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Review: Great Directors

The chore is to blank out Greek filmmaker Angela Ismailos's clueless, indulgent voiceover and moony on-camera presence and enjoy the commentary of the filmmakers she's tracked down in Europe and America.
Documentary about filmmakers nearly derailed by its own not-so-great director
By GERALD PEARY  |  July 30, 2010
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Have whiskey, will swim

Filling this year’s slot in SPACE Gallery’s annual “Outlandishly Entertaining Documentary” hole is Big River Man , John Maringouin’s take on the greatest adventure yet embarked upon by Martin Strel.
Martin Strel’s insane swim down the Amazon in Big River Man
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  April 16, 2010
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Review: City Island

In this harmless indie comedy, Vince Rizzo (Andy Garcia) is a macho patriarch with two mouthy kids and acting aspirations he conceals from his wife (Julianna Margulies) for fear of sullying his manly image.
Bronx jeer
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  April 02, 2010

The faded Follies

As regular readers of the Cool, Cool World well know, one of the social highlights of the year at Casa Diablo is the Providence Newspaper Guild Follies.
The thrill is gone at the ProJo shindig; there’s something about Cumberland; and more
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  March 05, 2010
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Prince of darkness

Gordon Willis, the master cinematographer to whom the Harvard Film Archive pays tribute in a seven-film retrospective beginning this Friday,
Gordon Willis at the Harvard Film Archive
By STEVE VINEBERG  |  November 20, 2009
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Rolling stoned

Every new gambit is just another log on the roaring bonfire of Jonathan Lethem's eighth novel.
Jonathan Lethem’s freewheeling Chronic City
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  November 06, 2009


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Splendor on the screen

The arc of Elia Kazan's professional life has its origins in the Group Theatre, where he was trained as an actor and performed in the original 1930s productions of Clifford Odets's Waiting for Lefty and Golden Boy .
Elia Kazan at the HFA
By STEVE VINEBERG  |  July 31, 2009
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Newman's own

Among Shawn Levy's books is one of my favorite film bios, King of Comedy , with crazy-guy Jerry Lewis, so show-off goofy and schmaltzy, spilling all on every exuberant, excessive page.
Mainstream life, good read
By GERALD PEARY  |  June 26, 2009
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Review: Two Lovers

In what's bruited to be his last screen appearance, Joaquin Phoenix goes Marlon Brando mumbly.
Joaquin Phoenix's reported last film not interesting enough or deep enough
By GERALD PEARY  |  February 25, 2009

EXCERPT: The Conversation


Peter Keough discusses how The Conversation  is a B List movie.
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 30, 2008
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'Cue Culture

This pulpy, fiery-sweet sauce is a mélange of tongue-tingling flavors.
All up in your grill
By PHIL AMARA  |  May 21, 2008


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American original

During the great American renaissance period in movies, Hollywood was in the hands of the counterculture.
Arthur Penn at the Harvard Film Archive
By STEVE VINEBERG  |  January 29, 2008
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Ang time

“Yeah, it’s very hard,” says Ang Lee — with no apparent double entendre in mind — about shooting the sex scenes in his NC-17-rated Lust, Caution .
Lee approaches Lust with Caution
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 03, 2007
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The witching hour

WICKED is a very different witch hunt from the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel on which it is based.
Wicked , plus The Atheist , A Streetcar Named Desire , Zanna, Don’t!
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  September 18, 2007
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All but the wank

The image of Marlon Brando demanding that Maria Schneider stick two fingers up his ass, now seems the reductio ad absurdum of improvised acting.
Is Deep Throat sexier than the 1934 Tarzan and His Mate?
By JAMES PARKER  |  July 24, 2007
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Smoking hot

In honor of May 31, International No Tabacco Day, we’re listing the some of the most seminal smoking scenes on the silver screen.
Cigarettes on the silver screen
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  June 01, 2007


Feel-bad cinema

This critic's been carping for decades about feel-good cinema, how lousy it makes me feel, and this year I got the misery I begged for.
Gerald Peary's year in movies
By GERALD PEARY  |  December 21, 2006

Loose Ends

It’s four in the morning and raining. I’m 27 today, feeling old, listening to my records, and remembering that things were different a decade ago.
Growing young with rock and roll
By JON LANDAU  |  May 19, 2006
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Banana republic

East Germany graced international screens most recently in the Euro-blockbuster Good Bye, Lenin! (2003).
East (Germany) meets least in ‘Rebels with a Cause’
By MATTIAS FREY  |  February 09, 2006
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Drifting

French filmmaker Claire Denis has acknowledged that a host of sources inspired L’intrus|The Intruder (January 25–February 9 at the MFA), the tale of a sickly, reclusive Frenchman, Louis Trebor (Michel Subor), who after paying hard cash and buying
Claire Denis’s L’intrus
By GERALD PEARY  |  January 19, 2006