Film: “Tar”

In “Tar”, the new film written and directed by Todd Field, Cate Blanchett plays Lydia Tar, an internationally renowned orchestra conductor (or “Maestra”). She is adored by music lovers, but also progressives everywhere, especially the young, who look upon her as a champion of women’s rights in the male-dominated canon of Western culture. Blanchett’s overwhelming […]

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Film: “The Card Counter”

“The Card Counter” is Paul Schrader’s follow-up to his superb “First Reformed”, and it continues his thought-provoking and sincere exploration of guilt in contemporary America. As with Ethan Hawke in the previous film, he has found the ideal actor for the lead role in Oscar Isaac. Similarly, the climactic scene is truly shocking, a totally […]

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Film: “The Northman”

Robert Eggers has carved out a formidable task for himself in his violent epic, “The Northman”.  The film reaches back into our love of myth as a key to understanding the origins of culture, and it does this by steeping us into barbaric, pre-literate tribal life in a hardship environment. Naturally, raw masculine power will […]

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Film: “The Hand Of God”

“The Hand of God” is an Italian foreign Oscar-nominee, written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino. It is an artist’s “coming-of-age” story, strongly influenced by Fellini’s autobiographical films. Actually, Sorrentino is bold about that influence, even opening the film with a panoramic overview of his beloved Naples, which recalled the copter shot of Rome that opened […]

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Film: “Kimi”

“Kimi”, Stephen Soderbergh’s latest, from a script by David Koepp, packs a lot of story into its hour-and-a-half. Zoe Kravitz is Angela, a work-at-home analyst for a tech company with “Kimi”, a siri-like voice command. Her job is to monitor the recordings for Kimi’s false readings, and adjust the app accordingly. Well, the company gets […]

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Film: “The Power Of The Dog”

By now, the critical success of Jane Campion’s “The Power Of The Dog” dominates any discussion of 2021 awards. Before release, the buzz concerned whether Jane Campion would have a comeback, but that seems quaint now. It is clearly a masterpiece. Adapted from a 1967 novel by Charles Savage, it steeps us in the genre […]

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Film: “Drive My Car”

“Drive my Car”, directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, and co-written with Tukamaso Oe, is an adaptation of a story by Murakami. It won the screenwriting prize at Cannes, 2021, but no prize, interestingly, for acting or direction. We first meet Kafuko, a theater director in his forties, played by Hidetoshi Nishijima, in bed with his wife, […]

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