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  • August 23, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    In response to the plaintive title of Maurice Pialat's autobiographical film We Won't Grow Old Together (1972), you might ask "and why on earth would you want to?" A miserable, underachieving, fortyish filmmaker is estranged from his wife and abuses his much younger mistress. Not released for 40 years in the US, this harrowing portrait of the artist as a miserable prick might be one of the best pathological studies of relationships gone bad since Roberto Rossellini's Voyage to Italy, but it's not recommended as a first date movie.

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  • August 01, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    The UCLA Festival of Preservation, at the Museum of Fine Arts through August 17, showcases the latest film, TV, and newsreel gems preserved for the ages by the university's state-of-the-art archive. Among the filmmakers featured are Robert Altman, Buster Keaton, Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Sirk, and Barbara Loden.

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  • July 20, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    The MFA continues its outstanding Boston French Film Festival with Outside Satan (2011), in which Bruno Dumont brings his bleak eye for landscape and his even bleaker insight into human nature to a tale about a charismatic stranger passing through a desolate seacoast village. The visitor has strange powers and performs apparent miracles.

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  • July 11, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    The next best thing to spending a week in Paris and taking in its vast film scene is attending the Boston French Film Festival at the Museum of Fine Arts. Now in its 17th year, the event continues to present the best of the most recent offerings from what is still one of the most vital film industries in the world. Just in time for Bastille Day, it opens tonight with the lush period drama Farewell, My Queen (2011 | July 12 @ 7:30 pm), a chronicle of the tragic, decadent last days of Marie Antoinette and her court at Versailles before the mobs descended with their pitchforks and rights of man.

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  • May 15, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    The Oscar-winning success of The Artist reminded moviegoers that people were making films before, say, Titanic. And so Mark Cousins's marathon series The Story of Film: An Odyssey has come along at an auspicious time. The 15 hour-long episodes begin with the first cinema pioneers - like Georges Méliès, now familiar to fans of Martin Scorsese's Hugo - and progress to the present day and the oneiric complexities of David Lynch and Alexander Sokurov.

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  • April 20, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Not since the salad days of Arthur Godfrey and Don Ho has this minute strummer's delight been so popular, and Nina Koocher's Under the Boardwalk: A Ukulele Love Story (2011) helps explain why. A documentary about the ukulele Club of Santa Cruz - "the largest ukulele social group in the world" - it also provides a concise history of the diminutive but irresistible instrument.

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  • March 20, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    In recent years Turkey has emerged as a major player on the world stage, but its presence on the screen has been felt for much longer. Now in its 11th year, the Boston Turkish Film Festival at the Museum of Fine Arts brings the newest and best films from this vibrant and eclectic national cinema. It opens with Once Upon a Time in Anatolia by reigning Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan, a crime thriller set in the rolling steppes of Turkey's Wild East.

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  • February 29, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    A true test of cinephilia, the films of Michelangelo Antonioni try the viewer's patience with their long takes, enigmatic longueurs, and lingering studies of ennui. The reward is a rare beauty and spiritual elevation. Such is the case with Red Desert (1964), in which Monica Vitti plays a disturbed woman adrift in a toxic landscape of industrial waste and spiritual malaise, as hauntingly beautiful as it is laden with dread.

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  • February 01, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    My Spectacular Theatre

    Already known for putting on one of the best film events in these parts, the organizers of the Boston Jewish Film Festival are also hosting the first annual REELAbilitiesBoston Film Festival, a series of six films from around the world about the lives of people with disabilities.

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  • January 26, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Good Bye

    Though imprisoned for so-called crimes against the state, Iranian directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof somehow managed to make features and smuggle them out to the West. Both of these films can be seen in the MFA's Iranian Film Festival, which today is screening Rasoulof''s Good Bye

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  • January 19, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Where is the Friend's House? (1987)

    An unsung victim of the draconian Iranian regime is its film industry, once regarded as among the most accomplished in the world. But recently the authorities have incarcerated some of their best directors, including Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, who nonetheless have completed features and smuggled them out of the country.

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  • January 15, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    The MFA celebrates Martin Luther King Day with their Local Youth Film Shorts program, a compilation of films made by neighborhood high school kids. The films range from Carthage, Montgomery Alcott's ambitious adaptation of Virgil's Aeneas-and-Dido tragedy, to Darin Jordan's Walmart in Roxbury, a documentary about the impact of the retail giant on the local economy, to Denesha Peter's Strawberry, an intriguing animated interlude about the title fruit.

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  • January 10, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    They started out as a determined, talented, but struggling klezmer band and within a few years became, as someone comments in Erik Greenberg Anjou's documentary The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground (2011), "the Jewish equivalent of arena rock." Anjou follows the band for four years, taking in their ups and downs, their concerts, and the recording sessions for their hit album Wonder Wheel.

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  • November 30, 2011
    By Alexandra Cavallo

    Attenberg

    If the extent of your Greek cinematic knowledge is limited to My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Mamma Mia you'd do well to widen your horizons at the MFA. They're unrolling the Festival Of Films From Greece an 11-day series of films hailing from one of the world's most conflicted nations. The festival opens tonight with Attenberg, Greece's submission for Best Foreign Film for the 2012 Academy Awards, and highlights include Pelican's Watch, a documentary about Europe's oldest vineyard, on the island of Santorini, and the farmers struggling to keep it up and running.

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  • October 20, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    Far from provoking more intolerance and rage, the Boston Palestine Film Festival, now in its fifth year, has provided a sagacious cinematic point of view on the Middle East's intractable conflict. It does so with films like The Time That Remains (2009; 6:30 pm), a bittersweet chronicle of six decades in the lives of an Israeli-Palestinian family enduring the travails of history.

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