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Review: Petition

A modern tragedy based on unchanging conflict
This distressing documentary explores a netherworld of individuals who have come to Beijing from all over China hoping that their grievances against their local governments will be heard.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  January 26, 2010


Paul Schrader at the HFA

American contradictions
"I'm not sure what happened to me," says Paul Schrader's Patty Hearst, one of the least reliable of the director's succession of unreliable narrators, in the film named for her.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  January 29, 2009


Separate ways

Ritwik Ghatak at the Harvard Film Archive
Separation is the myth and the reality of Ritwik Ghatak’s cinema.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  February 20, 2008


Before and after images

José Luis Guerín at the HFA
With José Luis Guerín, the cinema returns to its origin in photography.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  February 06, 2008


Twenty-first-century syndromes

The “New Crowned Hope” series at the MFA
Simon Field and Keith Griffiths, who commissioned the series, found four directors who responded to the call with brilliant films.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  August 28, 2007


Missing in action

History escapes Herzog in Rescue Dawn
In his 1997 documentary Little Dieter Needs To Fly , Werner Herzog told the story of Dieter Dengler.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  July 10, 2007


Lost in space

Alain Resnais’s dazzling Private Fears In Public Places
Alain Resnais’s ineffable film has the hallmarks of his marvelous late style.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  May 18, 2007


Land of the dead

Eastwood’s Japanese war epic
Clint Eastwood does not say that war is hell. He says that war is shit. Watch the trailer for Letters from Iwo Jima (QuickTime)
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  February 20, 2007


Mood music

Nuri Bilge Ceylan captures the sounds of Climates
In Climates , the time is out of joint, and something is wrong in the way vision breaks down the world and puts it back together, even though what the film shows seems to be all simple and immediately understandable things.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  January 03, 2007


Seven questions about love

 The films of Kenji Mizoguchi at the MFA
Love is in question in all seven films to be screened at the Museum of Fine Arts in a touring mini-retrospective of the work of Kenji Mizoguchi.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  December 27, 2006


Apologetic masterpiece

Reality is nice in Mutual Appreciation
Recently, on WBUR’s On Point , I heard Harvard conservative Harvey Mansfield plug a book he’s written in praise of “manliness,” a trait he finds embodied today in Donald Rumsfeld.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  September 13, 2006


Paradoxical subversions

Syrian films at the MFA
One of the paradoxes of Syrian cinema, writes Rasha Salti, the curator of the traveling “Lens on Syria: Thirty Years of Contemporary Syrian Cinema,” is that though they must submit their work to the oversight of a government that’s merciless in stamping out dissent.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  September 08, 2006


Easy Women

Almodóvar on the verge of a brilliant movie
To rev up art-house habitués for the US release of Pedro Almodóvar’s latest, Volver , Sony Pictures Classics has packaged an eight-film retrospective of the Spanish director’s work.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  August 31, 2006


Steely Dan

The mechanized hum of another world
It wasn’t until the third song, “Josie,” that, 20 minutes into their nearly-two-hour set at the Tweeter Center last Sunday, Steely Dan found their hypnotic groove.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  August 29, 2006


Mineral cinema

Luc Moullet at the HFA
Luc Moullet is one of the pioneers of cinema.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  May 26, 2006



Noir goes Orange County
A hard-boiled detective story in a contemporary Orange County setting, Rian Johnson’s debut feature holds a Surrealist mirror to the truth about high school.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  April 07, 2006


Body moving

Adam Yauch talks up the Beasties’ new concert film Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That
Beastie Boys’ MCA on punk-rock filmmaking, semicolons, and his new screenplay set in NYC’s Wild Style -era graffiti scene.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  March 30, 2006


Awesome; I fuckin' shot that!

License to film
One of the two worst things about arena concerts is the crowd. The other is that the band are too distant. Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! turns them into virtues.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  March 29, 2006


Sympathy for the semi-colon

Adam Yauch discusses Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!
Because it’s also a conceptual art piece, Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! , which documents a concert the Beastie Boys played in Madison Square Garden, can be watched by people who have no use for concert videos.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  March 30, 2006


Inside Man

Lee's heist film neither formulaic nor cynical
The kind of intelligent entertainment that has not been Hollywood’s specialty for the past 40 years makes a comeback in the directorial hands of Spike Lee.
By CHRIS FUJIWARA  |  March 28, 2006
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