Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ushpizin

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Like a Hassidic version of A History of Violence made for the Family Channel, screenwriter Shuli Rand’s comic Yiddish ...

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Beyond the Rocks

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 2005 at 12:00 AM

If you can imagine every print of Titanic disappearing, never to be seen again for 60 years or so, then you might get ...

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Bee Season

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 2005 at 12:00 AM

In the film adaptation of Myla Goldberg’s popular book, fifth-grader Eliza (Flora Cross) has a deep connection to letters ...

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Ice Harvest

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 2005 at 12:00 AM

‘Tis the season to spurt a little blood on the holiday tinsel. Director Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Analyze This ...

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Ghost stories

Posted By on Wed, Nov 23, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Morbidly curious Mary Roach, author of The New York Times bestseller Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, tackles a more hopeful subject with her latest book, Spook. What happens when we die? This time around, she’s homing in on age-old questions concerning our souls instead of our physical bodies....

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Shop stories

Hernandez turns out mystery and magic.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Lolita Hernandez isn’t the first Detroit writer to turn our eyes and tune in our ears to the poetry and song lurking behind the gates of a Motor City assembly line.   Poets Philip Levine, Lawrence Joseph and Jim Daniels (all native Detroiters) have put their pens inside those places of disquiet...

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Sympathy for the devil

Weighing in on films that focus on suicide bombers

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Filmed in the West Bank in 2004, the movie follows the final 24 hours of Palestinian mechanic Said (Kais Nashef) and his friend Khaled (Ali Suliman) as they prepare themselves for “martyrdom.” Much of Paradise Now is constructed like a heist film, devoted to the characters’ psychological and strategic preparations. We watch as soft-spoken Said enjoys the company of his unsuspecting family one last time, struggles to dampen romantic longings for a beautiful pacifist, and prepares to meet his destiny — all under the watchful eye of a terrorist chaperone.

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A Toute de Suite

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2005 at 12:00 AM

French director Benoît Jacquot sure loves the cinematic stylings of Francois Truffaut, Eric Rohmer and Jean-Luc Godard. With his latest film, the director wears his New Wave sensibilities on his sleeve. Set in 1974, and adapted from Elisabeth Fanger’s memoir, the film centers on 19-year-old art student Lili (Isild Le Besco), a bored Parisian whose wanderlust leads her astray. Living in a large apartment with her emotionally chilly father and meddlesome sister, Lili struggles with bourgeois ennui. She’s strong-willed and independent but stranded by a lack of vision, ripe for the kind of intense liberation only a good old-fashioned crime spree can bring.

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Where the Truth Lies

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2005 at 12:00 AM

The latest offering writer-director Atom Egoyan (Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter) looks intoxicatingly promising at first: The film’s seductively rendered poster, with its half-naked pinup and smoky sepia tones, suggests steamy noir intrigue, à la L.A. Confidential. Then there’s the controversial rating; because of several graphic sex scenes, the film was slapped with an NC-17 rating, which director Egoyan unsuccessfully challenged. But for all the foreplay of film noir promise and controversy over the candid depictions of rampant debauchery and orgiastic revelry, the whole thing is really just an overdrawn bore. And Kevin Bacon sings. If you can call it that.

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Loggerheads

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2005 at 12:00 AM

The gay-themed melodrama Loggerheads is like a really good community theater production, or something you might see on Canadian television: earnest, mundane and humanistic in a drab, politically correct way. But there’s enough genuine emotion in the film — and so little grandstanding on the part of the actors — that if you’re in the right sort of rainy fall-afternoon mood, it might trigger a tear duct or two.

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