Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Matrix of loneliness

Yearning into the Taiwan-Paris continuum.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2002 at 12:00 AM

This may be a ghost story, or it may be a love story. Yet it's strangely satisfying because it's open-ended in so many ways. Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang, whose main strength is as a stylist, displays a deadpan whimsy embodied in shots of people being absurdly matter-of-fact in the midst of their bizarre compulsions. Bizarre, that is, but common to us all.

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Kissing Jessica Stein

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2002 at 12:00 AM

"Sometimes, I think I'm gonna be alone forever." Jessica's fear strikes at the sensitive core of single women everywhere, and so does this film with its natural, hip and aware perspective into the tragedies and unpredictable rewards of the search for love.

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Resident Evil

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson from a script inspired by the popular video game of the same name, the new speed-metal of action flicks doesn’t believe in calm, unless it’s that oh-so-brief pause before a storm of montage, or the minibreaths between outbreaks of splatter and dread — with Milla Jovovich.

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Cure

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2002 at 12:00 AM

The first film by director Kiyoshi Kurosawa to get a theatrical release in the United States is a nasty little number with a neat hook: a serial killer who murders by proxy, hypnotizing people who commit the foul deeds, and a wonderful central performance which helps the viewer ease past its many implausibilities.

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Festival in Cannes

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Writer-director Henry Jaglom (Déjà Vu) observes the feeding and mating habits of the cinema set in this bestiary — ironically without a moral or much of a story — of Hollywood’s more-or-less luminaries and the predators of their circle.

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Showtime

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Reality TV is perhaps now overripe for parody. Showtime comes along late in the game to take another kick at a horse that may not be dead, but no longer occupies the winner’s circle of fickle popularity. But the kick misses and Showtime slips into self-parody — with Eddie Murphy and Robert De Niro.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Ko & the Knockouts

Posted By on Wed, Mar 13, 2002 at 12:00 AM

An infectious combination of raw rock, charming pop and rollicking rhythm; breakup and love songs delivered in Ko Shih’s bittersweetly scratchy voice, often with harmony and vocal counterpoint provided by Eddie Baranek, over a bed of solid rhythm and riff....

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Pyrosexual noir

A homoerotic dream of Argentina’s underworld.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 13, 2002 at 12:00 AM

"Gay noir" only begins to describe this film. It betrays a deep family resemblance to those World War II-era crime movies beneath its mid-1960s Argentine features. There are antiheroes, murderous crimes and a femme fatale — but, more profoundly, obsession, madness and doom, as it transubstantiates bullets and blood into something that may be love.

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The Time Machine

Posted By on Wed, Mar 13, 2002 at 12:00 AM

It may lack the simple charm of the 1960 George Pal version, but this new Time Machine doesn't err on the side of wretched excess like the dreadful Mummy remakes. It's a middling variation on a theme whose essential awesomeness can't help but still generate a few electric kicks.

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Djomeh

Posted By on Wed, Mar 13, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Without melodrama or sentimentality, Iranian director Hassan Yektapanah has infused his first film with a realness that transcends any continental gaps, gently exposing the peculiar state of a human soul in a very different place. Beautiful!

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