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  • January 11, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Many know the surging Korean film industry for its rousing, bloody genre hits, but it also boasts movies of a more elliptical, enigmatic, New Wave-y kind. Like this playful, melancholy bagatelle by Hong Sang-soo, a seemingly autobiographical portrait of a drunken filmmaker whose relationships are as untidy as the film is exacting and masterful.

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  • January 10, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Not so long ago Paul Thomas Anderson's brilliant, bizarre, and beautiful parable about a whacked-out WWII vet (Joachim Phoenix) and the charismatic founder of a Scientology-like cult (Philip Seymour Hoffman) was seen as an Oscar shoo-in. It's since been eclipsed by other wannabes, but don't be surprised when in a decade or two it makes it into Sight & Sound's Ten Best List.

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  • January 10, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Nearly all of David Lynch's films are inscrutable masterpieces, but this mammoth adaptation of Frank Herbert's sci-fi classic is considered by some to be an inscrutable mess. As such it is also very entertaining, with Kyle MacLachlan hamming it up as an intergalactic desert warrior leading a jihad against an Evil Empire.

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  • January 09, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    One of the best ways to get to know a country is through its films. For example, Hollywood informs us that America is a country of wise presidents (Lincoln), murderous slave owners (Django Unchained), and unfunny Billy Crystal movies (Parental Guidance). So what do the films of France tell us? Find out by attending tonight's French Cultural Center's program "Experiencing Contemporary France through Films," in which Anne-Christine Rice discusses her book La France contemporaine à travers ses films.

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  • January 09, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    If the supernatural critter Kyubey appeared and offered you the chance to become a Magic Girl who fights witches and harvests "grief seeds" that will purify your "soul gems," what would you do? Sounds like a good deal, but in Akiyuki Shinbo's anime Madoka Magica the Movie (2012) all is not sweetness and light; the fun comes at the cost of hard experience.

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  • January 08, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Celebrity photographer Kevin Mazur directs this rapid-fire documentary bashing the sleazier brand of parasitic paparazzi, interviewing stars like Jennifer Aniston, Elton John, Kid Rock, and Sarah Jessica Parker, who talk about how miserable it is to be rich and famous. Sure, it's hypocritical, but so is our love/hate affair with trash and gossip.

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  • January 08, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    What is it like to work at the Pine Street Inn and find that your long-estranged father is a resident there? And then write a book about it? And then have it made into a movie, Being Flynn, directed by Paul Weitz and starring Paul Dano and Robert De Niro? All of this is the subject of Nick Flynn's new memoir, The Reenactments, which the author will read from and discuss at the Brattle Theatre at 6 pm on Wednesday, January 9.

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  • January 04, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Those ambivalent about having children might consider watching David Cronenberg's meditation on the subject, The Brood (1979). A woman with anger issues consults a therapist whose experimental treatment results in her sprouting demons of wrath from her body. They kill people, and they never call and never send flowers on Mother's Day.

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  • January 03, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Combine Peter Pan with the horrors of World War II and you might get something like Volker Schlöndorff's Oscar-winning adaptation of Günter Grass's The Tin Drum (1979). In it, a little boy recognizes the cruel absurdity of the world, refuses to grow up, and beats the title instrument to annoy the hell out of everyone.

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  • December 30, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Long ago, detectives in movies could drink martinis, smoke, banter with their spouses, and treat every night as if it were New Year's Eve - detectives like Dashiell Hammett's inimitable PI pair Nick and Nora Charles, played by William Powell and Myrna Loy. So it's fitting that the Brattle Theatre usher in the new year with two of the pair's best films, both directed by W.

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  • December 29, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Hollywood shows a bit of Francophilia in Vincente Minnelli's ambitious An American in Paris (1951; 2:30 + 7 pm). In it Gene Kelly plays an expatriate Yank artist who exults in the canvases of Renoir and Monet, the tunes of George and Ira Gershwin, and the gamine charms of 19-year-old Leslie Caron. It's paired with Kelly's first solo directorial effort, Invitation to the Dance (1956; 5 + 9:30 pm), a triptych of tales told entirely in music and dance.

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  • December 28, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    The days of winter brighten with the deft footwork and irrepressible geniality of Gene Kelly. Tomorrow, the Brattle Theatre's retrospective of his films offers a triple dose of terpsichorean therapy. In Charles Walter's Summer Stock (1950; 12:30 + 5 pm) he plays the head of a theatrical troupe who charms a small-town girl played by Judy Garland.

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  • December 27, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    If Holy Motors intrigued you, or if you're already a fan of French enfant terrible Leos Carax, you should take a look at this passionate and brilliant 1991 film that stars Juliette Binoche (then Carax's significant other) as a homeless woman who lives on the Pont Neuf. She's a painter who's going blind, but can she find love with an alcoholic ex-circus-performer?

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  • December 25, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    If you feel like joining in with the festivities, there's the Regent's Sing-Along Sound of Music (1965), where you and Julie Andrews can belt out the great Rodgers and Hammerstein tunes.

    Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St, Arlington :: Wednesday, December 26-Saturday, December 29; Wed @ 10:30 am + 7 pm:: $15; $12 seniors :: 781.

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  • December 25, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    It's a musical Wednesday to brighten the post-Christmas gloom. At the Brattle you can enjoy the Gene Kelly Centennial Tribute with the iconic hoofer in Stanley Donen's On the Town (1949; 2:15 + 7 pm) and George Sidney's Anchors Aweigh (1945; 4:15 + 9 pm).

    Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge :: Wednesday, December 26 :: Double feature $12; $10 students, seniors :: 617.

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