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by Giuliano Vivaldi
"This year's Kinotavr didn't suggest a Russian film industry in meltdown even though some of the expected highlights were to prove deeply disappointing. On the other hand, there were pleasant surprises, including a debut film that would seem to mark the birth of a completely new genre in Russian film."
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"For some reason, works built on the masterpiece scale command instant respect, even if their structure is unsound . . . Although [The Great Beauty] looks and sounds like an epic, there is no definition in the detail — the film has been put together with hammer and tongs."
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"At a protest against the demolition of the historic Emek theatre, Nil was beaten and kicked by police offers. My fellow FIPRESCI juror, the excellent critic Berke Göl, was grabbed by the throat, punched, and arrested. Hundreds of other protestors — largely film critics, actors, and directors including festival guest Costa-Gavras — were subject to police force."
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"The bride is like a child who has found herself in a new body overnight. Different parts of her have been stained red, white, and gold; she bears all the carnal colors and signs — but what to do with them?"
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"Faust's obsession is his lust for a pale girl who looks underage, referred to as a 'little doll,' the only pure thing in a foul society. The desire to corrupt that girl is his version of mastering the world."
"Probably the only film that dwarfs the spectacle of David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Chronicle also challenges that British hero's often chilly pathology with its own surge of powerfully accruing life-and-death incidents in the survival struggles of farmer Ahmed."
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"Finally, the actors sit before a screen which plays a minimalist version of Eurydice: what will be on the other side of this already unreal scenario?" (on Resnais' You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet)
"Despite this titillated vision, we experience a slight distance as a result of the period fashions and bodies — the women appear relatively natural and unsculpted by today's standards."
by Giuliano Vivaldi
"Peter Greenaway's theses on the death of cinema perhaps inspired the greatest discussion at the Odessa festival: his insistent repetition that cinema was dead but that the screen is very much alive was received as an interesting provocation but didn't convince many."
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"It is within this vortex of social and political upheaval that Greek filmmakers have found some traction, creating sharp, insightful works that raise awareness while revealing unflattering truths about Greek society and the current 'crisis.'"
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"Eve is like a cat, attracted by textures – stroking a violinist's hands with chiffon and becoming entranced by a piece of fruit. She spends most of her time in ecstatic graceless dancing; even though anger and jealousy are present, they are rendered painless."
"Moretti's aim in We Have a Pope is to unleash as many dissenting voices on the airwaves as possible – to create space within the tightness and enclosure of historical memories."
"The cinema exists to record the moment when souls become visible." – Jean-Michel Frodon
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"It's encouraging to see how articulate and unafraid many of the kids in Put This on the Map are in deciding who they want to be, how they want to live, and even what they want to be called: 'Very gay,' 'an ally,' 'dating an FTM,' 'not straight, gay, bi, anything.'"
» 72
"This wonderfully flexible approach to movie-making explains why Wai and To's films seem so alive to every implication — unlike most current U.S. comedies, where directors carefully steer around obstacles and pretend not to notice flaws in the set-up."
"Kudos to the Vegas for showing not only the grimness of hustling, but also the ordinariness. As Clemente dresses, his middle-aged, matronly partner puts on her reading glasses to count the cash."
by Tijana Mamula
Rotterdam's edge is intact despite increasing hints of commercialism
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"For a brief week or two, adventurous filmgoers can capture elusive truths found in works of complexity, moral ambiguity, and seriousness of purpose, all uncensored."
Boasting Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, fest sets a high standard
"The Killer Inside Me recalls the novel and film of American Psycho, in which a handsome killer unleashes three-dimensional violence on an otherwise banal society."
Despite concessions to commerce, much to admire
by Joan McGettigan
"Standing in line ahead of someone was enough to start such a friendship."
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by Kristen Anderson Wagner
"Even the most obscure titles drew impressive crowds, and the premiere events boasted sold-out houses."
"There is always some madness in love; but, there is always some reason in madness." — Nietzsche
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"Vestiges of French customs and family life remain throughout these films, yet their concerns testify to a rapidly shifting society."
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"An alternative agenda for the festival might be: what can we make of modernism?"
