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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: “Birds of Passage”

Carmiña Martínez, José Acosta and Natalia Reyes
Directed by Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra

With "Birds of Passage" Ciro Guerra, alongside co-director Cristina Gallego, continues his work as historiographer of South America. Guerra is known for his previous work, “El Abrazo de la Serpiente” (“Embrace of the serpent” in the Spanish original), in which a shaman from the Amazon teams up with scientists in searching for a sacred healing plant. This is the first time that Gallego goes behind ... more >

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“Us,” every person in the world is stalked and will eventually be destroyed

Lupita Nyong'o, Elizabeth Moss and Winston Duke
Directed by Jordan Peele

Given the praise showered on “Us,” the latest by Jordan Peele, I’m beginning to wonder whether this is the same movie I saw as everyone else, a movie that I found neither as original nor as gripping as the director’s previous film “Get Out.” Or maybe I missed the entire point, whatever it was? A middle-class African American family arrives at their vacation home, in a middle-class neighborhood ... more >

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QUICK TAKES | “This is not Berlin,” playing at Tribeca Festival soon

Xabiani Ponce de León, José Antonio Toledano and Ximena Romo
Directed by Hari Sama

After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival last January, “This is not Berlin” (“Esto no es Berlín” in the original Spanish), the fifth feature by writer-director Hari Sama, will have its New York premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Festival, as part of its inaugural Tribeca Critics' Week slate. The festival takes place during April 24 – May 5, 2019. A persuasive autobiographical bildungsroman, ... more >

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Mike Leigh tells us the story of “Peterloo”

Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake and Neil Bell
Directed by Mike Leigh

You’re not alone if you don’t know much—or anything, for that matter—about the Peterloo Massacre of August 16th, 1819, when a confrontation between protestors in Manchester, England and the British cavalry turned violent. Peasants and tradespeople descended on a Manchester square to air their grievances, only to be met with armed resistance that resulted in well over a dozen deaths and hundreds of ... more >

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“UNDER THE SILVER LAKE,” an enjoyable faux-David Lynch procedural scorched by L.A.’s sunshine

Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough
Directed by David Robert Mitchell

Summer 2011. Los Angeles. After he has breakfast, Sam goes home and tears up a note that's stuck to his door. It says that he has five days to pay his rent or else. Between taking a call from his mother, smoking his morning cigarette and oggling his neighbor, Sam doesn't do much else. He's a bit of a dilettante. He notices a strange woman, Sarah (Riley Keough), swimming in his apartment's swimming ... more >

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“Game of Thrones” season 8 to begin airing tonight on HBO

What's "Game of Thrones," you ask? This Shakesperean tragedy with plenty of parallels to be drawn with our century, chockfull of epic battles, sex and betrayal and set in a fantasy medieval-type atmosphere, depicts the epochal clashes between power-hungry monarchies. Each one wants to seize the iron throne, all this action taking place on a continent named Westeros. Bi-partisan? Mythological? ... more >

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“Tel Aviv on Fire,” an acid and humorous take on Palestinians, Israelis and DYIsm

Kais Nashif, Lubna Azabal and Yaniv Biton
Directed by Sameh Zoabi

This Israeli film by Sameh Zoabi, an Arab Israeli, comes to us boasting a number of awards but that doesn’t prepare us for the treat of this thoroughly enjoyable and unpretentious story. “Tel Aviv on Fire” is one of those gems––think “The Band’s Visit” or “Tony Erdmann”––that grab and delight from the opening scene to the very end, with nary a slackening of rhythm. Salam (Kais Nashif, a ... more >