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Fat Girl (2001)
Director: Catherine Breillat
Drama

Anaïs is twelve and bears the weight of the world on her shoulders. She watches her older sister, Elena, whom she both loves and hates. Elena is fifteen and devilishly beautiful. Neither more futile, nor more stupid than her younger sister, she cannot understand that she is merely an object of desire. And, as such, she can only be taken. Or had. Indeed, this is the subject: a girl's loss of virginity. And, that summer, it opens a door to tragedy.

Sets Us Aside Brellliat drives me a little crazy. She is an observer of one small corner of life and seems incidentally a filmmaker. You get different editions of her observations on the distance of young sex across which we throw ropes. So the question is which...


Published November 13, 2022
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Fantastic Four (2005)
4 times the action. 4 times the adventure. 4 times the fantastic.
Director: Tim Story
Action
Fantasy
Science Fiction

During a space voyage, four scientists are altered by cosmic rays: Reed Richards gains the ability to stretch his body; Sue Storm can become invisible; Johnny Storm controls fire; and Ben Grimm is turned into a super-strong … thing. Together, these "Fantastic Four" must now thwart the evil plans of Dr. Doom and save the world from certain destruction.

Two and a half We are seeing a new genre be invented and the process is quite thrilling. No one really knows what the genre will actually be, what it will look like and what few things will characterise it. So dozens of teams take stabs at...


Published November 12, 2022
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The Kovak Box (2006)
Director: Daniel Monzón
Science Fiction
Thriller
Action

David Norton is used to being in control. As a best-selling author, he decides the fate of his characters, their lives and their deaths. But what happens when his fictional world becomes all too real?

Inverted Writing There is a standard form for a movie like this. It is so heavily imprinted that when you encounter a deviation, it shocks. We have a writer who wrote a book that comes alive. We expect that the relationship between book (the film within)...


Published November 9, 2022
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Paris, je t’aime (2006)
Fall in love with Paris 18 times.
Director: Isabel Coixet, Christopher Doyle, Tom Tykwer, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, Wes Craven, Gus Van Sant, Vincenzo Natali, Gurinder Chadha, Walter Salles, Alfonso Cuarón, Alexander Payne, Gérard Depardieu, Sylvain Chomet, Bruno Podalydès, Frédéric Auburtin, Olivier Assayas, Nobuhiro Suwa, Oliver Schmitz, Daniela Thomas
Drama
Romance

Olivier Assayas, Gus Van Sant, Wes Craven and Alfonso Cuaron are among the 20 distinguished directors who contribute to this collection of 18 stories, each exploring a different aspect of Parisian life. The colourful characters in this drama include a pair of mimes, a husband trying to chose between his wife and his lover, and a married man who turns to a prostitute for advice.

Tombstones, Subways Recently, I walked through a Japanese cemetery that is several hundred years old. There is in this place a variety of tombstones, a very wide variety. There are stylistic similarities, weaving through eras, religious traditions (which are remarkably complex and subtle). The place is...


Published November 7, 2022
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Sex and Lucia (2001)
Director: Julio Medem
Drama
Romance

Various lives converge on an isolated island, all connected by an author whose novel has become inextricably entwined with his own life.

And the Story Starts Again Halfway Written reality. I had the unexpected pleasure of seeing this soon after Ruiz's Proust. Both about writers creating a life. Time folding. Narrative layers. The three sisters from 'Alice in Wonderland,' here named Alsi/Elana, Lucia (the Alice, an anagram, in fact...


Published October 31, 2022
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Irreversible (2002)
Time destroys everything.
Director: Gaspar Noé
Drama
Thriller
Crime

A woman’s lover and her ex-boyfriend take justice into their own hands after she becomes the victim of a rapist. Because some acts can’t be undone. Because man is an animal. Because the desire for vengeance is a natural impulse. Because most crimes remain unpunished.

Kubrick for Dummies One of the giants of film, Kubrick's contribution was an exploration of plastic narrative within the story. A simple story just happens and the narrative stance is one of simple observance. Kubrick looked at competing perspectives, for instance ‘2001' shifts among three perspectives...


Published October 30, 2022
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iMurders (2008)
No one is safe in cyberspace
Director: Robbie Bryan
Drama
Horror
Mystery
Thriller

A mysterious love triangle leads to a tragic shooting. Months later, eight members of a MySpace-esque chat room are being gruesomely murdered in the privacy of their own homes.

Kernel Panic You know what? This is pretty incompetent in a few ways, but the incompetence works for it. This is a murder mystery of the old school. You are introduced to characters. Murders are being committed. Clues are placed around. Many suspects and many motives are...


Published October 28, 2022
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Insomnia (2002)
A tough cop. A brilliant killer. An unspeakable crime.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Thriller
Crime

Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.

Waking Life The element that makes cinema unique is the ability to fold: to shuffle time and narrative both by the mind and eye. Nolan showed great promise with ‘Following’, built around a very ambitious narrative structure. It moved the notion of narration way in front of...


Published October 27, 2022
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Immokalee U. S. A (2008)

Volunteer Growth Most films are a matter of manufactured narrative and we watch them to to discover what has been shaped by the filmmaker. Most documentaries are like this as well, because the idea is to illustrate a constructed narrative with reality, giving it more power. But...


Published October 27, 2022
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Inside Man (2006)
It looked like the perfect bank robbery. But you can’t judge a crime by its cover.
Director: Spike Lee
Crime
Drama
Thriller

When an armed, masked gang enter a Manhattan bank, lock the doors and take hostages, the detective assigned to effect their release enters negotiations preoccupied with corruption charges he is facing.

Inside Out I want to like Spike, I really do. He has a natural cinematic imagination, something you can see from the very beginning. And he is flamboyant with the camera which I appreciate when the confidence is rewarded. Plus other things. He seems to have backed...


Published October 26, 2022
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