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"American Meat" Plans Iowa City Showings Aug. 3 & 6

In Iowa, perhaps no politics hit home quite like the politics of food. While films like Food Inc. and King Corn have helped familiarize us with the scope of industrial agriculture and the problems associated, American Meat, a new documentary by Graham Meriwether, tells the stories of farmers finding alternative markets for their products, offering […]

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Talking Movies: Is Quentin Tarantino Overrated?

The featured director this month in the Englert’s American Filmmakers Series is Quentin Tarantino. True Romance, which he wrote but didn’t direct, is showing Tuesday, May 10, and Pulp Fiction, his dubious masterpiece, plays the following Thursday. Does the director of Kill Bill: Vol. 2 and Inglourious Basterds deserve to be ranked alongside John Cassavettes, […]

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Talking Movies: A Caricature with Character

Directed by Miguel Arteta–of Youth in Revolt and The Good GirlCedar Rapids represents yet another stereotypical journey through the comic banality of Middle America. Amusingly, the reviews of the film, good or bad, are more trite than the film itself–I’ll refrain from using such repossessed phrases as “hayseed” and “flyover country” or references to the wood-paneled veneer of Midwest structures. […]

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Unabridged: An Interview with John Waters

Everyone has their first time with John Waters. For me, it was the summer of 1976, when I took off from my Grandmother’s house in Provo Utah, after a weird, lonely, freshman year at BYU (don’t ask) and hitchhiked around the West. I ended up–rather crazed after sleeping rough alongside Interstate 5–in Berkeley, crashing with hippie friends. My first night in town they took me to see a midnight showing of… […]

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WikiLeaks and the Movies

In a recent “dump” of diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks, Putin and Medvedev were compared to Batman and Robin. The Slovenian philosophical rock star Slavoj Žižek has taken the simile further and compared Julian Assange, the spooky mastermind behind WikiLeaks, to the Joker in The Dark Knight. In Christopher Nolan’s twist on the Batman myth, the […]

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John Waters

This Filthy World Friday, April 1 – Englert Theatre John Waters first became famous–or infamous–for a series of movies that plumbed the depths of depravity and bad taste. Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Desperate Living were about murder, rape, cannibalism, sexual fetishes and an unhealthy affection for eggs. They were also wickedly, deliriously funny. He […]

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Talking Movies: Enter the Void

Gaspar Noé will be known to some for his 2002 film Irreversible in which two men avenge the brutal rape and murder of a woman played by Italian beauty Monica Bellucci. Though its style and substance (particularly the rape scene) are notorious, it’s unfortunate that its infamy has surpassed its praise because I revere Irreversible […]

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Talking Movies: Hausu

Once in a while we come across a piece of art so outlandish that it defies all our categories; something which brings our neat generalizations up short. Hausu is one such work of art for me, and I suspect I am not alone. If you haven’t seen it, it may very well be the most […]

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Talking Movies: Well Spoke’n

I’ve now seen Vittorio De Sica’s masterpiece The Bicycle Thief twice in my life. I’m not sure how many more times I’ll be able to bear it. It’s too real; reality is too heartbreaking; and, as T.S. Eliot drily observes, “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.”

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Reel IC: One more week of Bijou

The Bijou wraps up its semester next week with two films from fantastic Asian directors. South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho brings us Mother and the Bijou resurrects the classic Fallen Angels by Wong Kar-wai out of Hong Kong. But first, a few notes from the IC film world. 1) That’s Rentertainment is having a “Grand Reopening” […]

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Reel IC: The Way We Get By

The Way We Get By Bijou Theatre Saturday, April 24, 7pm Why did buying DVDs become all the rage in the 2000s? Director commentaries. Just as interesting as watching the film (or, often more so) was listening to the people who made the movie talk about the work, the thought process and the people on […]

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