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Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Lit crit and clit

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Some people go to a pub for a pint. Others go to pick up chatty and impressionable grad students. Meet Alan, the “hero” of this bizarre little piece of literary criticism masquerading as a blue travelogue around the historic sites of Aberdeen, Scotland. Alan has inherited a rambling flat...

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Only knocks once

Samantha Morton’s wordless portrait of a me-first enigma.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Director Lynne Ramsey has created from Alan Warner’s novel a movie of wonder, chill, sadness and evolution that focuses on a singular character made well worthy of our attention by Samantha Morton’s performance.

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Talk to Her

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Like life, Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s films feed on a need to satisfy cravings and desires, but life doesn't always pulse with sexual archetypes and breath-quivering Latin rhythms the way his latest effort does. It’s a desolate dance of the senses.

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Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2003 at 12:00 AM

With Adaptation, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman took a left turn and ran into a pot of gold at the end of a Hollywood road less traveled. With Chuck Barris’ Confessions, he attempts something more conventional: He just adapts the damn thing. A mind as usually dangerous to Hollywood clichés as his is a terrible thing to waste on a film like this.

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All About Lily Chou-Chou

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2003 at 12:00 AM

At a rambling two-and-a-half hours, director Shunji Iwai's film comes across as a mix of Rebel Without a Cause and Lord of the Flies, a tale where deepening alienation leads to more and more brutal recklessness, from petty theft to rape to suicide and finally murder.

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Super Sucker

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Jeff Daniels’ second directorial effort is juvenile stuff (not a bad thing) and it makes no bones about its meaning or pedigree (also not a bad thing). But there are only so many times you can watch a woman masturbate with a vacuum cleaner before the humor gets flat.

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Darkness Falls

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2003 at 12:00 AM

This dim-witted film’s three screenwriters must have used some computer program that should be called the Hollywood Cliché Generator 2000. They selected "Horror" from the menu and just filled in the blanks when prompted.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Francophilia

Posted By on Wed, Jan 22, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Something to declare can feel like a cocktail party where you don't know anyone. Even so, as Britain's most knowledgeable Francophile, Julian Barnes is a pretty good host. This collection of essays written over the past 20 years honors Barnes' heroes of French film, music, theater, cooking, even cycling. He...

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Her mind, their selves

Posted By on Wed, Jan 22, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Stephen Daldry's film intertwines the lives of three women in a construction that fuses all three stories into one momentous thrust. The Hours demonstrates how the thoughts and actions of one tragic artist can send an emotional ripple through time and space — with Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep.

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Russian Ark

Posted By on Wed, Jan 22, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Russian director Alexander Sokurov’s film consisting of a single 96-minute take is both impressive and puzzling. With more than seven months of preparation and more than 800 actors and extras employed, it’s a technical marvel. But the feeling of missing the point is a recurring concern.

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