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  • Nothing beats a good short story, one that captures the whole of a life in some subtle gesture. The lifting of a cork from the floor, a boy turning away from a booth at a bazaar, a servant with the legs of a dying man on his shoulders-these images from the masters (Carver, Joyce, Tolstoy) […]

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  • Lost In Translation

    As the film Lost In Translation opens, we find Bill Murray in the back of a cab being driven from the airport to his Tokyo hotel. Murray gives an Oscar-caliber performance as Bob Hams, a movie star whose best years are behind him. He is in Tokyo for photo shoots for ads for the whiskey […]

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  • Monsoon Wedding

    Mira Nair should be recognized as one of the world’s best directors. Her previous films Salaam Bombay and Kama Sutra were both excellent films and Monsoon Wedding is also. Nair’s films look lush and rich in color and texture. In this film, Nair’s use of rain, as both a metaphor and as a natural weather […]

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  • When viewing a bit of summer fun like Pirates of the Caribbean, one ought to avoid the trap of over thinking, as it may lead to a muddle. What can you really say about a film that is designed, in part at least, to promote a theme park ride? Or for that matter, how do […]

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  • Seabiscuit

    This We All Once Believed: Seabiscuit When we see families in Gary Ross’ nostalgic Seabiscuit, the parents care about one another, the children seem happy, and conflicts revolve around the cosmic tragedies – death, disability, financial loss. The main narrative line of the story follows four individuals stripped of the security and love of their […]

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  • The Good Thief

    The Good Thief and The Lucky Lady Neil Jordan, (The Crying Game), has crafted a moody, gritty story of Bob Montagnet, an anti-hero of sorts. A con man. A gentleman. A good thief. Based loosely on a 1950’s French film, (Bob Ie Flambeur), The Good Thief (2003) lets us in on the life of Bob, played […]

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  • “Lost in Space”: The Nostalgic Anti-Heroes of Two Russian-Italian Co-Productions: Tarkovskii’s Nostalghia (1983) and Mikhalkov’s Ochi Neri (1987) Editor’s notes: Peter Christensen was an Assistant Professor of English at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at SUNY-Binghamton, where he wrote a dissertation on Faulkner, Dos Passos, and Sartre (1979). He previously contributed […]

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  • The Imaginarium of Dr. Gilliam

    Watching Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassium is a bit like a date in the Museum of Modern Art without a guide book or headset. Just when you think you have a grasp on the intention behind one canvas, your companion pulls you toward another, then another, and another, until all whirl together like faces in […]

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  • The Christmas Bunny

    Becoming Real in The Christmas Bunny  Having just watched Tom Seidman’s The Christmas Bunny (2010) for the first time, my thoughts have drifted back to the vignettes that filled the screens for those of us born before the early 1960s. The Christmas Bunny is a throwback to the television age when each episode of Gunsmoke or Bonanza told a human story about surviving with […]

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  • The Counterfeiters

    There is an awful predictability to films dealing with the Holocaust, but Stefan Ruzowitsky’s The Counterfeiters (2007) manages to mute those elements and deliver a very human story that transcends place and convention, somewhat akin to The Book Thief (2013) or Life Is Beautiful (1997). The Counterfeiters is the tale of a man’s journey through cynical pragmatism to an affirmation of life and […]

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