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Wednesday, March 19, 2003

The Hunted

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2003 at 12:00 AM

William Friedkin’s film, riddled with the crumbs of false hope that belie the promise of a whole cake, is really just one long chase sequence with a few brief bathroom breaks of deep-thinking ethical quandaries — with Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro.

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Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Director Lee Hirsch’s auspicious debut feature documentary structures the history of the South African people’s oppression, struggle and liberation as an epic reflection of one man’s suffering, death and ironic resurrection. In doing so, he creates a moving new genre: the musical documentary.

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Chihwaseon

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2003 at 12:00 AM

South Korean director Im Kwon-Taek’s biography of a 19th century Korean painter is saved from respectful staidness by the fact that its central character is such an anarchistic mess. It's a beautiful looking film that allows us to see the painter's awesome vision, whose source remains a mystery to the end.

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Agent Cody Banks

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2003 at 12:00 AM

From its trailer, this flick looks an awful lot like Spy Kids, with a cute kid — in this case Frankie Muniz of "Malcolm in the Middle" — given a bunch of neat gizmos and trained in kicking ass who’s then called upon to save the world. Like most copycats, it doesn’t live up to the greatness of the original.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Cloth that sings

The African-American quilters of Alabama are spiritual-minded.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 12, 2003 at 12:00 AM

The Quilts of Gee’s Bend Beardsley, Arnett, Arnett & Livingston Tinwood Books, $45, 190 pp.   A quilt ain’t nothing but a sandwich — by definition, a bedcovering made of two layers of fabric with a layer in between and stitched together. Most often the top layer has a...

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Cleanup coup

Posted By on Wed, Mar 12, 2003 at 12:00 AM

While businessmen and executives slept, they came in unseen to clean the tall glass office buildings. Invisible, that is, to their employers — but not to their children, parents, friends, family and loved ones. In April 2000, about 8,000 janitors — predominately Latina and immigrant — went on strike in...

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Mirror, mirror …

Posted By on Wed, Mar 12, 2003 at 12:00 AM

“If that was all I had to be proud of, I’d kill myself,” my father said as the punch line to one of his stories. This one began with my father sipping a drink and probably puffing his fair share of cigarette smoke into the hazy atmosphere of one...

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Earthly hell

A Rio de Janeiro the travel brochures have never shown.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 12, 2003 at 12:00 AM

It's some kind of accomplishment that director Fernando Meirelles has taken more than two hours of poverty, misery, random cruelty, dashed hopes and more murders than one could keep track of and made it not only tolerable but exciting — harsh and at times sad, but overall a wild ride.

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Gerry

Posted By on Wed, Mar 12, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Think of director Gus Van Sant’s Gerry more as an experience than a movie, a virtual vacation gone awry. It’s a familiar, everyday, epic fuck-up that you'll either love or hate as it breathes across the screen — with Matt Damon and Casey Affleck.

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Tears of the Sun

Posted By on Wed, Mar 12, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Whenever the Nigerian jungle isn’t just a murkier stand-in for Apocalypse Now’s heart of darkness, the light of day exposes its killing fields. It’s an iconography that verges on racism in a film ironically shot by African-American director Antoine Fuqua, but that may just suit its neocolonial narrative — with Bruce Willis.

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