely plods along with a detached and cold eye and enough foreshadowing to spoil any tension that its emaciated plot attempts to rouse. The troops prepare for a dangerous mission and it’s likely someone may not return. But it’s just another boring subplot that only exists to wrench a little unearned emotion out of the audience.
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  • The Scene
  • Power Trip

    Leeka Basilaia is an investigative journalist for Rustavi-2 Television, and a resident of Georgia, a former Soviet Republic. Electricity used to be provided by the government, but in January 1999, an American corporation bought the system. Director, editor and producer Paul Devlin’s Power Trip documents the difficulties the American multi-national underwent in implementing their capitalist corporate ways within a society still clinging to its old-world socialist mentality.
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  • The Scene
  • Good Morning

    Ozu spoofs the linguistic cliches that lubricate everyday conversation, the "good mornings" and "nice weather" exchanges that adults use to make safe contact and which the children think a bunch of bunk. The parents of two boys wish the kids would shut up, and to retaliate the two boys take a vow of silence, with predictable complications. Generally the film’s mood is gentle, and the feeling, as expressed by one character, is that the boys will eventually learn the value of small talk and the simple kindness of not always saying what’s on your mind.
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