Foreign

Ema (2019)

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Ema (2019)

[This review is part of my ongoing coverage of the films screened at Birmingham Alabama’s 23rd Annual Sidewalk Film Festival] Pablo Larraine’s Ema opens with one of the most striking images that I can recall.  It’s nighttime on an empty street and we are looking at a stoplight on fire.  I hoped and prayed that […]

| August 29, 2021
Viva (2015)

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Viva (2015)

There is a frail tenderness in Jesus’ eyes that broke my heart.  All through the Cuban drama Viva, I beheld those eyes with a sense of wonder.  Played in a beautiful performance by Héctor Medina, Jesus is the kind of person to whom you can sense is always waiting for something.  What that is, even […]

| September 18, 2016
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Blue is the Warmest Color

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Blue is the Warmest Color

Forget, for a moment, that “Blue is the Warmest Colour” is the story about two women in love.  Here is a movie so universal in its themes and so broad in its emotions that it could really be about people of any gender, race or sexual orientation.  While Hollywood films simply prattle on about love […]

| November 17, 2013 | 0 Comments
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Life, Above All (2010)

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Life, Above All (2010)

Oliver Schmitz’s Life, Above All is a very touching human drama. It is deeply affective, sad without being maudlin, heartbreaking without feeling phony, and hopeful for all the right reasons. It is a film from South Africa, about Africans, speaking Sotho (a bantu language spoken in South Africa) rather than simply having all the actors […]

| May 18, 2011 | 0 Comments
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I Am Love (2009)

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I Am Love (2009)

Tilda Swinton is an actor who possesses a rare quality that many of her contemporaries seem to lack. When she occupies a role, she fills it with her whole being. There is a fearlessness about her, a boldness, she doesn’t try to hide anything. Everything that she is feeling is present in the center of […]

| May 12, 2011 | 0 Comments
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And the Ship Sails On (1984)

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And the Ship Sails On (1984)

This is going to sound strange.  I know that And the Ship Sails On was directed by the great Federico Fellini but somehow it feels like it was directed by one of his imitators.  Something is off here.  I have gotten so use to the textures, the movement, the music, the style of Fellini’s pictures […]

| February 17, 1984
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La Balance (1982)

La Balance (1982)

Asked what my favorite film would be and I’ll answer The Godfather.  There are a lot of reasons why but at the core it is a film about the world inside the criminal lifestyle, who the people are, how they relate and how they go about their business.  I have a fondness for movies like […]

| March 18, 1983
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Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1979)

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Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1979)

One of the drawbacks of being a movie lover is, very often, watching very bad films walk away with the Oscar while better films are left in the dust.  In my recent history with the Oscars this has been the case with Gladiator, The Blind Side, Green Book, The Usual Suspects, Crash, The Cider House […]

| January 19, 1979
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