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  • December 04, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Even dog lovers have a hard time with unattended, yapping canines. This is one of the nagging problems observed in Kleber Mendonça Filho's much lauded debut feature, Neighboring Sounds (2012), in which a security surveillance company descends on a paranoid community in the city of Recife, Brazil. It's at the MFA Wednesday through December 9.

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  • December 03, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    With some film festivals, you don't know what you're in for. Not so with the fifth - or "Five-ever" - Experimentally Ill Film Festival. According to festival co-founder Michael Phelan O'Toole, it is the "filmic answer to punk rock." Among the shorts screened are Dan Lucal's Parking Spot, Mike Messier's Wrestling with Sanity trilogy, and Mick Cusimano's gorilla-suited Monkey Do, Monkey Don't

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  • November 30, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    The urtext of the police procedurals that now dominate TV, Jules Dassin's noirish The Naked City (1948) employs pseudo-documentary techniques and on-location photography to chronicle the efforts of two New York City detectives (Barry Fitzgerald and Howard Duff) to solve a pair of murders. Still holds up, and then some, in this age of CSI

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  • November 28, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    For some, the crew of the Starship Enterprise will forever be Captain Picard, Data, Troi, Worf, and the rest. You can see them again in "Star Trek: The Next Generation - A Celebration of Season 2," a special event featuring two programs from 1988, "Q Who?" and "The Measure of a Man," the latter supplemented with 12 minutes of previously unseen footage.

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  • November 27, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Two tough-minded movies at the Brattle celebrate those folks whom Mitt Romney was referring to with his unfortunate 47% remark. In Do the Right Thing (1989; 7 pm) Spike Lee directs and plays a pizza deliverer who discovers that sometimes the right thing involves a trashcan and a plate glass window. And union stalwarts played by Richard Pryor, Yaphet Kotto, and Harvey Keitel become unlikely criminals in Paul Schrader's Blue Collar (1978; 4:30 + 9:30 pm).

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  • November 24, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    As proven in "Comedy Marathon: Universal Pictures Celebrating 100 Years," the aforementioned studio cornered much of the comic market in the '40s with stars W.C. Fields, here represented by The Bank Dick (1940; 3 pm) and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941; 4:45 pm), and Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, yukking it up in Buck Privates (1941; 11 am + 6:30 pm) and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948; 1 + 8:30 pm), all screening at the Brattle.

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  • November 23, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    And you thought your holiday was difficult. Woody Allen balanced his talents for the comic and dramatic in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), in which he also plays the ex-husband of the title sibling, played by soon to be ex-flame Mia Farrow. They join Hannah's two sisters played by Dianne Wiest and Barbara Hershey for a family Thanksgiving dinner with extra helpings of infidelity and neuroses.

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  • November 22, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman had a lot of pressure on him when he put together his Palestine (later Israeli) Philharmonic in the 1930s; the Jewish musicians who didn't make the cut were likely doomed to be victims of the Holocaust. Orchestra of Exiles, Josh Aronson's harrowing, but uplifting doc about this amazing story will screen starting Friday, November 23 and throughout the week at the MFA.

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  • November 20, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    If you have any doubt that Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960; 5:30 pm) is the most perverse and frightening film ever made, take another look when it screens tonight at the Brattle. Then stick around for a free sneak peek at Sacha Gervasi's Hitchcock (2012; 8 pm), a behind-the-scenes drama about the making of Psycho, starring Anthony Hopkins in the title role.

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  • November 14, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    According to "The Biology of B-Movie Monsters," a scientific paper by Professor Michael C. LaBarbera (see the Fun List, page TK), The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957; 5:30 + 9:15 pm) would have to eat his own body weight every day just to survive. Thanks for spoiling that fantasy, Teach. Luckily, we can still believe in The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954; 7:30 pm).

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  • November 13, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Contrary to Sacha Baron Cohen's depiction of the country in Borat (2006), Kazakhstan boasts one of the world's most original and thriving film industries. See for yourself at the MFA series "Flowers of the Steppe: A Festival of Kazakh Cinema," which begins Wednesday, November 14 with Ermek Shinarbaev's Letters from an Angel (2009) and continues through Sunday, November 18.

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  • November 11, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Lightning Over Braddock (Final Sequence)

    Described as a "national treasure," Tony Buba offers legitimate insight into the American working class with his unique documentaries. He'll be presenting his first feature, Lightning Over Braddock (1988), and other work in the Brattle's program, "An Evening with Tony Buba."

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  • November 11, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    An environmental warning before people even knew there was an environment, Robert Gordon's It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955) features a giant octopus provoked by H-bomb testing into destroying San Francisco. It makes sense when you see it, especially when University of Chicago professor Michael LaBarbera explains the monster's biology when he hosts this session of Science on Screen series at the Coolidge.

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  • November 09, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    The Hurt Locker

    Paul Thomas Anderson said that his film The Master, in which a shell-shocked WWII vet tries to return to normal life, was inspired in part by William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives (1946; 6 pm), the revered classic dealing with the same subject. If you haven't seen it, here's your chance, likewise Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-winning Iraq War masterpiece The Hurt Locker (2008; 9 pm).

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  • November 08, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    The Blue Tiger

    If you've taken the kids to see Hotel Transylvania or some other crap targeting children, you've probably wondered if that's the best they can do. A visit to the Belmont World Film's Family Festival at the MFA should answer that question - its international selection of outstanding features and shorts demonstrates that kids watch the darnedest things.

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