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  • July 28, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Kind of like Toxic Avenger by way of Trash Humpers, Jim Muro's Street Trash (1987) lives up to its title. Stinky derelicts start buying booze called Tenafly Viper at Ed's liquor store for a buck a bottle and unleash the cheapo, gross-out special effects. Not only a revoltingly hilarious indulgence in politically incorrect bad taste, the movie also reflects, not unlike Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, the contempt for poverty so popular during the Greed is Good era.

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  • July 27, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    One of Boston's most vital and exciting film events, the Roxbury International Film Festival, now in its 13th year, begins tonight with Davey Frankel and Rasselas Lakew's The Athlete (2009), a biopic mixing dramatization and documentary about Abebe Bikila, the first black African to win an Olympic gold medal in the men's marathon - which he ran barefoot, no less.

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  • July 27, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Two years ago Lee Daniels's Precious (2009), an adaptation of the novel Push by Sapphire, confronted viewers with its hardscrabble, intense story about an unwed teenage mother beset by inner-city and family turmoil. It defied the odds and became an Oscar-winning commercial hit (Best Supporting Actress for Mo'Nique; Best Adapted Screenplay for Daniels).

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  • July 24, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler (2008) introduced many moviegoers to the sweaty, bloody, brutal world of professional wrestling on the fringes of the WWE. Robert Greene shows us more of this subculture in his documentary Fake It So Real, in which he explores with cinema-vérité intensity the dedicated gladiators of the Millennium Wrestling Federation of Lincolnton, North Carolina.

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  • July 23, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Less graphic but perhaps more disturbing than Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange is his Doctor Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964). It might be the funniest doomsday movie ever made, and certainly has the funniest character names, like Merkin Muffley and the Kissinger-esque nuclear scientist of the title, two of the three roles played by the great Peter Sellers.

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  • July 23, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Night of the Creeps (1986)

    Those who have passed by the Fourth Wall Project gallery recently will have noticed that the place has been overrun by the Vitamin Water people. Together with Coolidge @fter Midnite, they have scheduled a month-long series of events including tonight's free screenings of two visceral masterpieces by film school reject Fred Dekker.

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  • July 21, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Nobody had as much fun with human folly as Stanley Kubrick, and two of his satiric masterpieces screen this week at the Somerville Theatre. His X-rated adaptation of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange (1971) still shocks today. In a hilariously awful dystopia the only sympathetic character is Malcolm McDowell's sociopathic delinquent, perhaps because he croons "Singin' in the Rain" and listens to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony while engaging in his ultra-violence.

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  • July 21, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

    Joseph L. Mankiewicz's All About Eve (1950) is included in just about everyone's top 10 best Hollywood movies list, and the line "Fasten your seatbelts. Its going to be a bumpy night" comes in at #9 in the AFI's list of greatest movie quotes. But that film is just one of the nearly two dozen Mankiewicz turned out in his richly varied, remarkable career.

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  • July 20, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Andrea Dunbar's short life - she died at age 29 in 1990 as a result of her multiple addictions - was as tormented and astonishing as her three plays. They are uncompromising accounts of the desperate, defiled lives of the poor in the housing project in Bradford, England, where she grew up, including The Arbor, which is also the title of Clio Barnard's 2010 biographical film about her.

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  • July 19, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Nino Rota's famous theme for Fellini's 8-1/2

    Imagine Hitchcock's Psycho or Scorsese's Taxi Driver without the lacerating, haunting music - or The Godfather films and Fellini's 8-1/2 without the lush scores of Nino Rota. Still masterpieces, just . . . not the same. The music without the movies, however, is well worth a listen as is demonstrated in the program Music For Movies: A Celebration Of Bernard Herrmann And Nino Rota at the Brattle, which is also currently running a series of each composers' films in honor of their centennials.

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  • July 13, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Superman II (1980)

    Remember Terence Stamp as General Zod in Superman II (1980)? He might prefer to forget it himself, and you might not want to see the whole film in order to catch his performance, but it's all there in the trailer featured in this year's Trailer Treats, just one of many in this annual collection of trashy coming attractions at the Brattle.

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  • July 10, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Does a penthouse apartment in a skyscraper give you a better perspective on the ills of the society down below? In his documentary High Rise, director Gabriel Mascaro interviews the inhabitants of posh spots in the Brazilian cities of Rio de Janeiro and Recife and asks them tough questions about injustice, insecurity, the future, and the availability of parking.

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  • July 09, 2011
    By Peter Keough


    Let's push the cinema clock back a bit, not just before 3D, but before color and even sound. After seeing Buster Keaton's silent comic masterpiece Seven Chances (1925) with a live score provided by Jeff Rapsis on a digital synthesizer, you might agree with those who think all these "advancements" have detracted from the essence of cinema.

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  • July 06, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The Sleeping Beauty

    Always a must-see cinema event, The Boston French Film Festival at the MFA opens with laughs this year as it screens Philippe Le Guay's The Women on the Sixth Floor (2010; July 7 @ 7:30 pm; July 9 @ 5:40 pm), a comedy about a bevy of Spanish housekeepers who turn a staid bourgeois family upside down.

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  • June 30, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    "You talkin' to me?" has to be the most repeated movie quote of all time, although "Make my day" and "We're not in Kansas anymore" might be close seconds. Actually, those last two might also fit comfortably in Martin Scorsese's masterpiece Taxi Driver (1976), screening all week in a newly restored version at the Brattle.

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