Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Le misanthrope

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2003 at 12:00 AM

When Michel Houellebecq’s second novel, The Elementary Particles, was published in France in 1998, it was considered something of a scandal. Houellebecq is the kind of writer who seems to be intent on offending everyone and Particles was, not unjustly, accused of being racist, misogynist, pornographic, misanthropic and just...

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Dances with clichés

Costner's oater succeeds by following the rules.

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Kevin Costner’s Open Range is a straightforward and unapologetic rendering of the classic Western, replete with stereotypical heroes and villains. Beautifully photographed by James Muro.

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American Splendor

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Inspired by Harvey Pekar’s comic of the same name, this irascible but seemingly unremarkable author chronicles modern life in all its weirdness. A cleverly constructed bio-pic.

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Mondays in the Sun

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Javier Bardem smoldering character propels a tale of desperation among dysfunctional blue-collar Spaniards who have no prospects and little desire for prospects. Gritty, poetic indignation and self-pity ensue.

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Stone Reader

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Mark Moskowitz’s documentary of his search for the author who wrote one novel — a forgettable tome for everyone but Moskowitz. The quest to find and/or understand Dow Mossman, enigmatic author of The Stones of Summer, should resonate among bibliophiles.

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Chaos

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Helene struggles with a deteriorating marriage while launching a guilt-induced crusade to nurse a prostitute who unexpectedly parachutes into her life. A seeming serio-comedy with real depth.

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The Magdalene Sisters

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2003 at 12:00 AM

A wrenching journey into Ireland’s Magdalene system, a church-sponsored network that essentially imprisons and punishes wayward girls. Writer/director Peter Mullan paints a dark world in which the church is morally and financially corrupt, and thousands of women are left to die without hope.

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Gigolos through the ages

New book chronicles the history of male prostitution in America.

Posted By on Wed, Aug 27, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Yeah, it's a coffee-table book about male prostitutes. While that alone might get a hearty guffaw, dismissing this book with a world-weary snort would mean missing out on some very compelling (if often frustrating) reading on a subject that few know anything about. If you're like most straight folks (and...

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Protecting the question

Posted By on Wed, Aug 20, 2003 at 12:00 AM

New York-based poet Elaine Equi's newest collection, The Cloud of Knowable Things, bears a title that speaks of the gentle dichotomy that occurs over and over again in her poems: The thing that contains the knowable also obscures it. The idea is cold, almost scientific, but her treatment of...

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Love unto death

Saying goodbye to big screen conversations.

Posted By and on Wed, Aug 20, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Geezer: 4 stars Weezer: 4 stars A review of Shaolin Soccer was supposed to be our Geezer & Weezer swan song, but that film got bumped to an unspecified release date. And with no cool new movies on the horizon, we decided to rent a cult favorite, one not...

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