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Colorful romp ‘Rocketman’ struggles in singer’s youth, hits stride when John does

Rocketman, a biographical film about Elton John which takes full control of the color wheel and coats it in feathers and sequins, started showing at FilmScene last Friday. The film, directed by Dexter Fletcher and starring Taron Egerton as John, poignantly shows audiences what it looks like for a rockstar to be put under too […]

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Gilliam’s ‘Don Quixote’ delivers wonder and magic, despite burden of 25 years of content

A character during the film comments that artists must be naïve, crazy and cruel: While Gilliam knows this, and even thought he wisely departs from the cruelty of Tidelands, this movie is obviously a “passion project” (a phrase from the film) that engages in indulgence rather than refusal. […]

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Sympathy for the devil? A new documentary highlights the humor and humanity of the Satanic Temple

Update: FilmScene’s showing of ‘Hail Satan?’ at 6 p.m. Friday, May 17 will include a post-screening dialogue with Hollow Axis, interviewed in the film. A minute into my phone interview with Penny Lane, on a train to her next premiere, the director sighed with relief. “OK, good, all the people standing near me who I […]

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How do you stay sexy and successful after 90? Ask Dr. Ruth.

A new documentary about Dr. Ruth — the 4-foot-7 German refugee turned radio sex show host turned TV star turned 40-time author — doesn’t exactly break down the famed sex talker’s walls. But Ask Dr. Ruth, produced by Hulu and screening now at FilmScene, does offer a slick, fascinating and moving biography of Westheimer. […]

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‘High Life’: A look at the darker side of humanity

High Life, directed by Claire Denis, stars two of my favorite actors working right now, Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche. Although I’m usually all for the extremely artful and indie films, there was something about the dark and bleak tone that played throughout this film that didn’t sit well with me. […]

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It sounds like ‘Teen Spirit’ at FilmScene

Why are millennial actors-cum-directors expressing their creative angst through the medium of teenage girls? I’ll save that analysis for another time, and instead focus in on a single film that, rather refreshingly, begs no long-winded essays: ‘Teen Spirit,’ the directorial debut of English actor Max Minghella (who you may know from Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’). […]

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‘Everybody Knows’ masks disconnect between plot and theme with beautiful performances, cinematography

‘Everybody Knows’ is worth watching, especially in the theater, if only to delight in the masterful performances of Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. The film is shot well, and I remained engaged throughout the movie, although never was completely transported into or wholly absorbed by the story. […]

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America from the outside: ‘The Mustang’ redefines success as intimacy through trust

The Mustang, from French director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, is a film that deals so centrally with a symbol of American freedom, power and independence (Ford Motor Company’s marketing team knew what they were doing), it perhaps could only have been written and directed from an outside perspective. […]

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Sunshine and rainbow dogs: FilmScene hosts a new doc showcasing creative dog grooming

Canine cosmetology isn’t always shallow or abusive. A new documentary combats stereotypes associated with exhibitionist dog owners while focusing on, arguably, their epitome: competitive creative dog groomers. FilmScene will screen ‘Well Groomed’ on Sunday as part of their Vino Vérité series, co-presented by Bread Garden Market and Little Village. […]

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‘Destroyer’ a slow-burning yet entertaining time at the movies

‘Destroyer centers around detective Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman), who as a young cop went undercover to infiltrate a gang. This leads to something so tragic that it still haunts her many years later. When she finds out that the same gang leader has recently resurfaced, she goes on a personal mission to take him down and finally find peace. […]

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Celebrating Women’s March with ‘Rafiki’ for FilmScene’s Pride Series

The second film in the Vanguard Series, ‘Rafiki,’ directed by Wanuri Kahiu, will play at FilmScene on Monday, March 11 at 6 p.m. as part of their monthly Pride series. ‘Rafiki’ is a Kenyan coming-of-age story that chronicles the budding romance between Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) and Ziki (Sheila Munyiva). […]

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