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Life of Riley: 'death is on everyone's mind'

Feb 11, 2015

Life of Riley: 'death is on everyone's mind'

by Kaori Shoji

France’s Alain Resnais (“Hiroshima mon amour,” “Last Year at Marienbad”) died last year at age 91, with 50 titles to his name and a career that spanned more than six decades. His final film, “Life of Riley,” was completed shortly before he passed away. ...

Blue Ruin: 'misguided acts of vengeance'

Feb 11, 2015

Blue Ruin: 'misguided acts of vengeance'

by Giovanni Fazio

“Blue Ruin” is an indie thriller that plays the “Blood Simple” card pretty hard: Like the Coen brothers’ debut, it tries to make up for what it lacks in budget by providing cool and brutal suspense, with a dose of black humor. It mostly ...

Bokutachi no Kazoku (Our Family)

Feb 11, 2015

Bokutachi no Kazoku (Our Family)

by Mark Schilling

Director: Yuya Ishii Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Yuya Ishii’s follow-up to his much-lauded 2013 drama “Fune wo Amu (The Great Passage)” is in the same serious humanistic vein — and again contrasts with the 31-year-old director’s raucous, blackly comic earlier work. The story ...

Utopia

Feb 11, 2015

Utopia

by Kaori Shoji

Language: English A familiar dystopian tale unfolds in this U.K. TV series, which is available for streaming online. “Utopia” doesn’t burst with originality but there’s an intriguing Orwellian flavor to it that’s hard to resist. A group of people discover the sequel to a ...

Betty Blue

Feb 11, 2015

Betty Blue

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix Language: English Director Jean-Jacques Beineix’s films continue to appear on Vimeo, and the latest addition is “Betty Blue,” his 1986 masterpiece of doomed romance. Failed writer Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) embarks on a passionate relationship with wannabe muse Betty (Beatrice Dalle), as ...

Growing younger in a super-aged society

Feb 4, 2015

Growing younger in a super-aged society

by Kaori Shoji

Old age. It used to be a subject people tried to avoid, but now, as Japan hurtles toward a super-aged society where almost 15 percent of the populace is over 75 years old, the general feeling is that we had better deal with it. ...

Present For You: Baffling but pioneering stop-motion film

Feb 4, 2015

Present For You: Baffling but pioneering stop-motion film

by Mark Schilling

Stop-motion animation, in which objects are photographed frame by frame to achieve the illusion of motion, is nearly as old as the movies. But as recent films by Nick Park (“Chicken Run”), Henry Selick (“The Nightmare Before Christmas”), Tim Burton (“Frankenweenie”) and Wes Anderson ...

Begin Again: 'Rekindling platonic love'

Feb 4, 2015

Begin Again: 'Rekindling platonic love'

by Kaori Shoji

You know when a boy and girl meet, hit it off, but keep the relationship platonic — and it’s sweet and memorable forever? This practically never happens in the movies. The last time it did (as far I can recall) was in “Once” back ...

The Face of Love: 'Falling for a doppelganger'

Feb 4, 2015

The Face of Love: 'Falling for a doppelganger'

by Kaori Shoji

Back in the 20th century, there was an unwritten consensus of sorts that actors and actresses over a certain age should not be involved in heavyweight love scenes. But over the last decade, veteran performers have been cast in romantic comedies of all kinds, ...