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  • November 26, 2010
    By Peter Keough

    French New Wave director Claude Chabrol died a couple of months ago, but not before compiling an astounding and prolific body of work that people are still trying to catch up with. Inspector Bellamy (2009) is his last feature, and his only collaboration with fellow French film icon Gérard Depardieu, who plays a man whose vacation is disrupted by the arrival of his malicious brother and a stranger with a noirish tale about murder and insurance fraud.

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  • November 26, 2010
    By Peter Keough

    Although you might not know it from such recent releases as Marmaduke and Vampires Suck, Fox studios has over the years released some of Hollywood's best films - as this weekend's "20th Century Fox 75th Anniversary" series at the Brattle Theatre attests. You can see for yourself with tomorrow's trio of features: Alan Arkin's directorial debut, the seldom screened black-comic gem Little Murders (1971; 2:45 + 7:30 pm); Robert Altman's breakthrough masterpiece, M*A*S*H (1970; 12:15 + 5 pm); and John Carpenter's kung fu classic Big Trouble in Little China (1986; 9:45 pm).

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  • November 24, 2010
    By Peter Keough

    When humans go up against nature in films like 127 Hours, they usually come out short. Such is the case also in Werner Herzog's compelling documentary Grizzly Man (2005), in which the director finds someone almost as strange as himself, Timothy Treadwell, who just wanted to share his life with the ursines of the title in the Alaskan wilderness.

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  • November 21, 2010
    By Peter Keough

    Based on two Henry James novellas, François Truffaut's The Green Room (1978) isn't considered one of his greats, but it's still a charming and affecting parable of grief and loss, and it hardly ever gets shown. Truffaut himself plays a WWI vet and widower who retreats to the title room, where he amuses himself with his wife's possessions and pictures of battlefield casualties - until Nathalie Baye enters his life.

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  • November 19, 2010
    By Peter Keough

    Everyone knows about Martin Scorsese and Robert Altman, but the relatively unacclaimed Jerry Schatzberg also helped spark the great '70s film renaissance. He'll be on hand this weekend at the Harvard Film Archive for the series "The Cinematic Portraits of Jerry Schatzberg," introducing two of his films, both starring Al Pacino.

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  • November 19, 2010
    By Peter Keough

    As Neil Gaiman says about the title genius in Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields, "He made Lou Reed look like Little Orphan Annie." That's reason enough to see Kerthy Fix & Gail O'Hara's documentary about one of the best and least famous of indie-rock musicians. It screens this weekend at the Brattle with "special guests" TBA on Friday at 40 Brattle St, Cambridge | November 19-21 | $9.

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  • November 05, 2010
    By Ashley Rigazio

    Sure, it was released only back in August, but the rabid fan base for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World guarantees that it's never too soon for a revival of the Michael Cera comic-book flick. The Brattle's return engagement kicks off with a late-night screening, but the highlight comes on day two, when director Edgar Wright stops by to present a double feature of Scott Pilgrim and a director's choice that's yet to be revealed.

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  • November 01, 2010
    By Peter Keough

    Maybe Clint Eastwood's Harry Callahan would have had more faith in the justice system and been less likely to go off on vigilante tangents if he was busting crime in these days of DNA and other CSI technology. Just ask Amy Brodeur, assistant director of the Biomedical Forensic Sciences Masters Program at Boston University School of Medicine, as she screens and discusses Don Siegel's Dirty Harry (1971), the first outing for the legendary lawman.

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  • October 30, 2010
    By Peter Keough

    If Clint Eastwood's Hereafter has you looking to chat up the spirit world, head for the Coolidge Corner Theatre's Halloween Horror Movie Marathon. In addition to its movie twin bill - the Japanese horror film that defies description, Nobuhiko Obayashi's House (1977), and Stuart Gordon's raucous and terrifying H.

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  • October 29, 2010
    By Ashley Rigazio

    The Brattle's "King of Cult: Sam Raimi" repertory series follows the director's career from his demonic beginnings to, well, his demonic latest, Drag Me to Hell. Funny how things come full circle, right? There's also Darkman and Spider-Man in between, and it all builds up to the theater's annual Halloween screening of the excellent Evil Dead 2

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  • October 28, 2010
    By Peter Keough

    Lately, Boston has been a hot spot for Hollywood productions, but it's long been a center for independent documentary filmmakers. Like 2010 Foster Prize finalist Rebecca Meyers (the film-program director at the Paramount Center), who tonight will screen a selection of her work that'll include "blue mantle," a lushly beautiful exploration of the history and ecology of the Massachusetts coast.

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  • October 25, 2010
    By Peter Keough

    Maybe the best documentary about cross dressing on stage since Paris is Burning (1990), Kaitlin Meelia's Play in the Gray takes a look at Boston's all-female drag group All the King's Men and comes up with many laughs and some sharp insights into gender issues. Women in Film & Video New England's "Chicks Make Flicks" program is holding a free screening at MIT, 77 Mass Ave, Room 6-120, Cambridge | October 25 @ 7 pm | free | 413.246.0524 | RSVP to rsvp@womeninfilmvideo.org.

  • October 22, 2010
    By Peter Keough

    Nearly everyone panned Wes Craven's new My Soul To Take, so if you want to restore your faith in the director, or you just want to get the crap scared out of you, take another look at Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). This is what real dreaming is like, not the glossy set designs of Inception. Doomed to be battered to inanity by recurrent sequels, the original remains a horror classic, and you can see it at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline | October 22-23 @ midnight | $9 | 617.

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  • October 22, 2010
    By Peter Keough

    Some of the best films you'll never see anywhere else are being programmed by ArtsEmerson at the Paramount Center. Turkish director Metin Erksan's Dry Summer (1964) is a drama about two brothers whose conflict results in desperate water deprivation for a community. More agricultural hardship is on hand in Agrarian Utopia (2009), Thai director Uruphong Raksasad's documentary about an idyllic and endangered way of life.

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  • October 15, 2010
    By Ashley Rigazio

    Next to Blade Runner, Alien (1979) is Ridley Scott's best movie. So it's good news that he's returning to the sci-fi genre with an Alien prequel. In the meantime, you can catch his excruciatingly suspenseful tale of a crew on a shabby interstellar cargo ship picked off one by one by the title intruder.

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