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To Die Laughing
Chaplinesque Life uses humor against Holocaust horrors
, October 29, 1998
In 1994's The Monster (Il mostro), his most recent film to gain wide American release, the Italian writer/director/star Roberto Benigni put... More>>
Hard Body Tex-Zen
, October 29, 1998
The Lone Star State supplies an extremely unlikely subject for a documentary -- Hands On a Hard Body -- that develops into one of those Zen... More>>
Grand Slam
Poetry is the great escape for this prison film
, October 22, 1998
The first time we see Ray Joshua, the young black hero of director Marc Levin's impressive feature debut Slam, we get a vivid taste of the... More>>
Haunting Happiness
A dark comedy takes a compelling look at lonely heartbreak
, October 22, 1998
For filmmaker Todd Solondz, it's always midnight in suburbia. Life is lonely, and the natives can be hostile. In his daring second film,... More>>
Boys in the Bond
The Mighty mixes myth and reality for a fresh fable
, October 15, 1998
The hero of The Mighty -- the title character, in fact -- is an eighth-grader known by the nickname Freak (Kieran Culkin). His might isn't... More>>
Moved by the Spirit
Post-slavery Beloved unleashes emotions
, October 15, 1998
Beloved, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by the much-revered Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, is a tragic, sorrowful affair -- just like... More>>
Gypsy Woman
Gadjo Dilo dances with dark tragedy and humor
, October 15, 1998
Insofar as filmmaker Tony Gatlif's justly admired "Gypsy Trilogy" is an exploration of his roots and a search for his nature -- he was born in... More>>
Seeking the Cure
, October 08, 1998
This Saturday and Sunday, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston holds three screenings of a film that's a mystery, a detective story and a documentary... More>>
Affairs of the Tart
Lolita's classy, but where's the comedy and character?
, October 08, 1998
Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita still has the power to scare off people. Proof is the book's new movie adaptation, directed by Adrian Lyne and scripted... More>>
French Disconnection
Shining Sobieski has to carry A Soldier's Daughter
, October 01, 1998
Leelee Sobieski is a mouthful of a name (40 years ago, studio moguls would have made her change it to something short and unassuming), but get... More>>
Backwoods Bin of Sin
Powerful Clay Pigeons scores with country-style noir
, October 01, 1998
Have adultery, murder and greed all moved to the sticks? Once firmly rooted in the big city, the seven deadly sins have taken on a distinct... More>>
Family Foibles
Slums tries to please but plays it too safe
, September 17, 1998
Slums of Beverly Hills is the first feature by the young writer/director Tamara Jenkins, and it has its mild amusements. It's one of those movies... More>>
Family-Style Friction
Strife stirs relatives in the sentimental One True Thing
, September 17, 1998
One True Thing, directed by Carl Franklin, is trying to be the Terms of Endearment of the '90s. Scripted by Karen Croner from the 1995 Anna... More>>
Titanic Tale
Imagery and imagination fuel the mysterious Chambermaid
, September 17, 1998
You can't keep a good ship down. No sooner have a billion or so Titanic videos hit the shelves than a little-known Spanish moviemaker complicates... More>>
Trouble in Tinseltown
Permanent Midnight parades another too-hip heroin addict
, September 17, 1998
For better or worse, the confessional memoir has become the most popular literary form of our time, prompting ballplayers, Irish bartenders,... More>>
Little Big Man
Lightweight Simon's no Meany, but he can make you cry
, September 10, 1998
The opening credits of Simon Birch assert that it was "suggested" by John Irving's popular 1989 novel A Prayer for Owen Meany. Actually, it's a... More>>
Dousing the Flames
Cerebral Firelight can't ignite sensual sparks
, September 10, 1998
Who would have guessed that a movie called Firelight could give off so little glow? William Nicholson, the screenwriter of Shadowlands, making... More>>
Barely Staying Alive
, September 03, 1998
Shane, the teenage hero of Mark Christopher's 54, wears the petulant expression of a Raphaelite cherub, and he comes complete with a halo of... More>>
Audacious Adolescents
Marie Baie moves with stylish exuberance
, September 03, 1998
With the hyper-naturalism of Kids still very much in mind, newcomer Manuel Pradal transplants the horrors of feral youth to the sun-pocked... More>>
Love Conflicts -- Nailing Neil
Your Friends' writer/director takes a wicked route through relationships
, August 27, 1998
Even in his grad-student days, playwright/filmmaker Neil LaBute got a charge out of stirring up audiences nearly to the point of physical... More>>
Crossing Paths
Wonderland works as a pleasing foray into notions of fate
, August 27, 1998
The idea of destiny -- especially the notion that fate will bring two people together to fall in love -- is a load of crap, but a surprising... More>>
Escapism from Houston
Dance has local angles but an unimaginative story
, August 20, 1998
When successful romance authors pick the settings for their sappy, melodramatic novels, they know better than to conjure scenes of windswept lust... More>>
Brutality a LaBute
Director dissects depraved and depersonalized urbanites
, August 20, 1998
As the lights came up after a screening of the new Neil LaBute movie Your Friends and Neighbors, a colleague next to me growled disapprovingly,... More>>
In the Groove
Shallow feels swell in McMillan-inspired Stella
, August 13, 1998
The timing couldn't be better for How Stella Got Her Groove Back. The dog days of summer are upon us, and few prospects could be more welcome to... More>>
Heroine Overdose
The Governess looks good but turns unlikable
, August 13, 1998
Minnie Driver makes a far more credible Orthodox Jew than Renee Zellweger did in A Price Above Rubies, but The Governess itself is only... More>>
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