Barrabas

Written by Ed Halter on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Barrabas by Louis Feuillade We have a theory that crime enhances beauty,” explains Mary Vivian Pearce, decked out like a dime-store Alice Faye, in John Waters’ Female Trouble. “The worse the crime gets, the more ravishing one becomes.” Artistic head of Gaumont studios in the silent 1910s, Feuillade created fast-paced crime serials that throb with dreamlike decadence. In a paroxysm [&hellip
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Written by Russ Smith on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

Friday afternoon at the office and the news from Washington was depressing. Outside, on 7th Ave., it was just as gray: drizzly, smoke pouring out of Healthy Choice and a guy grumbling about Rudy Giuliani’s “shop till you drop” gimmick, claiming that the only items for tax-free purchase are pawed-over, outsized pieces of clothing. Sean Hannity, the meathead conservative talk-show host [&hellip
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Written by Russ Smith on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

It was an exhausting week at the MUGGER household. My wife, who’d valiantly fought off my stomach flu and Junior’s head cold, finally succumbed, probably due to fatigue from nursing her two guys. Then, on Tuesday morning, MUGGER III came into our bedroom just after midnight and announced with a stoic whisper: “Mommy, Daddy, wake up, I’m about to barf!” [&hellip
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Written by Christopher Caldwell on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

That’s why Republicans’ blocking of a censure substitute, which would have allowed Democratic senators to vilify the First Cad before sending him on his gallivanting way, is the strategic masterstroke of recent weeks. It shows the GOP is not nearly as tactically dimwitted as we’ve heretofore thought. And it locks Senate Dems into the foolhardy course of defending the President [&hellip
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A Man Escaped

Written by Godfrey Cheshire on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

A Man Escaped directed by Robert Bresson What’s your favorite film?” It’s the most banal question a critic–or any cinephile–encounters, and therefore the most essential. It invariably springs from trivial circumstances. Cocktail party chatter, waiting in line for something or other: strangers trying to connect, through a slightly forced, artificial conviviality. The subject turns, warmingly, to movies, but when you ask [&hellip
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Children of Heaven

Written by Matt Zoller Seitz on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Children of Heaven directed by Majid Majidi Children of Heaven wrings more suspense from its modest story and characters than any recent foreign film I can recall. During the final sequence, I had knots in my stomach, partly because the movie was coming together in thrillingly unexpected ways, thanks to the filmmaker’s old-style craftsmanship–a rare thing in this era of MTV cinema–but [&hellip
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Hurlyburly

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Hurlyburly directed by Anthony Drazan Don’t miss Sean Penn’s extraordinary performance in Hurlyburly. I know for a fact that very few critics saw Hurlyburly at the time most of the awards groups voted (mea culpa) so no critics’ trophies point in the direction of Penn’s honesty and daring. But though Nick Nolte is prizeworthy (in Affliction or anything else), Penn’s [&hellip
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Written by Christopher Caldwell on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

But really, how can you root for the Democrats when it’s they who inflicted these things on us? Would anyone who listened to White House spokesman Joe Lockhart for more than five minutes be sincerely sorry to have the President ridden out of town on a rail? Lockhart attacked the House impeachment managers last week for seeking to influence the [&hellip
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Dr. Akagi

Written by Matt Zoller Seitz on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Dr. Akagi directed by Shohei Imamura The first time we see Dr. Akagi (Akira Emoto), he’s running. Not jogging, really running. Lungs heaving, arms pumping, shoes going slap-slap-slap on the ground as he rushes madly through the streets of his seaside hamlet. Like a man desperately hoping to prevent a murder a mile away–or a man hounded by unseen [&hellip
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The Swindle

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

The Swindle directed by Claude Chabrol   Mississippi Mermaid directed by François Truffaut Chabrol continues the New Wave interest in forcing movies to reveal the nature of human behavior by manipulating dramatic and social conventions. Typically combining once familiar genres–the heist comedy and the romantic adventure–Chabrol causes viewers to reconsider their responses. His ease at showing the hidden psychology of Victor (Michel Serrault) [&hellip
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