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‘The Assistant’: A snapshot of our current conversation around sexual misconduct (the image isn’t pretty)

Kitty Green’s The Assistant is currently playing at FilmScene on the Ped Mall for the next two weeks. Papercuts are not the only wounds that sear in Green’s masterful and mesmerizing feature film The Assistant (2020). Some hurts are untraceable, undetectable on the surface of one’s skin. While the industrial revolution altered the domestic sphere’s […]

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‘Cats’ is back out of the bag as FilmScene hosts four special screenings

“You will believe,” promised the first trailer for Tom Hooper’s Cats, the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical, itself adapted from T.S. Eliot’s collection of poems Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. There was something ominous, perhaps even mildly threatening about this tagline. What will we believe? That the strangest Broadway hit of all time would make a good movie? […]

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The Oscar-nominated Animated Shorts challenge viewers to face the many forms of grief

Perhaps more than any of the other 23 categories, the Oscar-nominated Animated Shorts come with the promise of fresh, risk-taking perspectives. The medium of animation is truly limitless, and for being so constrained within the mainstream, there is something liberating to view the artistic shorts explore, push and reinvent themselves for the betterment of their own narratives. […]

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Oscar Documentary Shorts urge audiences to embrace hope

This year’s slate for Best Documentary Shorts provides insight into the world’s desperate need for justice and the hope it drags behind it. Is that too bleak? Too cynical? Would you prefer hope to be leading rather than limp and full of grass stains? So do the five films nominated this year. They urge us to embrace hope of any kind, even if it’s reactionary. […]

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Q&A with Alex Gibney, Oscar-winning documentary director, after the Iowa premiere of ‘Citizen K’

Regarded as one of the most important documentarians of the last couple decades, Alex Gibney has focused his camera on con-artists and fallen heroes in films such as The Armstrong Lie, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief and The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. His 2007 doc Taxi to the Dark Side […]

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Springtime for Hitler, Germany and Jojo: Taika Waititi’s quirky coming-of-age comedy opens at FilmScene

Nazis are bad, right? Right. Taiki Waititi assumes you already understand this if you’re sitting down to watch his latest film, Jojo Rabbit. If you know anything about this movie, it’s that it’s about a kid who has Adolf Hitler as an imaginary friend. Maybe you even heard that it’s directed by the Thor: Ragnarok guy. Oh, and it’s divisive as hell. […]

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