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Items filtered by date: June 2014

In present-day Hamburg, Russian-Chechen Issa Karpov seeks asylum as German and American anti-terrorist agents go on full alert, sometimes cooperating, sometimes at cross purposes. Heir to his father's fortune held in a Hamburg bank, the Muslim Issa may have philanthropic motives or may have jihadist intentions. Director Anton Corbijn's "A Most Wanted Man" will work to untangle the intrigue.

Published in Film Reviews

"I Origins" requires and rewards patience. Screenwriter/director Mike Cahill takes a scientific premise and pursues it as a serious interrogation. This fits the central, systematic research into the origins of the visual eye, the title complementing this with I, the first person pronoun, thereby suggesting finding the source of one, the physical eye, reveals critical insight into the other.

Published in Film Reviews

“Carnage,” the last film directed by Roman Polanski before “Venus in Fur,” involved a quartet of actors arguing with and among one another. He halves the company in “Venus in Fur”: a couple, a man and a woman, engage in an age-old argument, a battle, if you will, of the sexes.

Published in Film Reviews

Yes, the verb’s in the wrong mood in the title: It’s indicative where it should be subjunctive: Wish I Were Here. Nevertheless, the mood of the movie is just right as it curses at death and laughs at life, especially life as a thirty-something or life as a teen-ager.
 

Published in Film Reviews

“The Nance,” a stage play written by Douglas Carter Beane, presents a gay old time in the homosexual history of the United States. It includes references to well-known reformers such as Fiorello LaGuardia and lesser known hypocrites such as Paul Moss. At the center of the story is Chauncey Miles.
 

Published in Film Reviews

"Evergreen: The Road to Legalization" fulfills the promise of its title. In an information-packed 86 minutes, this documentary charts Washington State's thorny path to what we now know was a successful campaign to legalize marijuana use. Of course, the legalization issue has figured in the news often, but producer/director Riley Morton analytically lays out its multifaceted complexity.

Published in Film Reviews

Ordinarily, a biodoc of a critic would appeal to a smallish audience, but a documentary about Roger Ebert appeals more widely. Before Ebert, film critics were rather a precious group comprising the likes of Sarris and Kael. After Ebert, especially after PBS’ “Sneak Previews” went on the air, film criticism entered popular culture.

Published in Film Reviews

The complications of this film start with the title. “Third Person” refers, of course, to pronoun usage: he, she, it and they. The phrase can also refer to a third person in a party. A triangle. In the movie, “Third Person,” that extra member can be a lover with a married couple.

Published in Film Reviews

Not since 1972 has abortion been treated with so much compassion, humor, honesty and reality. November 1972 was when the title character on TV’s “Maude” chose to end her pregnancy via abortion, the same choice made by Donna Stern in Jenny Slate’s “Obvious Child.”

Published in Film Reviews

New Zealand producer/director Anthony Powell invested more than ten years making his documentary "Antarctica: A Year on Ice." His decade of labor captures the grandeur and the harshness of this amazing continent, larger than the United States. As fascinating, Powell profiles the psychological challenges facing the fewer than 700 people who winter at Scott Base, near McMurdo Station.

Published in Film Reviews

The 14th Annual Cinema St. Louis Whitaker St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase takes over Landmark's Tivoli Theatre from Sunday, July 13th through Thursday, July 17th.  To qualify for inclusion in the Showcase's sixteen programs, the works selected must be written, directed, edited, or produced by St. Louis natives or the films must show strong local ties.

Published in Film Reviews

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