This year's strong, idiosyncratic line-up reminds us that moviegoing can still be more than "a museum experience"
by Ben Cho
"VIFF remains the unspoiled oasis for cinephiles looking to get away from it all."
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"It's becoming more and more rare that a fresh, original film gets into the Cannes competition." — Frederic Boyer
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by Frank Bren
One of the world's largest cinema events is also one of the most ambitious
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A sampling of the best of the fest's international offerings
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"The surprise musical number can represent a facile avoidance of complexity, a moment of true strangeness, or a way of harmonizing existing, underlying themes."
Feisty orthodox Jewish dykes, globe-trotting ladyboys, fascistic Armani queens — you know, the gang
Seeing queer lives from the U.S. and Canada to South Africa and Iran
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Gingerly moving out of the 20th century, not quite into the 21st
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"Each work limns a moral dilemma that has no discernible answer."
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"Each stranger is a figure of seemingly infinite potential, pinned down to a changing series of points."
The 2007 NYFF's more cautious than courageous this year
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From neighborhood festival to NYC player
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"The documentaries that most stood out have a near fictional flair, blurring the border between reality and fable."
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by Ben Cho
Asian cinema triumphs in this year's D&T, Tony Rayns's last
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by Bo-Myung Seo
A quartet of recent Korean films shows a reassuringly robust national cinema
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Angelopoulos to Zhu: "This is an artistic film. You wouldn't like it."
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Painter, photographer, sculptor, composer, musician — and here, seminal experimental filmmaker
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Not the best of times, not the worst of times
A world-class city offers a world-class fest — despite some troubled backstory
This year's NYFF is a decidedly mixed bag of tricks
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Reality cinema celebrates homos of this year and yesteryear
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Fine performances are the main attraction of this timely New York tribute to recent French film
» 38
"No reassurance and little escapism — just right for the current state of uncertainty"
» 37
Where have all the penises gone? This year, to England
» 36
This fine Italian festival features wide variety, no polemics
An engaging mix of cinema — two-thirds of it Canadian — visits the Great White North's "postcard village on steroids"
Identity politics, urban terror, and Bulle Ogier distinguish this festival from some of its more pretentious peers
» 35
The fest's focus on New Argentine cinema is especially timely in light of the country's dire economic situation
Despite the American juggernaut, Germany and its neighbors continue to make good regional cinema
» 34
More relevant now than ever, this solid fest brings some of the complexity of the Arab world to often uncomprehending western eyes
A treasure trove of short queer cinema — and one feature — from cultures where creating it can be a criminal act
» 33
All's quiet on the cinematic front in this seductive survey of the artful '20s
Gangbangers, sex robots, and babydykes, oh my!
A bumper crop of docs scale the heights and trawl the depths of queer culture
» 32
Archival footage, dramatizations, and dark satire capture the dire end-of-century events in the former Yugoslavia
Celebrating activism and exposing some of the more chaotic corners of world politics
Some bright lights and a few dim bulbs distinguish this year's preeminent indie showcase
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A heady tour of recent Russian cinema from one of Europe's oldest festivals
» 29
Friendly Christians, bitter rent boys, and South Africa's liberated queens are part of this year's queer reality parade
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Highlights of the lives of real-life queers from as far as South Africa and as near as your closet
Shed a tear for these long-lost Roman go-go boys and evil queens of all sexes
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Wrestling with the limits of the body — and breaking them
» 21
The queer community's longstanding obsession with roles and labels may be starting to loosen up
For those who prefer anatomy to artistry, or more coarsely, meat to melodrama, we offer this consumer guide
Cartoons have always been a rich repository of queer subtext. How else to explain all those too-close buddies and their serious lack of female companionship?
» 19
The world's biggest lesbian and gay filmfest shows the pleasures and pitfalls of gay auteurs caught between assimilation and opposition. Watch out for the "Stepford" homosexual!
And you thought the lavender-haired titmouse was an endangered species! Penises are hard to find even in gay movies that ought to know better

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@brightlightsfilm - stills, photos, and images from classic and contemporary films from around the world.


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