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Denatured Dixie
, November 27, 1997
In John Berendt's beguiling travel-cum-true-crime book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the people of Savannah (in Berendt's words)... More>>
Workers of the World, Unite in Song!
East Side Story explores Soviet musicals. Yes, musicals.
, November 27, 1997
Soviet film, whatever its glories, is not particularly remembered for its frothy musicals (or even, for that matter, for its comedies).... More>>
Outlaws in the Outback
Kiss or Kill offers an Aussie take on Bonnie and Clyde
, November 27, 1997
This Australian answer to Bonnie and Clyde, inelegantly titled Kiss or Kill, is the kind of film that carries you along even as you know exactly... More>>
War Story
All's more than fair in Welcome to Sarajevo
, November 27, 1997
In his 1993 book Sarajevo: A War Journal, the Bosnian journalist Zlatko Dizdarevic reported on an 11-year-old who was waiting in line for water... More>>
French Originals
A new film festival displays the latest in Gallic cinema
, November 20, 1997
Fans of French film haven't had it very good over the last decade or so. Where once U.S. distributors were happy to screen the latest in Gallic... More>>
Down by Law
Even Francis Ford Coppola can't make much of John Grisham
, November 20, 1997
John Grisham's The Rainmaker lulls you into the mindset you get while reading a bestseller at the beach. What a sad thing to say about a Francis... More>>
History in the Faking
Anastasia plays fast and loose with the truth
, November 20, 1997
Disney Studios has had a near-monopoly on feature animation for almost 60 years now, and near-monopolies are nearly as destructive as full-on... More>>
Howler
The Jackal is a dog of a movie
, November 13, 1997
A team of Russia-based international bad guys want to knock off someone at the very top of the U.S. government. Who you gonna call? The... More>>
For Love and Money
The Wings of the Dove is marvelously complex
, November 13, 1997
Put brutally, the marvelous The Wings of the Dove is the story of a romantic frame-up that backfires. Thankfully, nothing is put brutally in this... More>>
Animal Urges
Errol Morris examines the desire for control
, November 13, 1997
Documentarian Errol Morris is by far best known for his 1988 feature, The Thin Blue Line, which is often described as the only film that ever got... More>>
Slow Death
, November 13, 1997
Scientists estimate that the last Ice Age, which lasted roughly two-and-a-half million years, ended about 10,000 years ago. Glaciers covered the... More>>
Film at 11
Mad City hammers the idiocy of TV news
, November 06, 1997
Mad City, a descendant of Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole, may irritate orthodox movie buffs. In the coruscating Wilder classic, Kirk Douglas's... More>>
Sex in the Suburbs
In The Ice Storm, promiscuity seems merely pathetic
, November 06, 1997
Taiwanese-American director Ang Lee has carved out a place for himself as our leading director of comedies of manners. His first three films --... More>>
Big Bad Bugs
In Starship Troopers, Paul Verhoeven plays to the mall rats
, November 06, 1997
In Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers, based on the late Robert Heinlein's 1959 sci-fi opus, the killer arachnids upstage the humans. Not that... More>>
Peking Soap Opera
Red Corner aspires to bravado, but can't avoid bombast
, October 30, 1997
Despite its muckraking pretensions, Red Corner is a rickety throwback to escapist adventures that featured beautiful foreign idealists spouting... More>>
Coded for Success
, October 30, 1997
In Andrew Niccol's Gattaca, the cleverest (if not quite the most convincing) science-fiction movie of the year, the near future is inhabited by... More>>
Too Much Magic
Fairytale is charming, inspiring -- and almost entirely fraudulent
, October 23, 1997
The true-life incident of the Cottingley fairies is so full of possibilities, so thought-provoking and hilarious at once, that it's amazing it's... More>>
Respectable Street
Washington Square is an astute piece of social observation
, October 23, 1997
Jennifer Jason Leigh follows up one of her smallest, and weakest, roles -- in A Thousand Acres -- with a far more challenging, and formidable,... More>>
Cliche-spotting
, October 23, 1997
Stylishness without substance can become wearying fast. Twenty minutes into A Life Less Ordinary, the new movie from the... More>>
Keeping Up With the Kennedys
So they care a lot about Camelot. So what?
, October 16, 1997
It's hard to fault The House of Yes, the wry toast of this year's Sundance Film Festival, for its limitations as a film. In fact, it's hardly a... More>>
Porn Yesterday
The hugely ambitious Boogie Nights revisits the sex-film world of the 1970s
, October 16, 1997
Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights opens with a sinuous, breathlessly extended tracking shot that swoops us into a San Fernando... More>>
Start Making Sense
Has Wim Wenders lost his mind?
, October 16, 1997
I am sympathetic to the problems of following up a masterpiece like Wings of Desire.... The history of film is filled with mediocre films by... More>>
The Wild Side, Circa 1954
Going All the Way freshens an overworked decade
, October 09, 1997
The seventies were so awash in fifties nostalgia that it's surprising Dan Wakefield's 1970 bestseller Going All the Way is only now turning up in... More>>
Killer
The bracing Licensed to Kill reveals the minds of hate criminals
, October 09, 1997
Despite its title, Licensed to Kill isn't a thriller. Rather, it is a thriller, just not the sort one would expect. Arthur Dong's documentary --... More>>
Deeply Shallow
Seven Years in Tibet reduces spirituality to a fashion statement
, October 09, 1997
Seven Years in Tibet feels more like Seven Days in the Movie Theater. It refuses to come to life -- not even when Brad Pitt, hirsute as a yak,... More>>
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