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The Great Beauty

Aug 20, 2014

The Great Beauty

by Kaori Shoji

‘The Great Beauty” recalls two other films set in Rome: “La Dolce Vita” and “Roman Holiday.” The former takes huge bites out of the city’s decadence and debauchery in much the same way as “The Great Beauty.” The latter takes a mere lick at ...

Leviathan

Aug 20, 2014

Leviathan

by Giovanni Fazio

One reviewer jokingly suggested that the alternative title of “Leviathan” could be “David Lynch, Gone Fishin’, ” and there’s some truth to that: While the film is a documentary of a New Bedford fishing trawler working the North Atlantic, the disorienting, woozy aesthetic and ...

Sacro GRA

Aug 20, 2014

Sacro GRA

by Kaori Shoji

“Sacro GRA” takes the all-roads-lead-to-Rome adage one step further by telling us that one of those roads is actually sacred — the 65-odd-km GRA (Grande Raccordo Anulare). It’s Italy’s most expensive highway, circling Rome in one big loop. Documentarian Gianfranco Rosi took his camera ...

Orphan Black

Aug 20, 2014

Orphan Black

by Giovanni Fazio

Language: English Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) is about to catch a train when she sees someone jump in front of it. Her life changes when she notices that the jumper looks exactly like her. Sarah steals the woman’s purse and assumes her life, which leads ...

The long, bone-chilling gaze of new director Ayumi Sakamoto

Aug 13, 2014

The long, bone-chilling gaze of new director Ayumi Sakamoto

by Mark Schilling

Directors have various ways of communicating in interviews — beyond the usual talking points, that is. Koji Fukada drew me geometrical diagrams to explain the intertwining relationships in his coming-of-age drama “Hotori no Sakuko (Au Revoir l’Ete).” Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki sketched me ...

Female anxiety shot from every angle

Aug 13, 2014

Female anxiety shot from every angle

by Mark Schilling

The Japanese film industry used to be like much of the rest of Japanese society: male-centered and male-run. It made plenty of movies about women and for women, but their directors were all men. That began to change when Naomi Kawase won a Cannes ...

Tavarataivas (365 Nichi no Simple Life)

Aug 13, 2014

Tavarataivas (365 Nichi no Simple Life)

by Kaori Shoji

Perhaps you are aware of the tiny house movement, where people move into a teensy-tiny house with the barest of amenities, or Project 333, where people choose to dress with only 33 items for three months or longer. Both have gained significant interest over ...

Promised Land

Aug 13, 2014

Promised Land

by Giovanni Fazio

You can never be sure which Gus Van Sant you’re getting when you are about to watch a film by this stylistically promiscuous director. Will it be the sympathetic chronicler of outsider teens (“My Own Private Idaho,” “Paranoid Park”); the maker of mordantly funny ...

Bajari (Gypsy Flamenco)

Aug 13, 2014

Bajari (Gypsy Flamenco)

by Kaori Shoji

As the world becomes more digitized, human beings begin to seem much less physical. Sometimes it feels as though people have no clue what to do with their bodies anymore. But in Barcelona’s Gypsy community, the flame of Flamenco burns as brightly as it ...

The Queen of Versailles

Aug 13, 2014

The Queen of Versailles

by Giovanni Fazio

Pride comes before a fall, and proving that old proverb correct is “The Queen of Versailles,” a documentary tracking one obscenely wealthy couple’s attempt to build the largest mansion in America, modeled on the Palace of Versailles, no less, but with a bowling alley. ...