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Backpacking women take back the mountains

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If you’ve read Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, “Wild: Lost and Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” you’ll be familiar with her particular tone: a combination of lyrical feminism and gritty self-help manual. Her book chronicles the three months she spent hiking the United States’ Pacific Crest Trail (fondly known among mountaineers ...

A militaristic turn for the Japanese film industry

Aug 19, 2015

A militaristic turn for the Japanese film industry

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Why have Japanese filmmakers recently been turning out so many films about World War II and its aftermath? The obvious answer is that they’re commemorating the 70th anniversary of that war’s end, which was marked on Aug. 15. But there are far fewer new ...

Norway's 'Ballet Boys' dive deep into the world of dance

Aug 19, 2015

Norway's 'Ballet Boys' dive deep into the world of dance

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The road to becoming a professional athlete is paved with thorns, but there’s more trouble than that awaiting three aspiring male ballet dancers in the Norwegian documentary “Ballet Boys.” Directed by Kenneth Elvebakk, the film examines the lives of teens Lukas, Syvert and Torgeir, ...

Animated antidotes to Pixar-Disney eye candy

Aug 19, 2015

Animated antidotes to Pixar-Disney eye candy

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Children’s animated films, like just about everything else these days, are mostly created by a couple of mega-corporations. Some days it seems like the only animations out there are digitally rendered, hyperactive “Pix-ney” flicks filled with pop-culture wisecracks and supported by a $100 million ...

Frida Kahlo and the secret life of women's objects

Aug 12, 2015

Frida Kahlo and the secret life of women's objects

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Miyako Ishiuchi is one of Japan’s most formidable photographers — a woman who has been passionately interested in women and their bodies for the whole of her 50-year career. At 68 years old, her fascination with the female physique remains intact, but over the ...

Hell is a claustrophobic submarine in 'Black Sea'

Aug 12, 2015

Hell is a claustrophobic submarine in 'Black Sea'

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Sometimes a bit of breathless claustrophobia is just the thing to combat a scorching-hot summer (you know, fight panic with panic), and what could be better for that than a submarine thriller? “Black Sea” may have a little daylight, but it’s not light fare ...