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.

Review: in A Man Called Ove, not all grumpy old men are created equal

The Swedish film screens at The Broad Theater
Bleak realism long has characterized the cinema of Sweden, from the art-house classics of Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries) to more recent, noirish crime stories including The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Sweden's official entry to next year's Academy Awards and winner of several recent film festival awards, A Man Called Ove comes on like the antidote to decades of emotional austerity.

Review: Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy

The documentary screens through Nov. 23 at Zeitgeist
The storied lives and ugly deaths of punk hero Sid Vicious and his girlfriend and manager Nancy Spungen may not be the freshest topic for a film — the original subtitle for director Danny Garcia's Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy was the self-deprecating Another Film on Sid & Nancy. Many documentaries have told their story along with that of Vicious' band the Sex Pistols, and Alex Cox's 1986 biopic Sid and Nancy has become a cult favorite.

Review: Arrival and learning the language of “others”

Amy Adams stars in Denis Villeneuve’s mesmerizing sci-fi film
There was a time when those who made science fiction movies were more interested in existential dilemmas than action-packed alien invasions. Sci-fi classics from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Blade Runner ponder time, space and the nature of human existence while realizing spectacular visions of unseen worlds.

Review: Moonlight, a meditation on identity

The moving coming-of-age tale received a 2016 New Orleans Film Festival Audience Award
Cultural stereotypes are deeply ingrained in popular entertainment. This is especially true for film, where "types" of people often serve as a kind of storytelling shorthand, moving the plot forward while perpetuating false assumptions about those people.

Review: Jim Jarmusch chronicles the Stooges in Gimme Danger

The documentary screens at The Broad Theater
Sometimes starting at the end is the best way to tell a story. Legendary indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch's documentary Gimme Danger begins the story of the Stooges — the proto-punk band co-founded by then 20-year-old Iggy Pop — by presenting the band's messy and defeated 1974 break-up.


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