BEANPOLE

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“Balagov’s extraordinary second feature is about life amid the ruins. It’s a story about carrying on after the unimaginable, when things are supposed to go back to normal as if they ever really could. The production design externalizes these characters’ inner lives, the crumbling city and its shellshocked inhabitants bearing the scars of a five-year siege.” – WBUR’s The ARTery 02/27/2020

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A MEMORIAL TRIBUTE TO KIRK DOUGLAS AT THE BRATTLE

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“During production Kubrick flinched at the book’s downer ending, asking his co-writers to come up with a last-minute reprieve for these doomed men. But Douglas was having none of it, box office be damned. The closest thing we get to catharsis is the star’s spectacular pronunciation of the word ‘degenerate’ during a final, ineffectual rant.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/24/2020

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WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL

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“As a collection of talking heads all nodding in admiration, haphazardly assembled with some relevant movie clips and chintzy music, this is boilerplate dead-celebrity bio-doc stuff that will make pleasant enough home viewing for those with a mild interest in the subject. In other words, exactly the kind of stuffy hagiography Pauline probably would have hated.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/21/2019

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THE CALL OF THE WILD

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“After four flights in the Millennium Falcon, Harrison Ford has proved himself peerless when it comes to palling around with comically oversized canines that don’t actually exist, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at how moved I was by his relationship with Buck. Ford does what all the special effects can’t pull off. He makes you believe the dog is real.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/19/2020

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PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE

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“A big part of of going to the movies is the pleasure of looking at beautiful women, but I don’t think we’re supposed to say as much in polite company these days. So it’s something of a relief when a film takes this aspect expressly as its subject, and Portrait Of A Lady On Fire is indeed all about the act of looking, and what it means to be seen.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/12/2020

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OSCARS 2020

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”Filler like this only makes it hurt all the more that the Academy long ago shuttled their Lifetime Achievement Awards off to a separate, untelevised ceremony. Maybe you would like to see pioneering cinema legends like Wes Studi, David Lynch, and Lina Wertmuller receive honorary Oscars and learn a little about their lifes’ work? Too bad.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 02/10/2020

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EVERYTHING IS CANCELLED: OSCAR EDITION

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Skyped in again with my dear friend Craig D. Lindsey, who was kind enough this time to introduce me as “a longtime motherfucker, everyone likes him and shit.” (Only the first part is true.) In any case, it’s shortly after the Oscars and we’re talking about the euphoria of Bong Joon Ho’s history-making wins amid an otherwise disastrous telecast. Everything Is Cancelled, 02/10/2020

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