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  • August 31, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    The highpoint so far at the Montreal World Film Festival, where I am serving as a member of the FIPRESCI jury, happened before the first film was shown. Last Thursday during the opening night festivities, Jafar Panahi, the renowned Iranian director and president of the Jury (not the one I'm on, but the "main" jury, the one that gets free bottles of water at the screenings) was walking down the red carpet and came upon a group of demonstrators carrying green balloons and wearing face paint.

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  • August 21, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    As the tempest in the teapot over whether audiences are too dumb to know what they like has been raging among critics I've tried to put things in perspective for myself by recognizing that regardless of who's been watching them the films so far this year have been well above average. It's not even September yet and we've already seen "The Beaches of Agnès," "Tyson," "Revanche," "Limits of Control," "Tulpan," "The Girlfriend Experience," "Up," "O'Horten," "Moon," "The Hurt Locker," "In the Loop," "Séraphine," "Julie & Julia," "District 9," "24 City," "Inglorious Basterds.

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  • August 19, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    Sometimes the real world offers moments that far transcend in absurdity and black comedy anything that the movies can come up with. Like this snippet of Barney Frank making an obvious point about the latter day know-nothings who are determined to take down the current administration. Maybe it will encourage the chickenshit news media to tell it like it is, too.

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  • August 15, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    The new sci-fi film "District 9" has generated a lot of excitement. It's "fiercely original" says producer Peter Jackson and according to its legions of fans, like nothing you've ever seen. At the risk of having those fans burn down my house, I've got to say that it's actually like a lot of films I've seen all mashed together.

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  • August 11, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    Every Presidential election the out-of-office party usually says something like, "Do you feel better than you did four years ago?" Now that election 2008 is over, the "smart" guy is in the White House, and people are asking, "Do you feel dumber than you did 8 months ago?"

    Bill Maher, for example, doesn't feel any dumber, but he's disappointed that everyone else does, or at least should feel that way.

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  • August 07, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    I know you've all got more important things on your mind, but lately I've been thinking - whatever happened to Polish cinema? It was once the cinema powerhouse of Eastern Europe with directors like Roman Polanski, Jerzy Skolimowski, Krzysztof Zanussi, Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Kieslowski. Lately there just have been the occasional entry, like Wajda's "Katyn" and Skolimowski's upcoming "Four Nights of Anna

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  • August 07, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    I was kind of kidding when I suggested that the Clinton/Kim prisoner release deal was a North Korean/Hollywood co-production. But instead it turns out my instincts were right! As if further confirmation were needed that the entire stunt was a package put together by an unholy alliance between Producer Steve Bing and Kim Il Jong's lackey kidnapped filmmakers, here's New York Post's columnist Andrea Pyser's shrewd observation:

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  • August 06, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    At first it just seemed like a silly idea, that the Clinton/Kim prisoner release summit meeting was scripted. But it turns out that Clinton's trip was funded by A HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER! Steve Bing, who produced "Polar Express," "Shine a Light" and "Beowulf" and has been a longtime contributor to the Democratic Party (he also fathered a child with Elizabeth Hurley) sprang for the $100,000 for the jet rental A small investment, it would seem, if the story hits the big screen.

  • August 05, 2009
    By Peter Keough

    I was watching some of the news stories on Clinton's success at getting the two journalists released from North Korea and one of the reporters said something to the effect that if you had written this in a movie script no one would have believed it.

    Then it occurred to me: WAS it a movie script? Kim is known to be an avid movie buff with thousands of films in his collection.

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