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  • February 03, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    This Is Not a Film

    Under house arrest in Tehran, Iranian auteur Jafar Panahi managed to smuggle his film This Is Not a Film (2012; 7:30 pm ) out of the country by putting it on a flashdrive and sticking it in a cake. Under house arrest in China, world-renowned artist Ai Weiwei gets his message out via Twitter and other ironic acts of subversion, as seen in Alison Klayman's Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012; 5:30 + 9:15).

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  • January 31, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Benh Zeitlin's debut feature Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012; 3:30 + 7:30 pm) raised some eyebrows by scoring Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Director, Actress, and Screenplay. Eagle-Tribune film critic Greg Vellante will explain the appeal of this sui generis, magical-realist tale of moonshine, squalid poverty, childhood innocence, and environmental disaster as it opens the Brattle Theatre's "(Some of) The Best of 2012" series.

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  • January 31, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Los Olvidados

    The approaching end of the movie award season is a good time to be reminded of the past masterpieces that this year's winners will ultimately be compared to. Like Luis Buñuel's surreal/neo-realist Los Olvidados (1950; 6 pm), a tender, and brutal, study of doomed delinquents, and Satyajit Ray's tragicomic The Music Room (1958; 9 pm), a tale of a cultured nabob fallen on hard times whose final gesture of refinement is one last concert in the title salon (1958; 9 pm).

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  • January 30, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Though Hollywood occasionally dramatizes the plight of the disabled and mentally ill - as in this year's highly touted films The Sessions and Silver Linings Playbook - it's not a subject they're very comfortable with. For a more enlightening look at how those faced by various mental and physical challenges cope and prevail, don't miss this series of nine films that runs through February 5.

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  • January 27, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Why is it that of all contemporary filmmakers ,none has as keen and capricious an insight into the adolescent spirit as Wes Anderson, director of the Oscar-nominated Moonrise Kingdom? Maybe Steven Schlozman, MD, Associate Director of Training for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Program at the MGH among other distinguished credentials, has the answer.

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  • January 26, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Documentaries remain the hottest genre in filmmaking today, and The DocYard continues to bring the best and most recent to their series at the Brattle Theatre. On Monday night they present Jason Tippett and Elizabeth Mimms's debut feature Only the Young (2012), a poetic study of teenagers growing up in the economically blighted setting of a small, Southern California desert town.

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  • January 25, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Well, it's not so different now, as many have tried and failed to reproduce the surreal, absurdist hilarity of the ingenious clowns celebrated in Monty Python Week! at the Brattle Theatre. Every evening, in tandem with screenings of A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman, Bill (son of Terry) Jones's documentary about the late member of the troupe, they'll present a classic film from the Python canon, starting Saturday, January 26 with - what else? - the potpourri of skits that made them famous, And Now for Something Completely Different (1971).

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  • January 24, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Kimberly Peirce, now wrapping up her remake of Brian De Palma's thriller Carrie, first came on the scene with this groundbreaking 1999 true story about a young woman who preferred to be a man, much to the confusion and brutal outrage of a small Nebraska community. It won Hilary Swank a Best Actress Oscar, and proved a landmark in gaining tolerance for alternative sexual lifestyles.

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  • January 23, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    One. Two. One.

    Even though they keep putting their directors in jail, Iran still produces some of the best films in the world. You might want to catch some of the more recent offerings at the ongoing Museum of Fine Arts Festival of Films from Iran. Friday, January 25 they will be screening painter/filmmaker Mania Akbari's One.

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  • January 23, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    The Brattle's "Dead of Winter: Satan on the Screen" comes to a diabolical climax with Roman Polanski's sardonic, twisted masterpiece, Rosemary's Baby (1968). Adapted from the Ira Levin novel, it doesn't need many special effects to evoke the chill of pure evil in its story of a young couple (Mia Farrow and John Cassavettes) who make friends with some interesting neighbors when they move into the creepy Dakota (a/k/a "Bramford") building in an otherworldly Upper West Side Manhattan.

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  • January 19, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Has Spike Lee has been living up to the title of his breakthrough hit, Do the Right Thing (1989)? These days he seems to be putting more effort into knocking other filmmakers than in making good films. This might be his best - a funny, flashy, thoughtful fable in which he stars as a goofball pizza deliveryman in Brooklyn who gets caught up in the racial strife simmering during the hottest day of the summer.

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  • January 18, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    The Coolidge's @fter Midnite series is screening The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), the first feature by maestro of suspense and shaman of shocking violence, Dario Argento. Here an American visiting Rome with his girlfriend gets caught up in a police manhunt for a killer. That's pretty scary, but what's even more disturbing is the guy who eats cats.

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  • January 17, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    The cold weather makes everyone long to visit someplace warm, but the Brattle might be taking that impulse to infernal extremes with their series "Dead of Winter: Satan on Screen." Their round-up of hellacious hits begins today with the European cut of Ridley Scott's Legend (1985), in which Tom Cruise plays a hero who must save his land from a demon played by Tim Curry.

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  • January 16, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    While Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained offers a highly satisfying, simplistic, wish-fulfillment fantasy about achieving racial justice, Stanley Nelson's documentary Freedom Riders (2010) shows what the arduous, perilous struggle was really like. In 1961, hundreds of activists put their lives on the line peacefully challenging segregation on public transportation in the Deep South, achieving more than guns and vengeance ever could.

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  • January 11, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    The HFA offers up another puckishly intricate treat from Hong Sang-soo. In three intertwined narratives set at a dreary beach resort the director plays variations on his favorite themes of hopeless love and existential bewilderment, with each story featuring a character named Anne, played by Isabelle Huppert.

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