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Individual Stories Provide Ammunition in 'Generation War'

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Five young adult friends from disparate backgrounds living in Germany in 1941 meet — in secret, since one of them is Jewish and therefore subject to a curfew — drink, dance and dare to dream of a shared future and success for all.   

'Prime Ministers' Studies Israel From the Inside

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Richard Trank, the co-writer (with rabbi Marvin Hier) and director of The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers, presents the history contained in former Israeli prime ministerial aide/speechwriter and ambassador Yehuda Avner’s bestselling book, The Prime Ministers.  

Dysfunctional Family Man: Luc Besson

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Take, if you will, a picture — or how about several motion pictures stretching back all the way to 1990, almost 25 years of pictures — from Frenchman Luc Besson. Take a close look at those pictures and a theme emerges, a variation on a theme.
  

The ‘Secret’ Is Out as Elizabeth Olsen Continues to Attract Attention

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 19, 2014
One day soon, the narrative throughout the media will coalesce around our first impressions of Elizabeth Olsen. We will attempt to write about her, as if in hushed whispers, full of awe. “Do you remember seeing her in Martha Marcy May Marlene?” we will ask our readers, prodding them to recall that this was the moment when we started the buzz about her.   

Reflecting Life

Nick Clooney on film's reflection of the human condition and how Hollywood finally set the record straight about the brutality of slavery

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 19, 2014
As the March 2 date for this year’s Academy Awards approaches, and with it the growing suspense over who will win what, Nick Clooney follows from his Augusta, Ky., home with special interest.  

Untangling the Oscar Race

The Academy's top two prizes are up for grabs after an entertaining and engaging year of film

1 Comment · Wednesday, February 19, 2014
While I am not known for my Oscar handicapping capabilities, let me go out on a limb here and state that this year’s telecast will offer few if any real surprises in the four performance categories.  

Iranian Filmmaker Boldly Explores Emotional Minefield

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 12, 2014
In America, our notion of family has always adhered to simplistic models. The ideal was nuclear — husband, wife and two children, preferably a boy and a girl.  

Philip Seymour Hoffman's Singular Body of Work Will Live On

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 5, 2014
“You have to make your reputation on being honest and unmerciful.” — Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous  

A Critic's Guide to the Thought-Provoking Bests of the 2014 Jewish & Israeli Film Festival

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 5, 2014
When the Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival kicks off Saturday at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion with a screening of The Yellow Ticket, the event will signal an immersive merging of old and new...  

Bodice-Ripping Melodrama Spoils 'Labor Day'

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Whip-smart dark comedy has been a signature thus far in the career of writer-director Jason Reitman, who kicked things off by skewering the marketing/promotional efforts of the tobacco industry (and American society as a whole) in Thank You for Smoking.  

'Gimme Shelter' Offers Inspiring Look at a Secret War on the Home Front

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Imagine, if you will, living in a hellhole, deep, dank and dark. You’re a teen forced to turn tricks by your mother to pay your own way, while also knowing that your earnings are feeding her drug habit.  

The Lasting Legacy of Roger Ebert

Crowdfunded documentary captures legendary film critic's final days and enduring influence

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 22, 2014
I am Life Itself community member #888. There are at least 1,656 others. All of us, although we may never know each other by name, are bound together by one of the most influential people film history has ever known: film critic Roger Ebert. 
  

Pawns Seize the Crown in ‘Life of a King’

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Games teach us life lessons, and so do movies. But movies can strip away all of the metaphor and hidden machinations, showing us the broad strokes of what happened, meaning we get the highlights and the outcome — the shorthand version of the message.  

Spike Jonze Binds the Artificial and the Human in 'Her'

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 8, 2014
In an undefined future-scape, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) drifts along, penning personal letters for those who have trouble expressing emotions, dictating them into a computer and then printing them out as “handwritten” hard copies to be forwarded to loved ones.  

Most Valuable Player of 2013: Forest Whitaker

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Do you recall the first time you recognized Forest Whitaker, when he was in the kind of role that made you take notice of his presence?