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GERALD PEARY

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Review: Prodigal Sons

An engrossing, unpredictable, often heartbreaking family-drama documentary
Adopted four weeks after he was born and brought up in Helena, Montana, Marc McKerrow suffered through the stress of being compared with his brother, Paul, his high school's valedictorian and star quarterback.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  March 09, 2010

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Review: Visual Acoustics: The Modernism Of Julian Shulman

High modernism in high spirits
Eric Bricker's documentary celebration of America's most renowned architectural photographer is effusive in its praise, tame in its public-television-style execution.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 24, 2010

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Review: North Face

A fit of Nazi peak
Nazi queen Leni Riefenstahl's The Blue Light (1932) was only one example of a peculiar, culturally specific German genre known as "mountain films."
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 10, 2010

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Review: The Most Dangerous Man in America

Hail to Daniel Ellsberg
At age 79, Daniel Ellsberg is getting the last guffaw.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 16, 2010

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Review: 44 Inch Chest

Suffocated by chewy, self-congratulatory dialogue
What to do with a kidnapped cuckolder?
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 02, 2010

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A painful case

Patricia Highsmith's ultimate mystery
Is it living in a wishy-washy culture of sheepish PBS humanism and numbing political correctness that makes the nasty, psychopathic amorality — no, immorality! — of Patricia Highsmith's novels so savory and appealing?
By: GERALD PEARY  |  February 02, 2010



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Review: Police, Adjective

Splendidly perverse
Down these mean Romanian streets, in the nowhere town of Vaslui, walks a young plainclothes policeman, Cristi (Dragos Bucur), who seems more reasonable, more compassionate, than his stern, by-the-book colleagues.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  January 20, 2010

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Review: Creation

The origin of specious
God-fearing creationists won't find anything to worry them in Jon Amiel's stiff, stodgy, PBS-style telling of the life of Charles Darwin (Paul Bettany) during the time he was writing (slowly, very slowly) The Origin of Species .
By: GERALD PEARY  |  January 20, 2010

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Review: Le Combat Dans L'Île

Alan Cavalier's sleek noir rescued from 1962 obscurity
Alan Cavalier's sleek noir rescued from 1962 obscurity
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 22, 2009

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Review: Amarcord

Fellini's good old days were also the bad old days
In memory, Federico Fellini's 1973 work, an Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, stands among his masterpieces. But seen today, Amarcord is something of a disappointment, clever and moving in places, but also sprawling, undisciplined, clumsy in patches, and decidedly overlong.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 16, 2009

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Review: Araya

Benacerraf's classic documentary gets an anniversary showing
Margot Benacerraf's extraordinary Venezuelan documentary, among the finest ever made, shared the 1959 International Critics Prize at Cannes with Alain Resnais's Hiroshima, mon amour and then disappeared.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 16, 2009



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Fast and loose

Robert Altman's movie life
You're a cocky film-school grad with a drawer full of socko screenplays and Hollywood ambitions. But it's all California dreamin', as you're shivering in New England, cutting public-service announcements and digitizing educational videos, your only brush with the studios those Netflix rentals.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 09, 2009

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Review: Defamation

Documentary takes on anti-Semitism
Yoav Shamir, a young Israeli documentarian, goes off to America and Eastern Europe with a camera and a question: is anti-Semitism an important concern today for Jews, or are those anxious about it being unduly paranoid?
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 02, 2009

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Review: Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

1951 melodrama fails to convince
In this soupy 1951 romantic melodrama, Ava Gardner plays Pandora, a self-loathing vixen who toys with the affections of sundry panting males while waiting without hope for her real love to appear.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  December 02, 2009

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Review: William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe

What’s it like being the young daughters of this John Brown–like presence?
“Bill” Kunstler was the flamboyant, contentious, proudly revolutionary lawyer for the Chicago Eight, a handsome man with an unruly mane of black-and-white that was as impressive and iconic as the head of hair on Susan Sontag.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 11, 2009

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Review: The Horse Boy

A compelling real-life adventure
Rupert Isaacson and Kristin Neff seem the best of parents and yet they’re worn down by their four-year-old autistic son, Rowan, with his four-hour tantrums, his rejection of toilet training, his inability to answer to his name.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  November 04, 2009



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Review: Earth Days

Did you know Nixon once signed progressive eco-legislation?
Those who worry that the eco-movement seems incapable of getting beyond its white upper-middle-class base will be disturbed anew by Robert Stone’s Earth Days , where every talking head is a well-bred Caucasian.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  October 07, 2009

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Reykjavik International Film Festival 2009

Report back from Iceland amidst lamb hot dogs, and fish and chips.
How would the Reykjavik International Film Festival, which I was attending, September 17 to 27, be affected by the horrid downturn?
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 29, 2009

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Review: Amreeka

Cherien Dabis's feature debut is winning
In the finely sketched beginning chapters of Arab-American writer/director Cherien Dabis's feature debut, we share the frustrating, claustrophobic life of our heroine, Munah Farah.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 23, 2009

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Review: Bigger Than Life

Cult classic gets a special showing
A year after directing Rebel Without a Cause (1955), rebel filmmaker Nicholas Ray came back with Bigger Than Life (1956).
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 16, 2009

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Review: Somers Town

Shane Meadows' latest triumph
At just 70 minutes, Shane Meadows's film is short, sweet, and winning.
By: GERALD PEARY  |  September 02, 2009


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