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by Jason Gargano 06.24.2011
at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: 'Tree of Life' Edition

Terrence Malick's The Tree of Lifeis finally here.

Like everything the acclaimed 68-year-old filmmaker does, Malick's latest — just his fifth film in 38 years — has gone through a mysterious gestation, changing release dates and distributors numerous times (it was originally slated for a Dec. 25, 2009, release), all the while simultaneously revealing little about its contents. The film finally surfaced last month at the Cannes Film Festival, where it earned cheers, boos and the coveted Palme d'Or.

Now it finds its way into U.S. theaters.

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by Jason Gargano 02.04.2009
at 11:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Joaquin Phoenix Turns into Rapping Caveman?

I came across this picture of Joaquin Phoenix today, which triggered a memory of my lone interaction with him. I ran into Phoenix at a film festival party a few years ago. I remember thinking at the time that no one could possibly be less suited for the intense Hollywood glare than this guy.

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by Steven Rosen 02.09.2010
at 02:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Lunafest Film Screenings Rescheduled

The Lunafest screenings for today and Wednesday at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington have been rescheduled due to bad weather.

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by Jason Gargano 11.22.2010
at 07:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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The Polarizing Cinema of Harmony Korine

Harmony Korine is a polarizing filmmaker. One either finds his films — Gummo (1997), Julien Donkey Boy (1999) and Mister Lonely (2007) — intriguing pieces of art or complete rubbish, the work of a jerk-off provocateur who represents the “end of cinema.”

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by Jason Gargano 06.18.2010
at 02:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Summer of Discontent

Are we in the midst of the worst summer movie season on record? The bar's admittedly not very high, but it certainly looks like we're heading in that direction.

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by Jason Gargano 08.21.2009
at 01:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Basterds Highlights Home Stretch

The summer movie season is closing with a flurry: Recent weeks have given us such diverse, worthwhile fare as Funny People, The Girl from Monaco, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, (500) Days of Summer, Ponyo, District 9 and the best film of the year so far, Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker.

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by Jason Gargano 05.08.2009
at 02:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Business Is Good ... But Are the Movies

Nearly 30 years ago, in an essay entitled “Why Are Movies So Bad? Or, the Numbers,” film critic Pauline Kael wrote that “the movies have been so rank the last couple years that when I see people lining up to buy tickets I sometimes think that the movies aren’t drawing an audience — they’re inheriting an audience. They’re stung repeatedly, yet their desire for a good movie — for any movie — is so strong that all over the country they keep lining up.”

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by Jason Gargano 11.20.2009
at 05:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Parsing Precious

Lee Daniels’ Precious, which won audience awards at both the Sundance and Toronto film festivals, has drawn largely positive reviews for its unblinking look at a 16-year-old black female dealing with myriad challenges, including but certainly not limited to a serious weight problem, a monstrous mother, an incestuous father and an ineffective school system.

Yet Precious also has its detractors, none more vociferous than The New York Press’ Armond White, a critic who has never shied away from airing his contrarian views.

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by Jason Gargano 12.31.2008
at 02:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Threatened at Chopstick Point


I was having lunch with a friend yesterday when the topic of my favorite movies of 2008 came up. She had read my Top 10 list in this week’s CityBeat and complained about the fact that I presented them in alphabetical order instead of ranking them from 1 to 10.

I tried to explain my reasons for doing so — something pretentious about how ranking art devalues it and the fact that the order could change based on my mood on any given day — but she wasn’t hearing it.

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by Jason Gargano 08.19.2011
at 11:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: A Sundance Resurrection

As it has every other corner of our cultural and economic landscape, the current recession hit the Sundance Film Festival hard, resulting in fewer films being picked up by the handful of distributors that still exist — and that still care about the types of films that need their nurturing. Couple that with the festival's unfortunate embrace of questionable Hollywoodisms over the the last dozen or so years, and the onetime champion of American indie cinema had lost quite a bit of its luster.

Enter John Cooper, who took over as director in 2010, and who is intent on moving the festival back to its artist-driven roots. Cooper's efforts seem to be paying off, as Sundance 2011 unveiled a diverse, interesting crop of films, some of which are actually getting distribution and coming to a theater near you.

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