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  • March 15, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Her Zero Dark Thirty got robbed at the Oscars, but you can console yourself by watching some of Kathryn Bigelow's earlier films in this triple feature at ArtsEmerson. It includes Blue Steel (1989; 1 pm), in which Jamie Lee Curtis crushed Hollywood female stereotypes playing a cop out to get a serial killer; Point Break (1991; 6 pm), a genre-scrambling thriller in which Keanu Reeves is cast against type as an FBI agent who infiltrates a gang of surfing bank robbers; and The Weight of Water (2000; 9 pm), an adaptation of the Anita Shreve novel, in which the lives of those investigating a century-old murder intermingle with those of the people being researched.

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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 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 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 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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  • 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 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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  • September 29, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    What would Hollywood do without the Bard? For one thing they'd have to come up with another premise for Gil Junger's 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), in which Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew has been updated to a modern high school. Julia Stiles and a pre-Joker fame Heath Ledger star.

    ArtsEmerson in the Paramount Center, 559 Washington St, Boston | Sunday, September 30 @ 1 pm | $10 | 617.

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  • May 24, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    There's a whole world of great movies out there that we'll probably never see, not even in a cinema-savvy town like Boston, unless we have the means to go to, say, the Locarno Film Festival or the Istanbul International Independent Film Festival. French director Valérie Massadian won top prizes at both of those events for her debut film Nana (2011), and thanks to ArtsEmerson's "Festival Focus" series you can see why.

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  • May 17, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    The issues of class and racial conflict revealed in the Trayvon Martin case also surface in Neighboring Sounds (2012), a highly-lauded slice-of-life crime drama by Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho. When a well-to-do neighborhood in Recife experiences a crime surge, the residents hire a private security company, a move that has unexpected consequences, revealing the city's social divisions as well as the oppressiveness and everyday annoyances of urban living.

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  • March 09, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    ArtsEmerson's outstanding series Gotta Dance: The American Movie Musical 1929-1953 continues with Roy Del Ruth's Kid Millions (1934) starring then-superstar and enduring legend Eddie "Banjo Eyes" Cantor. He plays a poor Brooklyn boy who inherits a fortune from an archeologist uncle but must journey to Egypt and endure fanciful escapades to claim it.

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  • February 02, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Swing! (1938)

    You can see how far Hollywood has come in its depiction of African Americans by comparing the multiply-Oscar-nominated The Help with Hearts in Dixie (1929 | 6:30 pm), screening as part of the ArtsEmerson Gotta Dance: The American Movie Musical 1929-1953 series. Made by whites and starring an all-black cast, Hearts tells the story of cotton-pickers in the Deep South coping with the deaths of loved ones.

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  • January 20, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Singin' in the Rain (1952)

    Although The Artist celebrates the golden age of silent movies, the first talkies were no slouch, either. The early Hollywood musicals are unsurpassed when it comes to integrating sound into cinema, as is evident in the wonderful retrospective Gotta Dance: The American Movie Musical 1929-1953 at ArtsEmerson.

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  • October 28, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    One Hour With You (1932)

    Ernst Lubitsch, the master of subtle, edgy, and bracingly witty romantic comedy, collaborated with George Cukor to reboot his silent confection The Marriage Circle (1924) into the saucy musical One Hour With You (1932; 7 pm). In it a happily married couple prove that wedded bliss doesn't necessarily require fidelity.

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  • September 22, 2011
    By Peter Keough

    The title of Manoel de Oliveira's A Talking Picture (2003) is a bit ironic, considering that the 102-year-old director was making movies when they were still silent. His genius remains undimmed in this witty, provocative, somewhat allegorical tale about globalism, communication, and doom. A mother and daughter on a cruise share the captain's table with three beauties from different countries.

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Boston Phoenix
See this film retrospective: Gotta Dance: The American Movie Musical 1929-1953 @ ArtsEmerson
Published 1/20/2012 by Peter Keough
Singin' in the Rain (1952) Although The Artist celebrates the golden age of silent movies, the first talkies were no slouch, either. The early Hollywood...

Boston Phoenix
See these films: One Hour With You + Modern Times @ ArtsEmerson
Published 10/28/2011 by Peter Keough
One Hour With You (1932) Ernst Lubitsch, the master of subtle, edgy, and bracingly witty romantic comedy, collaborated with George Cukor to reboot his silent...

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