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The Congress – More like The Mess

The Congress – More like The Mess

  I did give this live-action/animated movie a chance for the festival’s sake, but my instincts proved correct when it devolved into a nonsense cartoon. Animation, mon œil!   The Congress has an interesting premise:  that in the future, movie studios will own the essences of onscreen talent, an advancement that dispenses with temperamental divas and the horror of their aging. Robin Wright plays herself -her actress self.  In ...

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Dîner en Blanc: The World’s Largest Dinner Party — Don’t Call It A Pot-Luck!

   Leave it to the French to create the best pyramid scheme ever. There’s no upfront fee, no obligation to buy hundreds of dollars of the crap you’re supposed to sell, no euphemistic creepy name like “Friends Helping Friends” – I hope that’s not still going on in L.A. Instead of losing your friends by pressuring them to buy said crap, or losing them by not ponying to ...

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Versailles ’73: An American Runway Revolution

     While the 50th anniversary of the assassination of president John F. Kennedy dominated the media yesterday, today, one hopes the brouhaha will cease so that another important anniversary can be honored.  November 28th, 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the unexpected American victory at the Battle of Versailles in France. You didn’t know America had been at war with the French?  Of course if you ask anyone ...

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The Past – Le Passé

  If Le Movie Snob had done a “Les Best Movies” list for 2011, A Separation would have held a spot very close to the top.  The movie, by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, was the favorite to win the 2012 Best Foreign Film Oscar; its win gave me a brief advantage in the Oscar pool that year. The Past is his follow-up to that masterpiece.  It is the ...

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You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet – Vous n’avez encore rien vu. Nothin’ to See Here.

   Confession:  I ain’t seen but 17 minutes of  You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.  I couldn’t stand to see “nothin'” for another moment.  I have mistakenly told festival-goers that this is Resnais’ last film.  I thought he had died, but he is still among us.  However, he is 91 years old, so it could be his last movie. I have not seen all of Resnais’ movies (there’s beaucoup), ...

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The Tents – Bye Bye Bryant Park

    Documentaries about the fashion industry have become so ubiquitous, it’s hard to distinguish one from another.  One sees the same faces, hears nothing but praise and pretentious gibberish, and is reminded that they are an outsider, granted a glimpse to where the cool people are via the privilege of watching the movie. The Tents is not the worst of this œuvre, it actually offers an interesting ...

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The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne – The Pink Panther Was A Black Woman

       Does crime pay?  Kirk Marcolina and Matthew Pond’s documentary The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne makes sure the answer is more complicated than “yes or no.”  Pond thinks “She’s …achieved the American dream in a sense.” That’s quite an interesting comment from a co-director of a movie about an octogenarian who’s facing what could be for her, a life sentence. Doris Payne is 81 ...

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Cairo 678 -“678”

   I never thought the notion that women have it good in Saudi Arabia would ever occur to me, let alone write those words in that precise syntax.   Apart from being forced to wear the most extreme covering garment, the niquab, which makes them look like ninjas, women are not allowed to leave their home without an escort.  The escort must be a man (of course): the woman’s ...

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