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War Story

Director Mark Jackson’s drama is a chilly study in grief starring Catherine Keener as a war-zone photographer shattered by her experiences in Libya.

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Hercules

Dwayne Johnson tries, but he’s surrounded by poor CGI and a terrible adaptation of yet another comic book. Ian McShane steals what little movie there…

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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.

The best films of 2009

Since Moses brought the tablets down from the mountain, lists have come in tens, not that we couldn't have done with several more commandments. Who says a year has Ten Best Films, anyway? Nobody but readers, editors, and most other movie critics. There was hell to pay last year when I published my list of Twenty Best. You'd have thought I belched at a funeral. So this year I have devoutly limited myself to exactly ten films.

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Don't move. I want to move. Don't move.

When Sydney Pollack was making "Out of Africa" in 1985, he considered the problem of how to film Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in love scenes that were not explicit, yet were erotic. "When I have Streep and Redford together," he told me, "I don't want to see them strip naked and writhe around in bed together. The challenge was to find love scenes that would have emotion and passion and yet not violate a certain place where we want to see them. There are two really sensual love scenes. One of them is the undressing scene. I always like scenes like that. I think they're sexy. I tried to make a sort of passionate dance out of them undressing each other. The second scene consists of three absolutely terrific lines I took out of a screenplay that was written in 1973 when Nicholas Roeg was going to direct this project. It's only three lines, but what lines: "Don't move. I want to move. Don't move."

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Hurricane Dino in the South Pacific

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Bora Bora, Society Islands -- To get here you take off from Honolulu and fly into tomorrow, crossing the international date line for a refueling stop on Samoa. Then you fly back into yesterday and land on Tahiti, switch to an Air Polynesia flight to a coral landing strip, take a motorboat for another hour's journey, and arrive after dark at the island James Michener called the most beautiful in the world. It's a long way to go to visit a movie location, but then Dino De Laurentiis went a long way to shoot his movie.

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Interview with Michael Kutza

Michael Kutza's year began with a January trip to California to look at the American Film Institute's new stuff. Then he was off to Colombia to help judge the Cartagena film festival, new movies from Latin and South America. He was back in Chicago in March for board meetings of his Chicago International Film Festival.

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Interview with Bengst Forslund

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - The premiere of Jan Troell's "The Emigrants" was held in the Roda Kvarn, a cozy little jewelbox of a theater that was built in 1915, when Swedish silent films were finding an international audience. But Troell's film wasn't merely post-silent; it was post-Bergman, post-sex, post- the image of Swedish films in the 1960s.

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