Review: Toni Erdmann

The drama screens at The Theatres at Canal Place
Do we ever really know our children? It's easy to feel close to the little ones, their young minds and budding personalities constantly betraying their need for a parent's love and understanding.

Review: Neruda creates the meta-biopic

Pablo Larrain's ode to the Chilean poet is at The Broad Theater
It's the right of a narrative filmmaker to take liberties with historical events and figures, especially when art — not history — is the primary goal. Countless failed biopics prove that strict adherence to historical facts seldom leads to satisfying historical drama.

Review: an unforgettable portrait of James Baldwin in I Am Not Your Negro

The documentary screens at The Broad Theater
There were many heroes in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, but novelist, essayist and social critic James Baldwin became the movement's leading literary voice. Uniquely perceptive and brutally honest regarding all aspects of racism and race relations in America, Baldwin became a cultural icon not only through his brilliant writing but also his speeches and frequent appearances on television.

Review: Paterson, a poem from Jim Jarmusch

Adam Driver is a bus driver poet in the film screening at the Broad Theater
New York City-based filmmaker Jim Jarmusch is widely recognized as a founding father of modern American independent film. Early Jarmusch masterworks Stranger Than Paradise and Mystery Train helped define a new aesthetic for indie films in the 1980s, one that valued small-scale personal expression over mass entertainment or the requirements of the marketplace.

Review: gender, punk and 20th Century Women

Mike Mills’ film is a moving character study and '70s pop culture period piece
Past eras come into focus gradually with the passage of time. Long dismissed unfairly as the frivolous "Me Decade" by cultural observers of every stripe, the 1970s recently have been recognized as the inspiration — if not the source — for much of today's popular culture, especially as regards film and music.

Review: Hunter Gatherer’s messy reality and promising debut

The impressive small-budget drama screens at Zeitgeist
There's no shortage of small, independent films vying for audience attention throughout the year. Even little-known film festivals are flooded with hundreds (or thousands) of well-intentioned but essentially ordinary entries.

Review: Isabelle Huppert saves Paul Verhoeven’s Elle

The provocateur returns with a revenge thriller
"Provocateur" may be the word that best describes Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven. The director's forays into science fiction mostly have resulted in cult favorites like RoboCop and Starship Troopers, violent and audacious films with a satirical bite not often found in sci-fi.

Review: In Fences, Denzel Washington lets the stage do the work

Washington directs and stars in August Wilson’s powerhouse drama
August Wilson doesn't yet have the broad name recognition of Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller, but he may be the only playwright of recent decades deserving a place alongside those titans of American theater.   Wilson won two Pulitzer Prizes and countless other accolades for works in his artistically vibrant "Pittsburgh Cycle" or "Century Cycle" of 10 plays, one set in each decade of the 20th century and all written to illuminate the African-American experience of the period.

A year in review: Ken Korman’s top films of 2016

A look at New Orleans’ year in film, plus the best films screened in New Orleans in 2016
If you want to understand Hollywood in 2016, look no further than the year's box-office winners. At the time of this writing, nine of the year's 10 highest-grossing films in the U.S are either animated works or live-action movies based on comic books or animated works.

Review: Mifune: The Last Samurai reveals the real Toshiro

Zeitgeist screens the documentary about the Japanese screen legend
What if there was a single movie star from the golden age of world cinema who combined the cool of Humphrey Bogart, the charisma of Paul Newman and the acting chops of Marlon Brando?   There's no hyperbole in describing Japanese superstar Toshiro Mifune in just such glowing terms.

Review: finding joy and make-believe in La La Land

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in the lively musical from Damien Chazelle.
There's a moment in every movie musical that's fraught with danger: the first time a character bursts into song. If a film's transition to the world of musicals seems awkward, it only calls attention to the lack of cinematic "realism" suffered even by the finest examples of the form.

Review: Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan's masterful return

Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams star in the impressive drama
Sometimes things just don't work out for films that once seemed destined for adulation and awards. There's no better example from recent years than celebrated playwright Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret.


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