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  • June 30, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    People Parade

    With its numerous university film departments, the Boston area has grown into a hotbed of young talent. Four recent graduates from local programs showcase their work tonight at the Harvard Film Archive in "Four Films From Young Boston: An Evening Of Personal Cinema." They include Ahmed Khawaja and Andre Puca's Kassandra with a K, a feature about a Muslim-American film student who wants to make a movie about his first heartbreak (don't miss Phoenix film critic Brett Michel's cameo - with his pet rabbit).

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  • June 25, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    One of the summer's funniest events takes place in the midst of the celluloid glitz of the Nantucket International Film Festival. It's Ben Stiller's All-Star Comedy Roundtable, a kind of workshop on making people laugh that includes some of Ben's best friends and, if you're so inclined, you. Last year Zach Galifianakis and Sarah Silverman brought down the house.

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  • June 24, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Far from being a source of escapism, the best science fiction instead offers a perspective on the problems of our times. Such is the case with Joss Whedon's Serenity (2005), the feature film based on the cult-favorite TV show set on an outlaw cargo ship in a 26th century that has at least as much bad shit going on as the present.

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  • June 23, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    What to watch on a weekend that offers midnight showings of Rubber, Serenity, and Jason Weiner's Hobo With A Shotgun? No beating around the bush with the latter; the title tells it exactly the way it is, with Rutger Hauer unforgettable and unwashed as the lethal bum. Sometimes hilarious, other times weirdly touching, always violent as hell - of the three midnight options, this one just might be the best.

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  • June 23, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The puns about this film may be getting tiresome, but if you can spare a couple of hours you might find that Quentin Dupieux's Rubber (2010) will jack up some excitement. You might say its tale of a mute, telepathic, murderous automobile tire treads familiar ground, recalling John Carpenter's Christine and Steven Spielberg's Duel

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  • June 19, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Doug Block cast an uncompromising but compassionate eye on his parents a few years back with the highly praised documentary 51 Birch Street. Now he flips to the opposite generation, profiling his only daughter, Lucy, in The Kids Grow Up, a look back at her life as she is about to go to college. It regards this universal experience with a poignant personal insight, and Block himself will be on hand to discuss it when the film screens as part of The DocYard series at the Brattle Theatre at 40 Brattle St, Cambridge | Monday, June 20 @ 8 pm | $7.

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  • June 17, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    If you're tired of the spiffed-up, romanticized tough guy in Casablanca you might want to balance your image of Humphrey Bogart with his bandy-legged, deluded scalawag in John Huston's The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1948), the best Hollywood depiction of greed since, well, Greed (1924). It's the old story of gold coming between friends, with John's dad Walter winning an Oscar as a wise old coot and the great Alfonso Bedoya as Gold Hat, the bandito who utters the immortal words: "Badges? We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!" It's at the Brattle Theater 40 Brattle St, Cambridge| Sat, June 18-Sun, June 19 @ 12:30 pm | $7.

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  • June 16, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Woody Allen has a little fun with one of the great filmmakers of all time in his new film Midnight in Paris by having him look confused when Owen Wilson suggests to him the plot of what would eventually be his film The Exterminating Angel (1962). But the real Luis Buñuel knew his way around a surreal concept, as can be seen in the films opening the retrospective Bunuel: The End And the Beginning

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  • June 16, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    If 3D was meant for anything, it was for photographing a blood-dripping machete wielded by a maniac wearing a hockey mask. Long before there was Avatar, schlockmeister Steve Miner added depth to bad boy Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part III 3D (1982) the old fashioned way - with ugly cardboard glasses.

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  • June 14, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    As politicians take aim once again at all the advances made in women's rights over the past four decades, it might be worth a look back at some of those women who pioneered the cause. Lynn Hershman Leeson's Women Art Revolution chronicles how feminist artists took issue with the male domination of culture and politics in the '70s and set in motion what some consider the most significant art movement of the period.

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  • June 13, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    While Peter Jackson toils away at his adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, you might want to take a look at what he made of that fantasy classic's "sequel," The Lord of the Rings. Each film in the trilogy will screen this month at the AMC Loews Boston Common 19 with an hour of additional footage and a filmed introduction by Jackson himself.

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  • June 11, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The brilliant Jerzy Skolimowski, star director of the Polish New Wave, has had his ups and down since he left his homeland in 1967 because of censorship and political oppression. One high point is The Shout (1978), an adaptation of a Robert Graves story in which Alan Bates plays a mysterious stranger who seemingly has mastered a cry so sad and desperate that .

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  • June 10, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    This week's most satisfying cinematic experience might be watching a classic film noir in the vintage, rococo splendor of the Paramount Center. ArtsEmerson will screen little-known B-movie auteur Phil Karlson's Tight Spot (1955; 7 pm), with Ginger Rogers as a mob moll who doesn't dance but does sing for the prosecution at her boss's trial.

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  • June 09, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The summer-camp movie, circa 1980, hardly seems a viable enough genre to justify a parody, but in cult favorite Wet Hot American Summer (2001) director David Wain and his talented cast (Janeane Garofalo, Molly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Michael Ian Black, Amy Poehler, to name a few) make up in enthusiasm and silliness what the movie lacks in relevance.

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  • June 08, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Even more than the Mona Lisa, Gilbert Stuart's 1796 rendering of the dour visage of George Washington might well be the most reproduced portrait ever. It is, of course, the face on the dollar bill. Jim Wolpaw and Steve Gentile's First Face: The Buck Starts Here (2011) takes a look at the story behind the painting and how it made Washington the Father of our Currency.

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