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  • June 29, 2008
    By Peter Keough


    Turkish-German director Fatih Akin’s most recent films, the frenetic, punkish "Head-On" (no, you don't rub it directly on your forehead) and the more meditative and consoling "The Edge of Heaven," have at least two things in common: characters go to Turkey, and they don’t come back — usually for unfortunate reasons.

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  • June 26, 2008
    By Peter Keough

    As you might recall, in his discussion a few days back of "War, Inc." John Cusack mentioned as an example of a straight-talking journalist CBS newsperson Lara Logan. Indeed, she might have served as somewhat of a model of that film’s heroine, the crusading reporter played by Marisa Tomei who gets involved romantically with the corporate hitman played by Cusack.

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  • June 23, 2008
    By Peter Keough

    Most discussions of “War, Inc.” have concentrated on John Cusack’s outspoken politics and have ignored or dismissed the contribution of the director, Josh Seftel. Which is a shame because the Tufts grad and longtime Somerville resident not only gave the film a big budget look on a shoestring but also brought in some genuine war zone experience, and I’m not just talking about his documentary “Taking on the Kennedys.

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  • June 16, 2008
    By Peter Keough

    Once you get John started on this Iraq thing he sure has a lot to say. Here's the rest of our conversation, which is kind of an education on recent US foreign policy that you probably haven't heard much about if you stick to the mainstream media and are bugged by the poltical referecnces in "Iron Man" and "You Don't Mess With the Zohan."

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  • June 14, 2008
    By Peter Keough

    In between political ads and appearances on MSNBC firing back at Bill O’Reilly, John Cusack has been working hard lately to promote his new film, “War,Inc.” And for good reason. Not only is it another film about the Iraq (or "Turaquistan") War, which so far have all gotten beaten up both critically at the box office, but it’s also a satire, the genre that, as George S.

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  • June 11, 2008
    By Peter Keough

    And so the debate about the future of film criticism, which, admittedly, only film critics seem to be interested in, goes on.

    Here’s my own recent illustrative anecdote. A couple of weeks ago the local publicists for Disney invited me to an early screening of their big summer animation movie, “WALL-e.” Then they, well, disinvited me.


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  • June 08, 2008
    By Peter Keough
    Are the terrorists winning the war of popular culture? While everyone has been keeping their eyes out for dirty bombs and airline hijackings, sleeper cells have infiltrated the ranks of Oprah’s Book Club and summer movie blockbusters.

    Leave it to eagle-eyed critic Debbie Schlussel to spot the hand of Al Qaeda in Andre Dubus III’s Oprah-touted “The Garden of Last Days,” which “sympathizes” with one of the 9/11 terrorists.


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  • June 03, 2008
    By Peter Keough

    Around the time of the moon landing when people were wondering what Neil Armstrong would say when he first set foot on the surface some comedian whose name I can’t remember joked that he could make himself a pile of money if he just shouted “Coca-Cola!” Those were the days. Now such Philip K. Dickian crass commercialization of space flight is the norm and what’s left of the final frontier is only on the Sci-Fi channel or in Star Trek sequels.

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