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Anthony Kaufman

The Top Ten Films of 2011 (Or, At Least, Those We Think Will Be Really Really Great) (photo)

The Top Ten Films of 2011 (Or, At Least, Those We Think Will Be Really Really Great)

Okay, so it may be a little early to talk about the best films of next year. But based on the number of high-profile auteurs with new works on the horizon, 2011 looks like it will be a banner annum for art cinema. While Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” is already trailering around the world […]

Requiems: The Melodramatic Imagination of Darren Aronofsky  (photo)

Requiems: The Melodramatic Imagination of Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky may have young hipster’s cred, established with his fast-cut, technically daring early features “Pi” and “Requiem for a Dream.” But look closely and you’ll see a purveyor of old-fashioned melodramas. While the Brooklyn-born director often shows a surface fascination with the frazzled postmodern condition, à la the films of far chillier contemporaries such […]

“Secretariat” Isn’t Hollywood’s Only Secretly Conservative Blockbuster (photo)

“Secretariat” Isn’t Hollywood’s Only Secretly Conservative Blockbuster

As David Lynch knows, there’s nothing scarier than white picket fences, old-fashioned red fire engines and a grandfatherly figure hosing down a manicured green lawn. Hidden behind his innocuous vision of Americana lies an insidious layer of viciousness, perversity and oppression. On the eve of mid-term elections, the opening of Lynch’s 1986 classic “Blue Velvet” […]

Five Fiscally Minded Flicks About Our Road to Economic Ruin (photo)

Five Fiscally Minded Flicks About Our Road to Economic Ruin

With the election season upon us, and economic tussles in Washington reaching fever pitch, an onslaught of movies addressing America’s #1 political issue are about to hit theaters. Between now and voting day, at least five movies, both documentary and fiction, take up the subject of the global economic collapse, examining its roots, causes and […]

The Girl With the Foreign Language Franchise (photo)

The Girl With the Foreign Language Franchise

The year’s most successful foreign film isn’t from Pedro Almodóvar, doesn’t include martial arts fighting and isn’t distributed by Miramax or Sony Pictures Classics. It didn’t even play at a major international film festival like Cannes or Toronto. Reviews were generally favorable, but by no means raves; and with no foreign stars and a running […]

Giving Audiences the War They Want (photo)

Giving Audiences the War They Want

Americans soldiers, weighted down with backpacks and machine guns, rush up a hill in the remote mountains of Afghanistan. We follow them closely through the underbrush as bullets whiz past their heads, then voices call out — a man is down, one of theirs. A grieving soldier goes into shock, breathing heavily, on the verge […]

Cannes Review: “Biutiful.” (photo)

Cannes Review: “Biutiful.”

Reviewed at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Beneath all the swift camerawork and rapid editing, Alejandro González Iñárritu remains a sentimentalist. In his latest, “Biutiful,” a stylized paean to a devoted father in the slums of Barcelona, the Mexican director once again plays up the melodramatics — with mixed results. Dedicated to his own father, […]

Cannes Review: “Kaboom.” (photo)

Cannes Review: “Kaboom.”

Reviewed at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. “It’s nuttier than squirrel shit,” says college student Stella (Haley Bennett) at one point in Gregg Araki’s latest film, “Kaboom,” a back-to-his-roots, candy-colored cult thriller that is best described, in a similar vein, as “totally fucked up.” Araki’s 1994 movie of that same name as well as the […]

Cannes Review: “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.” (photo)

Cannes Review: “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.”

Reviewed at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Woody Allen has preempted criticism of his latest breezy exercise in romantic neurosis by opening and closing his film by evoking Shakespeare’s famous line: “It is a tale full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” While that claim may be facetious — Allen returns here to familiar territory […]

Cannes Review: “Another Year.” (photo)

Cannes Review: “Another Year.”

Reviewed at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. “On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you?” asks a counselor, Gerri (Ruth Sheen), to an older woman who has been having trouble sleeping. “One,” the aggrieved woman (Imelda Staunton) answers with muted fury. The scene works as a prologue of sorts to British director […]