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Wednesday, October 29, 1997

M

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 1997 at 12:00 AM

Director Fritz Lang's legendary M (Germany, 1931) is a film which emerged from the shadowy, irrational melodrama of post-WWI German expressionism and anticipated the more grounded, semi-documentary police procedurals of post-World War II America. Almost 70 years after its debut, it still seems an audacious achievement, both for the...

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To Speak the Unspeakable: The Message of Elie Wiesel

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 1997 at 12:00 AM

A plane lands on a remote runway, deep in the Carpathian Mountains. It taxis up to a waiting shuttle bus, and a small man, trim and weather-beaten, alights. A pair of oversize sunglasses are clamped to his head, a blazer sits on his shoulders. Is he a film producer...

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Brave new genes for the man of means

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 1997 at 12:00 AM

In Gattaca, the new ruling class has been given a genetic advantage: All imperfections have been corrected in utero. No more birth defects or major diseases. No unsightly eyeglasses needed. No more left-handed people among the streamlined right-handed achievers. An unfortunate child born without these enhancements is dubbed an...

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Playing God

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 1997 at 12:00 AM

People are said to be "playing God" when they begin to believe they can actually control things beyond their capacity as human beings. In the case of Dr. Eugene Sands (David Duchovny), it takes on the added meaning of thinking the whole world revolves around him. A surgeon more...

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A Life Less Ordinary

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 1997 at 12:00 AM

Perhaps taking their title to heart, the cheeky creative team behind Shallow Grave and Trainspotting have made sure their latest effort is anything but ordinary. Wildly inventive, woefully derivative, sure-footed yet clumsy, A Life Less Ordinary manages to be both infuriating and enchanting. The trio behind this oddball trilogy...

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Wednesday, October 22, 1997

The End of Violence

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 1997 at 12:00 AM

Has a European ever made a good film about California? If so, this isn't it. Wim Wenders, long an Ameriphile, has taken it upon himself to tell us all about what makes the Golden State tick at the end of the millennium. The press kit offers the helpful suggestion...

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Washington Square

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 1997 at 12:00 AM

Of Henry James' troubled heiresses, Catherine Sloper in Washington Square (1880) is in some ways the most pitiable. James uses his carefully measured, beautiful language not so much to describe Catherine as to catalog her seemingly endless shortcomings. He appears to share the opinion of her father, Dr. Austin...

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I Know What You Did Last Summer

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 1997 at 12:00 AM

Ever since Wes Craven threw in the towel on slasher films with his Wes Craven's Nightmare, the genre has become an upfront burlesque. Subtle nudges and winks no longer will do. Take, for example, a scene early in I Know What You Did Last Summer. A quartet of high...

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Adventures in the skin trade

Porn was on the verge of going as mainstream as disco.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 1997 at 12:00 AM

Boogie Nights is an adult film, but not in the sense of "adult entertainment," the polite euphemism for the porn industry where its characters make their living. Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson's freewheeling epic is a movie for adults: smart, funny, brave, devastating, ambiguous, sometimes all at the same time....

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Devil's Advocate

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 1997 at 12:00 AM

So far in his career, poor Al Pacino has developed to actually transcend typecasting. Having matured in film and on the stage into a venerable but peppery persona, he has, for the most part, outpaced the legacy of Michael Corleone, the classic role he rode to prestige in Francis...

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