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The Maze Runner

What’s intriguing about “The Maze Runner”–for a long time, at least–is the way it tells us a story we think we’ve heard countless times before…

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20,000 Days on Earth

In his music, he routinely celebrates/deconstructs his public persona: brutalizer, coward, agnostic, and wannabe deity. "20,000 Days on Earth" is accordingly not a biography, but…

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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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Contributors

Barbara Scharres

Barbara Scharres

Barbara Scharres is the Director of Programming at the Gene Siskel Film Center, a public program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  

In this capacity she is the artistic director for one of the largest cultural exhibition programs of world cinema in North America.  She has published articles and criticism in film magazines and journals including American Cinematographer, Film Comment, Chicago Reader, Variety, and the Chicago Sun-Times, and has contributed to books including Hong Kong Babylon, edited by Fred Dannen. 

Scharres was named a "Chicagoan of the Year in the Arts" by the Chicago Tribune three times, in 1989, 1991, and 1999.  In 2006, the French government awarded her one of its highest honors by designating her a Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for her role in advancing French culture through cinema.


Violence, War, Death: Cannes Report, May 19

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A day of grim films in which "Borgman" attempts Haneke-like surreal grimness and falls short, "The Missing Picture" and "Death March" turn artifice to their advantage to explore the horrors of war and loss, and Claude Lanzmann returns with a film about controversial figure Benjamin Murmelstein, the last president of the Jewish Council of Elders in the Theresienstadt ghetto.

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Opening Night: Cannes Report, May 15, 2013

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Power is rarely discussed at Cannes, and it’s ostensibly all about art, although careers can hang on critics’ approval, and whether films are sold here, and to how many regions of the world. The annual jury press conference on the opening day is the first and foremost love-fest in which the concept of competition is downplayed and jurors find novel ways to sidestep the question of comparing one film to another in order to award the Palme d’Or in ten days.

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