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Wednesday, May 26, 1999

The Love Letter

Posted By on Wed, May 26, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Even when they can’t make a movie that’s good, at least the major Hollywood studios provide a certain level of technical competence. So while it’s not a surprise that The Love Letter fails to achieve the romantic whimsy it aims for, what’s stunning is how poorly constructed it is...

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Tea with Mussolini

Posted By on Wed, May 26, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Although director Franco Zeffirelli adapted this film from a chapter of his autobiography, this story isn’t told from an Italian perspective. Instead, Tea with Mussolini is about that very specific love affair the English have with Italy as a place and an idea, an ardor which doesn’t necessarily extend...

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Trekkies

Posted By on Wed, May 26, 1999 at 12:00 AM

So, how do you say "to be or not to be" in Klingon? Register for a crash course in Klingon composition – "Klingon for Dummies" – at the Interstellar Language School in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, and you’ll find out. Be warned: Instruction is tough. From a distance, teachers...

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An alternative American dream

There are no simple answers in the scaled-down lifestyle.

Posted By on Wed, May 26, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Dear Vanya, I’d just finished Jerome Segal’s Graceful Simplicity when Hannibal the Cannibal’s words came to my mind. "First principle: simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius: Of each thing ask what it is in its nature." How methodical the good doctor is! How refined. How elegant. Is elegance a synonym for simplicity?...

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Wednesday, May 19, 1999

Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Welcome to May 19, the pop culture equivalent of D-Day. So a few questions answered before anything else. After all the carefully stoked anticipation-hysteria, is The Phantom Menace an earth-shattering, second coming experience? No. Is it a good movie, as solid and entertaining as the other three Star Wars...

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Lovers of the Arctic Circle

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 1999 at 12:00 AM

The idea that love originates somewhere outside of us is an old one. Whether because of destiny or simply Cupid’s errant arrow, the travails of star-crossed lovers are a storytelling staple. In our more cynical times, this usually ends up as high-end Harlequin mush such as Message in a...

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Down Boyz

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 1999 at 12:00 AM

By breaking the barriers between rock and rap, the Down Boyz eschewed the norm playing shows with punk and rock bands, not just rap, reaching out to a bigger audience. White boy hip hop with a twist of old school, Run-DMC hardcore guitar, 808 bass and beats that will...

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Election

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 1999 at 12:00 AM

Finally, MTV Films and director Alexander Payne (Citizen Ruth) give us what we’ve always wanted: a coming-of-age satire, not fluff, not sentimental mishmash, not absurdly idealized characters. Her name is Tracy Flick. She’s bold, unapologetic, vindictive. Don’t be fooled by her blue, unflinching eyes; don’t trust her rehearsed smile;...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 1999 at 12:00 AM

The idea that love originates somewhere outside of us is an old one. Whether because of destiny or simply Cupid’s errant arrow, the travails of star-crossed lovers are a storytelling staple. In our more cynical times, this usually ends up as high-end Harlequin mush such as Message in a...

Continue reading »

Black Mask

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 1999 at 12:00 AM

There is one intriguing statement that producer Tsui Hark (A Better Tomorrow) makes about Black Mask. "Love," he says, "is very difficult to express in Chinese culture, so in my films I like to have a romantic touch where non-humans look for love." With the nostalgic movements of a subjective...

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