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  • Issue of
  • Mar 1-7, 2006
  • Vol. 26, No. 20

News & Views

Arts & Culture

  • The Scene
  • Neil Young: Heart of Gold

    The straightforward concert film is an increasing rarity these days, so the arrival of Neil Young: Heart of Gold should be cause enough to inspire music buffs and cinephiles alike. Not to mention, 1) it’s Neil Young, dude, and 2) it’s directed by Jonathan Demme, whose 1984 film Stop Making Sense, detailing the Talking Heads, was one of the genre’s true landmarks. However, the end result is less than staggering; perhaps it’s due to impossibly high expectation
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  • The Scene
  • After Innocence

    You don’t need to rent The Shawshank Redemption to see a gripping tale of wrongfully imprisoned men fighting a corrupt justice system. The documentary After Innocence provides a glimpse into a relatively recent phenomenon: The scores of men exonerated from long-term prison sentences, often through new, advanced DNA testing of old evidence. Director Jessica Sanders doesn’t pay lip service to the plight of the eight men presented here; her commitment to her subjects extends to their most intimate moments with their families, friends and even victims. It’s the kind of film where you walk out feeling you know the people you’ve just seen.
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  • The Scene
  • The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

    With a script by Guillermo Arriaga (21 Grams), the film presents a stoic and evocative contemporary Western that pleads for racial tolerance — while allowing Tommy Lee Jones to let his inner crackpot run wild. In a contemporary Texas border town, the body of illegal immigrant Melquiades Estrada is discovered in a shallow grave. When the sheriff (country crooner Dwight Yoakam) balks at solving the murder, tough-as-nails Pete Perkins (Jones) takes matters into his own hands. A close friend of Melquiades, Perkins promised to bury him in his Mexican hometown should anything happen. When Pete discovers that border patrolman Mike Norton (Barry Pepper) was responsible for the shooting, he kidnaps the officer and forces him to dig up his friend’s body and carry it across the border on horseback.
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  • The Scene
  • Duma

    Xan (Alexander Michaeletos) and his dad (Campbell Scott) find an orphaned cheetah cub poised to become roadkill on a rural highway. They bring him home to their family farm and christen him Duma, the Swahili word for cheetah. Xan and the purring, snuggly, spotted little guy bond, but as the cheetah grows bigger, stronger and faster, it’s clear he can’t stay.
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  • The Scene
  • Running Scared

    Running Scared is just the latest entry in the hyperviolent scuzzball genre that Quentin Tarantino started more than a decade ago. From True Romance to Boondock Saints to Domino, these flicks all have the same ingredients: triple-gun standoffs with bullets that fall like rain, ridiculously hard-boiled dialogue and endless references to other, better movies directed by Martin Scorsese. As with any genre that’s desperately trying to maintain its cred, each effort has to be bigger, louder and more frantic than the last, sort of a scummy survival of the fittest. Tasteless, exploitive, clichéd and more than a little racist, Running Scared is nothing if not shameless. But for those with no shame, it might become something of a cult classic.
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  • The Scene
  • Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

    Fans of alt-country musician Jim White know he’s a true oddball genius, a Southerner who’s equal parts Tom Waits, Johnny Cash and Johnny Knoxville. The lyrics to his songs are loaded with fire-and-brimstone tales of love, death, sin and redemption. You could spend weeks trying to figure it all out; luckily, at least one of White’s fans, British filmmaker Andrew Douglas, decided to go to the source to document the inspiration for it all.
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