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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: “A quiet passion”

"Terence Davies tackles the Amherst recluse with sympathy and an understanding of the limitations thrust upon her"
Cynthia Nixon, Emma Bell, Sara Vertongen & Rose Williams
Directed by Terence Davies

Some one hundred thirty years after her death in the house in Amherst, Pennsylvania where she lived as a recluse dressed in white and scribbling poetry in the middle of the night, do we know more about Emily Dickinson than her ever-puzzled circle did? Books about her would make a hefty library, scholars who have spent a lifetime researching her would fill a mid-size conference room, her own ... more >

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Roger Moore, the actor who played James Bond, dead at 89

Roger Moore, third actor in the James Bond franchise, died at age 89. Considered the most suave personification of the legendary secret agent, the actor thought there were worse labels to wear the rest of one’s life. As a matter of fact, he considered himself incredibly lucky to have been selected to step into the uninimitable Sean Connery's shoes whom he wisely didn’t try to copy, becoming his ... more >

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“Hidden figures” is a keeper (here’s why)

"A jewel of a film"
Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae
Directed by Theodore Melfi

Several viewings of the trailer for “Hidden Figures” before my usual cinema-going routine failed to convince me that it was a film worth seeing. On the strength of those two minutes, I quickly pegged it as yet another moral, inspirational tale about disadvantaged people overcoming great odds. Talk about disadvantage. The three main characters in question are women--not easy today and even less ... more >

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20th century women, it’s primo turns and great American cinema!

New from Annapurna Pictures and Archer Gray
Elle Fanning, Annette Bening and Greta Gerwig
Directed by Mike Mills

The mood is melancholy, the road ahead unclear. Which may explain the slew of biographical, autobiographical novels and films in a meandering Proustian fashion that go for the past. And, just like Proust’s oeuvre, never boring but intriguing and beguiling at the same time. After the Norwegian Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six-volume memoir, “My Struggle,” the gorgeous Mike Mills film, “20th Century ... more >

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“Arrival” by Denis Villeneuve

Strange encounters
Amy Adams, Jeremy Renners and Forest Whittaker
Directed by Denis Villeneuve

After too many Metaphysics 101 (Malik’s “Tree of Life” and Gaspard Noe’s “Love” come to mind) and anguished what’s-the-meaning-of life questions awkwardly addressed, Denis Villeneuve’s “Arrival” takes us into adult territory. The Canadian filmmaker has already accustomed us to his diverse and masterful corpus of works, so his venture into science-fictionish territory doesn’t disappoint. Twelve ... more >

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Quelle tristesse! Emmanuelle Riva dead at 89

She was also a published poet, her voice, unforgettable

French screen icon, famously cast in her first major part in New Wave Alain Resnais’s first film, “Hiroshima mon amour,” legendary actor Emmanuelle Riva died in Paris yesterday. At age eighty-nine she has had a career that’s spanned five decades, starting with auteur filmmakers in the sixties all the way to her heartbreaking and understated portrayal of an Alzheimers victim in Michael Haneke’s ... more >

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TONI ERDMANN, the critics’ winning film at the last Cannes Festival

George Miller was asleep at the wheel that day
Peter Simonischek, Sandra Hüller and Lucy Russell
Directed by Maren Ade

The Cannes Festival is long behind us. Audiences have gone home, replaced on the French Riviera by vacationers and a number of controversies, nothing to do with the silver screen. Still, some may remember that the jury, headed by “Mad Max” director George Miller, had dutifully doled out its awards to Cannes stalwarts—Ken Loach, Xavier Dolan, Cristian Mungiu, Olivier Assayas, no surprises there. It ... more >