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Wednesday, October 28, 1998

East Palace, West Palace

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 1998 at 12:00 AM

The title East Palace, West Palace refers to the two public toilets on either side of the Forbidden Palace which, in contemporary China, are cruising grounds for young gay men. Periodically, they are routed by the police, humiliated in a ritualistic manner (e.g., told to squat and face a...

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Happiness

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 1998 at 12:00 AM

In his ambitious second film, writer-director Todd Solondz captures a feeling of frustrated yearning -- where happiness seems to exist just beyond the reach of grasping fingertips -- in a group of characters who can't see that what's actually holding them back is themselves. Joy (Jane Adams) is considered...

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Orgazmo

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 1998 at 12:00 AM

It must be magic working with actor-writer-director Trey Parker ("South Park")! After all, the chance to be in a movie where nobody can act comes once in a lifetime. Then there's the really good stuff: the topless 300-pound woman, with a voice that would make even Darth Vader shudder,...

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Pleasantville

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 1998 at 12:00 AM

It's Sunday night and "The Simpsons" are on: the special Halloween episodes. The script is tight and the film references intelligent and amusing as usual. But then Bart and Lisa start fighting over the remote and, before they know it, they're trapped on the other side of the television...

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See the Sea

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 1998 at 12:00 AM

Writer-director François Ozon has devised a nasty little horror film which seems both familiar and new. A normal person, a normal setting, a mysterious stranger, then turmoil and worse -- shades of Polanski, Chabrol and Pinter hang over his tale while his control of its telling seems original and...

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Life Is Beautiful

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 1998 at 12:00 AM

Memorable appearances in Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law and Night on Earth, and the lead role in Son of the Pink Panther, have given American audiences only a small peek at the many talents of Italy's comedic dynamo, Roberto Benigni. He utilizes many forms of humor in his work,...

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Wednesday, October 21, 1998

Other side of the movement

Not the civil rights struggle they teach in school.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 1998 at 12:00 AM

Simply perfect and simply impossible. And that's just the title of this newly reissued little book, a work possibly more important now than when first published. Today, you could no more imagine calling a book Negroes With Guns than one could imagine asking about the president's semen back in 1962...

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Beloved

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 1998 at 12:00 AM

In the hands of director Jonathan Demme, Beloved is a tale of possession. The film deals frankly with the psychic and physical scars left from a legacy of human ownership, which linger long after a former slave is "free." But it's also very much a ghost story. Whatever ambiguities...

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Practical Magic

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 1998 at 12:00 AM

"There's no devil in the craft," Sally Owens (Sandra Bullock) says to Gary Hallet (Aidan Quinn) about the witchcraft that's practiced by the women in her family. That's too bad, because one thing Practical Magic could have used is a little wickedness or, at the very least, a stronger...

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Shadrach

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 1998 at 12:00 AM

Narrator Martin Sheen's honeyed Southern drawl announces Shadrach as a genteel tale based on the memories of Paul Whitehurst (Scott Terra): As a 10-year-old in the summer of 1935, he hears the tragic echoes still reverberating through his native Virginia. Paul, the only child of an affluent family, wants...

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