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Inglourious Basterds

A.J. Goldmann’s Twenty-Five Best Films of the 21st Century

But not presented in any particular order

Why The New York Times, in their own June 9th ranking of the twenty-five best films of the twenty-first century, felt the need to take this moment to reflect on the best cinema of our still-young century is anyone’s guess. My suspicion is that they are just starved for content during the summer months, traditionally the worst time for serious-minded moviegoers, although there are some promising ... more >

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CANNES FESTIVAL, “The Meyerowitz Stories”

Film is like a collab between Woody Allen and Whit Stillman
Dustin Hoffmann, Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller
Directed by Noah Baumbach

Midway through the 70th Cannes Festival the focus has veered sharply away from missing persons to domestic entanglements: or put another way, from people who have checked out of your life – voluntarily or involuntarily – to those you have no choice but to coexist with. It’s always difficult living in the shadow of a famous parent, but what if that parent isn’t exactly the genius you always ... more >

CANNES DAY 3 – LA CHAMBRE BLEUE (THE BLUE ROOM)

Courtroom drama with a side of Resnais
Mathieu Amalric and Léa Drucker
Directed by Mathieu Amalric

“La Chambre Bleue” (“The Blue Room” in the original French), the extremely-talented actor Mathieu Amalric’s directorial debut, screened on Friday. Based on a slim 1955 novel by police procedural author Georges Simenon, it relates, or rather reveals, its story in a tortuously piecemeal fashion. In the course of an interrogation, we are introduced to Julien (Amalric), his mistress (Stéphanie Cléau) ... more >

CANNES DAY 3 – ATOM EGOYAN’S THE CAPTIVE

The search for Cassandra
Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman and Rosario Dawson
Directed by Atom Egoyan

(CONTAINS SPOILER ALERTS) Atom Egoyan’s to-catch-a-child-abductor caper “The Captive” was the third competition entry to arrive here. The motif of young ones in distress amid snow-clogged landscapes will no doubt bring to mind the director’s harrowing “The Sweet Hereafter,” which was a big prizewinner here in 1997. Sadly “Captive” does not come close to “Hereafter” in emotional force and ... more >

The Grandmaster

"Yi dai zong shi" [original title]
Zhang Ziyi and Tony Leung
Directed by Wong Kar-Wai

This is Wong Kar Wai's first martial arts outing, not to mention his first film since his embarrassing English-language attempt “My Blueberry Nights” from 2007. Wong spent three years researching “Grandmaster,” which tells of Kung Fu masters in Northern China and Hong Kong in the years before WWII until the fifties, and he seems to have gotten all the details, down to the buttons on Tony ... more >

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BERLINALE | Grand Master

Fest first opens to mixed results

The last of the snow around Potsdamer Platz has melted in time for the 63rd edition of the Berlin International Film Festival. This year’s opening film, from festival jury president Wong Kar-Wai (pictured at left), was the big-budget Kung Fu epic "The Grandmaster,"  shown here in its world premiere a month after opening in China. Expectations ran high for the arthouse auteur’s first martial ... more >

BERLINALE | “Tabu”

Our closing review from this year's Berlinale

Miguel Gomes’s Tabu, a meditative fable about love, memory and loneliness that jumps deftly between contemporary Lisbon, colonial Africa and the landscape of dreams has been gathering steam on the festival circuit, notably in Berlin this month. The film takes both its title and structure from F.W. Murnau’s final cinematic statement, a collaboration with Robert Flaherty. Shot in grainy black and ... more >