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  • May 09, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    All About Eve (1950)

    This year's Coolidge Award goes to "Film Preservation," and the two days of ceremonies will climax with a prime example of that noble work, a screening of the restored version of All About Eve (Wed @ 8 pm)- now, despite her quips about aging, Bette Davis's Margo Channing will remain as fresh and vivid as when Joseph L.

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  • May 06, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Karen Aqua's "Taxonomy"

    You don't have to go to Pixar Studios for inventive, eclectic, and visionary animators - many of them can be found right here. Like Karen Aqua, whose short "Taxonomy" (2011) whimsically reveals the secrets of metamorphosis among animals, plants, and minerals. Or Ruth Lingford's "Little Deaths" (2010), which takes an animated excursion into the mystery of orgasms.

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  • May 05, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Vengeance is served not just cold but repeatedly in Korean director Kim Je-woon's relentlessly gruesome and frequently hilarious I Saw the Devil (2010), in which a member of the police elite whose fiancée has been butchered by a serial killer takes justice into his own hands. Over and over again. Crime may not pay in this movie, but punishing crime offers diminishing returns as well.

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  • May 05, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    If you're already in Cambridge for the LGBT Festival, head over to the Harvard Film Archive to check out "Where Are Their Stories? The Films Of Nicolás Pereda." At a time when the popular image of Mexico has devolved into the chaos of drug wars, Pereda's meticulously observed fusions of documentary and fiction are a refreshing corrective.

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  • May 05, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Tired of standard gay romantic comedies that are stuck in the digital age? Time for Brit director J.C. Calciano's eCupid (2011), in which a brash ad executive hits 30, gets bored with his job, loses interest in his long-time relationship, and takes a chance on a new phone app that promises to stoke his love life.

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  • May 04, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Every year the Boston LGBT Film Festival provides a kind of snapshot, not just of the state of civil rights in America, but of cinema in general, pointing the way to the future of film. The 27th annual festival's opening feature, Tom Tykwer's Three also draws from the past, namely '30s-style screwball comedies, in its very contemporary tale of a fortysomething married heterosexual couple who try to spark up their relationship by having an affair with the same guy.

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  • April 30, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    To judge from Joel DeMott & Jeff Kreines's 1982 documentary Seventeen (1982), teenagers 30 years ago were no less miserable than they are today. Made for the Middletown Film Project, a series of documentaries about Muncie, Indiana, that was a kind of portrait of Middle America, this chronicle of high-school scandal, treachery, and despair was so disheartening and controversial that it was rejected by PBS - only to go on to a successful theatrical run.

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  • April 27, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Cyrus Harvey Jr., who passed away two weeks ago, at the age of 85, helped give the US its first taste of the heady pleasures of foreign and independent movies. His Janus Films distribution company was one of the first to bring the works of great directors like Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, and Federico Fellini to these shores.

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  • April 27, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Ben Affleck's The Town, one of the best Boston-set gangster movies since The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), wouldn't have been possible without local author Chuck Hogan's outstanding novel The Prince of Thieves. This year's winner of his alma mater Boston College's Arts Council Alumni Award, Hogan will be on hand for a Q&A after a screening of Affleck's adaptation tonight.

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  • April 25, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    With Republicans taking aim at abortion rights under the guise of budget cuts, it's the right time to check out Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady's gripping documentary 12th and Delaware. The title refers to an intersection in Fort Pierce, Florida, that's a microcosm of the debate, with the local abortion clinic on one corner and a pro-life organization's headquarters across the street.

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  • April 24, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Not knowing why the avian hordes attack might be the scariest thing in Alfred Hitchcock's diabolical The Birds (1963). Is it the sexual tension Rod Taylor's character brought to the sleepy seaside town? Is it Tippi Hedren's flawless hairdo? On the other hand, perhaps knowing why would be far more terrifying.

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  • April 16, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The Great Muppet Caper

    Muppet movies have traditionally been the preferred alternative to The Hollywood Squares for stars on the wane, and as such they makes for classic cinema, as can be seen in today's Brattle Theatre tripleheader. Dom DeLuise and Orson Welles co-star with Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie (1978); John Cleese and Diana Rigg share the screen with Miss Piggy in The Great Muppet Caper (1981); and Joan Rivers and Liza Minnelli compare styling tips with Fozzie Bear in The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984).

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  • April 15, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol (1965)

    Unlike the recent Know-Nothing right-wingers who have embraced the name, the Boston Tea Party, the great local rock venue of the '60s, was truly revolutionary. So were the Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol, and the latter took his camera to shoot the former when they performed at the Tea Party in 1967.

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  • April 14, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Labyrinth

    Source Code director Duncan Jones's dad, David Bowie, has always had a bit of the movie bug himself, bringing his uncanny charisma to films like Jim Henson's Labyrinth (1986). Looking a bit like Lindsay Lohan after a bender, his Goblin King lures a feisty teen played by Jennifer Connelly into the title maze, from which she must rescue her kid brother.

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  • April 13, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Of late, animation has gone beyond kid stuff to historical tragedy. Witness Ari Folman's Waltz With Bashir (2008), a nightmarish, autobiographical memoir of the 1980s invasion of Lebanon from the point of view of a green Israeli soldier. The first film in the MFA's "Hollywood Scriptures" series, it's followed by a panel discussion with Steven Nisenbaum of the Harvard Medical School and Rina Folman, a psychologist at UMass Memorial Health Alliance.

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