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Talking Movies: Looking beyond the controversy of Blue is the Warmest Color

Let me begin by giving my opinion on all the controversies surrounding the seven-minute-long lesbian sex scene in Blue Is the Warmest Color. My opinion is that it’s not worth my time to have opinions about silly controversies. The French title of Abdellatif Kechiche’s new movie, which is playing at the newly-opened FilmScene beginning Dec. […]

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Talking Movies: A half-century of the Up Series

Fifty years ago, in 1963, Granada Television, a regional service for Northwest England, commissioned Seven Up!, a brief documentary about the future of England. Who are the workers and executives of that distant, magical year 2000? The idea was to gather together a cross-section of 7-year-olds and interview them about their lives and aspirations. The […]

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Talking Movies: The horror, the horror!

Upstream Color, the eagerly awaited second film by indie director Shane Carruth, is extremely difficult to describe. It’s partially a mind-blowing sci-fi film along the lines of his first movie, Primer, which won the 2004 Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. It’s also kind of a romance. But if I were forced to label it, I’d […]

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A love letter to Leaf Kitchen’s Cubano

I love Leaf Kitchen’s “Cubano,” their version of the classic Cuban ham-and-cheese sandwich. I know that the verb “love” is much abused, particularly when applied to food, but it’s the best word I can come up with for the eroticism inspired in me by this particular combination of soft grilled white-wine garlic bread, braised pork, […]

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Talking Movies: Rust & Bone

The spirit of our age walks on prosthetic limbs. Of course, humanity has always been fascinated by amputees. But whereas prosthetics were once a sign of creepiness, from Captain Ahab to Captain Hook, now they’re attached to sympathetic heroes. Think of Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic “Blade Runner,” sadly on trial for murdering his model-girlfriend; or […]

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Talking Movies: Lincoln before Spielberg

I’ll be surprised if Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln doesn’t take a handful of the 12 Academy Awards for which it’s nominated.  The greatest movie about our 16th president, John Ford’s Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), lost its sole Academy Award nomination, Best Original Screenplay, to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  More proof of an unjust universe.  Not […]

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Talking Movies: In The Dark

The movies have a strange relationship with the mass shootings that have recently plagued our country. When the police arrested James Eagan Holmes for the massacre at The Dark Knight  in Aurora, Colo., he identified himself as the Joker. Before Gangster Squad could be released, a scene had to be cut because it featured a […]

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Talking Movies: Skyfall Review – It’s a Man’s World.

I don’t know what’s more shocking: that twenty-three James-Bond movies have been made over the past fifty years, or that I’ve seen them all willingly. To understand why Skyfall, Sam Mendes’s fine reboot of the 007 myth, is such a supremely enjoyable movie, we need to understand why even the aggressively bad Bond flicks, of […]

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Talking Movies: In Memory of Chris Marker (1921-2012)

The origin myth of cinema is that when the Lumière brothers gave the first public screening of their 50-second documentary The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station in 1896, the audience screamed and ran to the back of the theater in fear of the image of the oncoming locomotive. As hexing as the […]

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