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Time of the Gypsies (1988)
Drama

In this luminous tale set in the former Yugoslavia, Perhan, an engaging young Romany with telekinetic powers, is seduced by the quick-cash world of petty crime that threatens to destroy him and those he loves. Long version screened by the Sarajevo television in 5 one-hour episodes.

Telekinetic Turkeys Often, you see a film, write a comment and impressions get frozen. I revisit my comments from time to time and am often sad to see them. I remember films as a dynamic experience. The best ones are not a simple thing but an...


Published February 23, 2024
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Dym (2007)
Director: Grzegorz Cisiecki
Drama
Mystery
Thriller

The story of the person who became the captive of surrealistic madness.

Full Young filmmakers send me films or point me to them, and it is always a matter of trepidation. Young talent needs to be both encouraged and challenged, but the internet is a poor medium for making the prerequisite human connections. The only way to communicate...


Published February 23, 2024
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Unstoppable (2010)
1,000,000 Tons. 100,000 Lives. 100 Minutes.
Director: Tony Scott
Action
Thriller

A runaway train, transporting deadly, toxic chemicals, is barreling down on Stanton, Pennsylvania, and proves to be unstoppable until a veteran engineer and young conductor risk their lives to try and stop it with a switch engine.

Unmovable Tracks If we cannot get movies that matter, at least we can get movies that engage, and this one does. This one does, and I think there are three devices consciously used. One is plainly obvious, the cinematic energy that Scott knows how to deliver. There...


Published February 23, 2024
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The Switch (2010)
The most unexpected comedy ever conceived.
Director: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Comedy
Romance
Drama

Kassie is a smart, fun-loving single woman who, despite her neurotic best friend Wally’s objections, decides it’s time to have a baby – even if it means doing it herself…with a little help from a charming sperm donor. But, unbeknownst to her, Kassie’s plans go awry because of a last-minute switch that isn’t discovered until seven years later… when Wally gets acquainted with Kassie’s cute – though slightly neurotic – son.

Unseminal Pity the poor studio executive. The mainstay of the entire movie business is the romantic comedy. That is to say: the romance that does not challenge. Without this, the bottom falls out of the financial infrastructure because they are cheap and reliable. But more: the...


Published February 23, 2024
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The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)
An unsolved crime. A love story. An unwritten ending.
Director: Juan José Campanella
Mystery
Thriller
Drama

Hoping to put to rest years of unease concerning a past case, retired criminal investigator Benjamín begins writing a novel based on the unsolved mystery of a newlywed’s rape and murder. With the help of a former colleague, judge Irene, he attempts to make sense of the past.

You Eyes, Your Love, Your Passion This is a truly lovely film that has potential to change lives. I will consider it for my ‘list of fours,‘ when I report it. You may simply fall into the rather soft world it builds, one in which love can...


Published February 23, 2024
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The White Diamond (2004)
Director: Werner Herzog
Documentary

This 2004 documentary by Werner Herzog diaries the struggle of a passionate English inventor to design and test a unique airship during its maiden flight above the jungle canopy.

Flows, Roosters Watching a Herzog documentary is first a mystery about why it was made. About halfway through you understand why: an obsessed man made a flying balloon, mostly by making stuff up and killed his cinematographer. Now he wants to do it again, in a...


Published February 23, 2024
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Careful (1992)
Director: Guy Maddin
Comedy
Drama
Fantasy

The mountain-village passions of a German widow and her sons unfold in the style of a 1920s movie.

Broken Magical Eggs I really like Maddin. I like the way he thinks visually first. Narrative is not only woven into and communicated by cinematic means, but his characters live in a similar world. They experience the world, the same way we experience the film: by...


Published February 23, 2024
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Alice Through the Looking Glass (1998)
Lewis Carroll's Classic Fantasy Tale.
Family
Fantasy
TV Movie

A modern adaptation of the classic children's story 'Alice through the Looking Glass', which continued on from the popular 'Alice in Wonderland' story. This time Alice is played by the mother, who falls asleep while reading the the bedtime story to her daughter. Walking through the Looking Glass, Alice finds herself in Chessland, a magical and fun world. There she meets the Red and White Queens, as well as many other amusing friends on her journey across the chessboard countryside onto become a crowned queen.

Homeopathic Seduction In 1871, A deacon logician at Oxford published a sequel to his surprisingly popular children‘s story. In that original, he had dabbled in the mix of logic and mysticism that he thought respectable. Fortunately for him, it was characterized as the sort of nonsense...


Published February 23, 2024
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Don’t Look Now (1973)
Pass the warning.
Director: Nicolas Roeg
Thriller
Drama
Horror

While grieving a terrible loss, a married couple meet two mysterious sisters, one of whom gives them a message sent from the afterlife.

Red Riding Hood Restoration I just saw ‘Black Swan,‘ one of the most successful cinematic seductions of the inner worlds of madness. It prompted me to go to this rather than ‘Red Shoes‘ or ‘Nostalghia.‘ What makes this film — indeed this filmmaker — valuable is the...


Published February 23, 2024
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Tangled (2010)
They're taking adventure to new lengths.
Animation
Family

When the kingdom's most wanted-and most charming-bandit Flynn Rider hides out in a mysterious tower, he's taken hostage by Rapunzel, a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair. Flynn's curious captor, who's looking for her ticket out of the tower where she's been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse, an over-protective chameleon and a gruff gang of pub thugs.

Drawing Love Sometimes the inner narrative is clear. The outer narrative is fine enough to sell tickets to parents, thinking this is what their kids want and their kids returning the favour. You’ll have to read elsewhere for how well this is done. What fascinates me is...


Published February 23, 2024
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