Film: “The Endless”

A new film, “The Endless”, is kind of intriguing, if not particularly original. But the almost universally enthusiastic reviews are a mystery. I guess being old enough to remember countless other cheap indies from the past hampered my enjoyment. Writer Justin Benson stars with Aaron Moorhead as brothers who had been raised since childhood in…

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New Directors/New Films 2018

I attended just three of the films this year, but it’s always exciting to see new talent in this venue. The films are shown at the Walter Reade Theater of the Lincoln Center Film Society, and at the Museum of Modern Art. It is a serious festival, and the filmmakers almost always appear for an…

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Film: “The Death of Stalin”

By now, those of us who go to see a film by Armando Iannucci are very aware of what makes him special. Like all great satirists, he sniffs out the worst parts of the human character, shoves it in our faces and, in spite of this, gets us to laugh about it. “The Death of…

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Film: “A Fantastic Woman”

I went to see this Chilean import after it won the best foreign film Oscar. It is sincere but unexceptional (with one standout, however). Apparently the social stigma against homosexuality and the transgendered is strong in Chile; an open wound, in fact. Director Sebastian Lelio (who co-wrote with Gonzalo Meza) presented this subject with sympathy,…

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Film: “Loveless”

“Loveless”, a foreign Oscar nominee from Russia, is an absorbing drama about the disappearance of a child. I admit, the subject matter never fails to grab me (I’ll never forget the townspeople’s search for the missing child in D.H. Lawrence’s Women In Love). And yet, while the treatment is as painfully intense as you might…

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Film: “The Post”

A number of questions ran through my mind as I watched Steven Spielberg’s exceptionally well-made (no surprise there), celebration of the first amendment. But all of those questions can be reduced to this one: Why? The “Post” of the title is the Washington Post, and the heroic moment the film celebrates is its publication of…

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Film: “The Insult”

“The Insult”, a Lebanese film, is one of the foreign Oscar nominees, directed and co-written (with Joelle Touma) by Ziad Doueiri. It explores the current political situation in Lebanon, focusing on a personal conflict between two men, a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian living in a refugee camp. It starts as personal drama, but it…

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Film: “An Eye For Beauty”

This strange, deceptively placid film, from 2014, is hard to describe. A French-Canadian work from renowned writer-director Denys Arcand, its title is incorrectly translated as “An Eye For Beauty”. I think the original title, “Le Regle de la Beauty”, is closer to its theme. It opens with Luc (played by Eric Bruneau), a handsome, middle-aged…

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