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'Sing': Pigs can't fly but they sure can sing

/ Mar 15, 2017

'Sing': Pigs can't fly but they sure can sing

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'Sing" is brought to us by Illumination Entertainment — the animation studio that brought the "Despicable Me" series and last year's sleeper hit "The Secret Life of Pets." In many ways it's "La-La Land" with animals. In a color-filled, LA-like town inhabited by non-Homo ...

| Mar 15, 2017

Looking back on the 'trial of the century'

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Everywhere you look these days, it feels like it's just Trump, Trump and even more Trump. It's worth taking a moment to recall that 23 years ago many people were just as sick of O.J. Simpson when the amiable American football star-turned-TV/movie celebrity became ...

Fukada's filmmaking a breath of fresh air

| Mar 10, 2017

Fukada's filmmaking a breath of fresh air

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Koji Fukada's black comedy "Hospitalite" ("Kantai") won best film in the Tokyo International Film Festival's Japanese Eyes section in 2010 and since then he has become accustomed to stepping up on stages to receive prizes for his work. Fukada is part of a new generation ...

A dystopian future set in the present aftermath

Mar 8, 2017

A dystopian future set in the present aftermath

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With "Homo Sapiens", director Nikolaus Geyrhalter paints a haunting dystopian vision of civilization minus its creators. This unique documentary consists of nothing but steady, perfectly framed wide-shots of abandoned structures and wastelands. Imagine Wes Anderson doing location shots for "The Walking Dead" and you'll ...

'River': sink, swim or keep running

/ Mar 8, 2017

'River': sink, swim or keep running

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Up until about 10 years ago, being a white man in Southeast Asia meant you did pretty much what you pleased and damn the consequences, at least in the realm of fictional cinema. (See Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Beach.") Often, the characters are thrown ...

The poverty of thought in our welfare systems

Mar 1, 2017

The poverty of thought in our welfare systems

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Sometimes I want to look up from whatever I'm doing (usually when I'm staring at a screen) and send up a prayer of thanks that at 81 years old, filmmaker Ken Loach continues to be who he is. "I, Daniel Blake" ("Watashi wa, Daniel Blake") ...

'Snow Woman': chillingly modern

/ Mar 1, 2017

'Snow Woman': chillingly modern

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The Japanese folklore story of the "Snow Woman" has been told in many places, in many ways, and in many versions, but best-known is that of Lafcadio Hearn, the Greek-Irish writer who published it in his 1904 collection, "Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange ...