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Review: Flame and Citron

Scandanavian Nazi-assassin film gets a bit bogged down
The two Danish Resistance fighters of the title ( Flammen og Citronen in the Danish original) don't have nearly as much fun killing Nazis as do Quentin Tarantino's Basterds.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 02, 2009


Review: We Live in Public

Call it Woodstock crossed with Salò and The Real World
Josh Harris might not have contributed as much to the Internet as Al Gore, but as Ondi Timoner's lively and chilling documentary reveals, he did embody its excesses of narcissism and puerility and its delusions of grandeur.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 02, 2009


Review: Captain Abu Raed

Funny and touching
A janitor (Nadim Sawalha) at the airport in Amman, Jordan, comes across a cap misplaced by a flight crewman and takes it home.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  August 27, 2009


Review: Thirst

Park Chan-wook's latest gets a little messy
Some amazing images in the first hour of Park Chan-wook's film promise the equal of his Old Boy — such as when a priest bandaged like the Invisible Man descends a flight of stairs to a throng of worshippers.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  August 19, 2009


Hot Nazi beach reads

The new wave of Reich books: pop genres, good Germans
Nazis aren't blitzing just the movie screens this year, though — they're also invading the bookstores, with battalions of novels and non-fiction tomes published or upcoming.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  August 18, 2009


Review: Inglourious Basterds

Payback for Hitler in Inglourious Basterds
From the beginning, Tarantino's obsessive self-referentiality and movie allusions never let you forget that you're watching a film.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  August 24, 2009


Review: Beeswax

Don't expect intensity of any kind
Beeswax as in, mind your own . . . ?
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  September 16, 2009


Review: Ponyo

Visually stunning, but leaves you shaking your head
In a film like Spirited Away (2001), Hayao Miyazaki takes flight and creates his own seductive animated universe. When tied to a Disney fable about the environment and true love, he lurches from cliché to myth to things that just leave you shaking your head.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  August 12, 2009


Review: Cold Souls

Paul Giamatti can't heat up Cold Souls
What if human souls were as interchangeable as hearts, kidneys, movie concepts, and auto parts? Writer/director Sophie Barthes's feature debut toys with the notion, but instead of breaking new ground, Cold Souls settles for rehashing elements from other films.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  August 17, 2009


Review: 24 City

A complex and lucid cinematic poem
Developers tear down a factory to built the massive residential and commercial complex of the title, tossing out those who had worked there for decades.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  August 13, 2009


Review: Evangelion 1.0: You Are Not Alone

Never makes it out of the cartoon stage
Once you get past the turgid and jargony title and backstory, and the dippy English dubbing, this episode of the popular Japanese anime series is really quite predictable and inane.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  August 13, 2009


Review: Adam

Sensitive and subtle
As opposed to what happens in most films about mentally challenged characters, the protagonist of Max Mayer's debut feature does not regress into a stereotype. Instead, he shows by contrast how stereotyped all the other characters are.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  August 06, 2009

julia list

Child's play

Ephron and Streep cook up a feast
Here's something I never thought I'd write: Nora Ephron has made one of the best movies of the year.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  August 10, 2009


Review: Shrink

A pastiche of derivative movie pitches devoid of human feeling
Dr. Henry Carter (Kevin Spacey), the psychiatrist-to-the-stars of the title, has written a bestselling book on how to be happy. But — go figure — he isn't happy himself.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 28, 2009


Surf bored

Little virtue in Pynchon's Inherent Vice
Paranoia isn't what it used to be — not for Thomas Pynchon, at any rate.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 28, 2009


Review: Séraphine

Provost paints a true tortured artist
The old chestnut about suffering for one's art finds new life in Martin Provost's wrenching bio-pic of Séraphine Louis, the "Modern Primitive," as critic Wilhelm Uhde insisted on calling her.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 28, 2009


Review: In the Loop

Armando Iannucci wags the war
Six years ago, Armando Iannucci's slick and merciless political satire might have drawn more blood, but even now it blows away the recent satiric competition with its sharp, sardonic screenplay and uncompromising cynicism.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 23, 2009


Review: One Day You'll Understand

Clumsy contrivance gives way to real tragedy
In 1987, as French television broadcasts the trial of Klaus Barbie, the Nazi "Butcher of Lyon," Victor Bastien is going through a related trial of his own.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 22, 2009


Loop dreams

Iannucci and the future of political comedy
After laughing at the benighted morals and intelligence and the mordant wit of the reprehensible politicos of In the Loop , I had to ask myself, why now? Wouldn't this film have made more of an impact, both politically and commercially, if it had been made, say, before the 2004 American presidential election?
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 23, 2009


Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Half-Blood isn't half bad
For teenagers, everything seems like the end of the world: popularity, school, love, family, treacherous conspiracies, the war between good and evil wizards.
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 17, 2009


Cursed films

"Le Film Maudit" at the HFA
At some point while watching the features in the Harvard Film Archive's "Le Film Maudit" ("cursed films") series — perhaps during the "Circle of Shit" chapter in Pier Paolo Pasolini's SALÒ, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM — you might ask yourself, which is more cursed, the movies or anyone unfortunate enough to be watching them?
By: PETER KEOUGH  |  July 17, 2009

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