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Nightcrawler

A perfect engine of corrosive satire, this drama follows the adventures of an amoral cameraman to its logical and unsettling end.

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Horns

There are some clever ideas in the script from Keith Bunin, based on the novel by Joe Hill, but they get mixed up in some…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.

Blood rights

Woody Allen (foreground, center) in "Stardust Memories."

Regarding issues raised by Brian De Palma and "Redacted" (see below): Here are two frame grab from Woody Allen's 1980 feature "Stardust Memories," a United Artists release. The movie is a Felliniesque comedy (it starts right off as a parody of "8 1/2"), not a documentary. The blown-up image on the wall was taken a dozen years before "Stardust Memories" (February 1, 1968) during the Tet Offensive by Associated Press photographer Eddie Adams in Saigon.

From "Stardust Memories."

The man with the gun is South Vietnamese National Police Chief General Nguyễn Ngọc Loan. The man in the plaid shirt, who is or is about to be shot in the head (his death is shown in NBC News footage taken at the same time), is thought to be Nguyễn Văn Lém (or possibly Le Cong Na), and was either a Viet Cong officer or a political operative. His face was disfigured because he had been beaten. The title of the photo, which became instantly famous around the world, is "General Nguyen Ngoc Loan Executing a Viet Cong Prisoner in Saigon" and it won a Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography in 1969. It was widely reprinted and was used as a symbolic image by the anti-war movement.

Adams later wrote in Time magazine: The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths... What the photograph didn't say was, 'What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American soldiers?'Although a number of "galleries and artists" are acknowledged in the end credits of "Stardust Memories" for the use of photos and artworks in the film, the source for this picture is not cited. The film does contain a standard disclaimer, reading: "The story, all names, characters and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons is intended or should be inferred."

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László Kovács: In Memory

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László Kovács (May 14, 1933 – July 22, 2007)

Kovács emigrated to the United States with his lifelong friend Vilmos Zsigmond, who became another great Hungarian-American cinematographer.

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For me, perhaps the most indelible image in Kovács' work is the last shot of "Five Easy Pieces" (Bob Rafelson, 1970), a long stationary take of a gray, rainy stretch of Pacific Northwest highway, stuck in the muddy pavement outside an isolated gas station. The only camera movement is a slight pan. All the loneliness, frustration and alienation of the whole movie culminates (in a diminuendo, if that's possible) in this damp, atmospheric image.

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Other notable Kovács films include:

"Psych-Out" (Richard Rush, 1968) "Targets" (Peter Bogdanovich, 1968) "Easy Rider" (Dennis Hopper, 1969) "That Cold Day in the Park" (Robert Altman, 1969) "Getting Straight" (Rush, 1970) "Alex in Wonderland" (Paul Mazursky, 1970) "The Last Movie" (Hopper, 1971) "What's Up, Doc?" (Bogdanovich, 1972) "The King of Marvin Gardens" (Bob Rafelson, 1972) "Paper Moon" (Bogdanovich, 1973) "Shampoo" (Hal Ashby, 1975) "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (Steven Spielberg, 1977 -- additional photography) "New York, New York" (Martin Scorsese, 1977) "The Last Waltz" (Scorsese, 1978 -- additional photography) "Ghostbusters" (Ivan Reitman, 1984) "Mask" (Bogdanovich, 1985) "Say Anything..." (Cameron Crowe, 1989) "Radio Flyer" (Richard Donner, 1992) "My Best Friend's Wedding" (P.J. Hogan, 1997)

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Chicago Film Festival Celebrates 30 Years

The 1994 Chicago International Film Festival will kick off its 30th anniversary season on Thursday with the Midwest premiere of Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway." Its star, Chicago native John Cusack, will be in attendance. The festival will end 18 days later, on Oct. 23, with the world premiere of David Mamet's "Oleanna," based on the play about political correctness that has inflamed theater audiences.

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Cannes, 1981: A study in the art of being rude

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For the latest developments in the human art of being rude, no place offers a better opportunity for study than a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival. The very words "press conference" carry a genteel connotation unknown to the packs of scandalmongers and paparazzi who descend upon the movie stars after the screening of major films.

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