Art Reviews

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Marielle Heller, director & script based on the graphic novel/autobiography by Phoebe Gloeckner Starring: Bel Powley (Minnie Goetze), Alexander Skarsgard (Monroe), Kristen Wiig (Charlotte, her mother), Christopher Meloni (Pascal MacCorkill), Abigail Wait (Gretel), Madeleine Waters (Kimmie) “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” These words, written by L.P. Hartley, over 60 years ago in the novel The Go-Between echo when thinking about Marielle Heller’s film adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner’s controversial graphic novel/partial memoir Diary of a Teenage Girl. Things were different back in the Sixties and Seventies especially if you were living in San Francisco or New York. Now it seems nearly impossible to imagine a story without dire consequences about a sexual relationship between...

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Around the World in 50 Concerts

Heddy Honigmann, director Featuring: The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gustavo Nunez, Alice and Portia Makgorane, Michael Masote, Sergei Bogdanov Let’s cut to the chase. Classical 96.3 film and music fans—Around the World in 50 Concerts is made for you. I’ll be astonished if you don’t love it. Put the fine musicians of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw’s Orchestra on tour in Buenos Aires, Johannesburg, and St. Petersburg, all beautiful locales, and have them play such old favourites as Bruckner’s 7th, Mahler’s 8th and Shostakovich’s 10th Symphonies. What have you got? About as close as you can get to perfection. But wait—there’s more. Around the World in 50 Concerts is far more than a music film. Frankly, 50 concerts by anyone in 90...

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Bikes vs Cars

Fredrik Gertten, director Feature documentary With: Aline Cavalcante and Dan Koeppel If there’s one thing I love about point-of-view documentaries, it’s that directors don’t feel the need to pretend to be objective. Take Fredrik Gertten, the director of Bikes vs Cars. Here’s what the told The Guardian’s Zoe Williams, “Car dependency is a disease for society. If you’re dependent on having a car every day, you have lost your freedom. It’s very sad. Most people are unhappy in traffic. The people who bike their cities, they become city-lovers.” So car-lovers beware. This doc is not for you. And readers of this review, beware. I agree with him. But that doesn’t mean that this is a great film. In Bikes...

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Best of Enemies

Morgan Neville & Robert Gordon, directors Feature documentary Starring: Gore Vidal & William F. Buckley, Jr. With: Howard K. Smith, Noam Chomsky, Dick Cavett Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon’s Best of Enemies evokes the Sixties, arguably the most exciting decade since the end of World War Two. The civil rights movement in the U.S., Trudeaumania in Canada, London’s Swinging London fashion and music scene, the French New Wave, the rise of the hippies in California, the liberation of most of Africa and the rise of Fidel in Cuba all took place then. There was a heady mix of art, culture, lifestyle changes and politics in the air. This was also the time of the Vietnam War and the assassinations...

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The Look of Silence

Joshua Oppenheimer, director Feature documentary w/Adi Rukun Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary The Look of Silence took the film festival world by storm last year. The film won the Grand Jury Prize and the International Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI) at  the 71st Venice International Film Festival, and went on to garner the European Film Critics Award (FEDEORA), as well as the Human Rights Nights Award. Since then, The Look of Silence has continued to win multiple awards, including Best World Documentary (Cinephile Prize) at the Busan International Film Festival, the Grand Prize (DOX Award) at CPH:DOX, the prize for Best Documentary at the Starz Denver Film Festival, a Danish Arts Council Award for outstanding achievement in filmmaking, and the Best Film...

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Irrational Man

Woody Allen, director & script Starring: Joaquin Phoenix (Abe Lucas), Emma Stone (Jill Pollard), Parker Posey  (Rita), Jamie Blackley (Roy) Woody Allen may be pushing 80 but his willingness to push boundaries hasn’t abated. His new film Irrational Man is a shocking little fable in which Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) a philosophy professor, who has so little interest in his existence that he plays Russian Roulette at a party, turns his life around after deciding that he’s going to commit a perfect murder. Suddenly, Professor Lucas, whose reputation as a philanderer preceded him to the small New England college he’s just joined, is able to have sex with Rita (Parker Posey), another prof who has been pursuing him, and...

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