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The Guest

Wingard and Barrett have a perfect eye and ear for this type of material. They have fun with their influences, paying homage to John Carpenter…

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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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Olivia Collette

Olivia Collette

Olivia Collette has been deconstructing movies since she realized some of her friends were willing to humor her. She has a thing for Laxmi Chhaya dance routines, a crush on Fellini, and a non-negotiable fear of zombie flicks. Based in Montreal, Olivia has written for various print and online publications, including the Montreal Gazette, World Film Locations: San Francisco, Sparksheet, Indiewire’s Press Play blog and the Spectator Arts Blog. She discusses pop culture at Livvy Jams and dissects our inconsistent obsession with body image on The Scrawn. If you see Olivia at Ebertfest, make sure to have your song ready, because she’s totally dragging you to Karaoke.

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A Hijacking

(2012)

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Laurence Anyways

(2012)

Out of the frying pan and into more Orcs

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Some people hate "Dune" because it's nothing like the novel, but venerate "The Shining" for the same reason. You can't please everyone when you adapt a book to film, so you're better off hoping you'll please anyone. Even if it's just a handful, it's those few who will be your fiercest defenders against the purists. So let's start with what Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" isn't: If you read the book, it's not the book you read. It includes plot elements from "The Hobbit," details that weren't fleshed out in "The Lord of the Rings" movies, bits from the "LOTR" appendices, and stuff that was created for the sake of this new trilogy.

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What Makes a Really Good Bad Guy

May Contain Spoilers

I realize I'm a minority on this one, but I actually liked Bane for much of "The Dark Knight Rises." Even with most of his beautiful face covered up, Tom Hardy has a talent for effective physical acting. Each time Bane entered a room, he would clutch his collar, forming two fists that seemed to guard his chest. In that simple gesture, he established a commanding presence while subtly implying a defensive pose, his hands near his weak spot, poised to protect the mask.

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Framed in Shame

May Contain Spoilers

There's a Someecards meme floating around that reads, "If I don't have sex with you, I'm a prude. If I use the pill, I'm a slut. If I get pregnant, I'm an idiot. And if I choose abortion, I'm Satan." That's the sum of our attitude towards female sexuality, but the movie "Shame" (2011) assures us that men suffering from sex addiction will earn comparable condemnations.

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The Persistence of Memory

May Contain Spoilers

Memories don't really have a beginning, a middle and an end. They're more like vignetted sensations, impressions and paraphrases, where the most prominent detail might be sticky fingers from handling a bunch of wheat. If you could only live with one memory for all eternity, which would it be? That's the question Hirokazu Koreeda's "After Life" asks, while also showing us what makes something memorable.

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Quebec Cinema: Tiny Budgets, Big Stories

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If there's anything that characterizes Quebec cinema, it's chutzpah despite limited means. The government grants that fund Quebec filmmakers' projects add up to small salaries, but that doesn't restrict their artistic vision. Plus, Quebec's homegrown movies have a better chance at domestic box-office success, where the rest of Canada tends to prefer Hollywood imports. But because the films don't always leave the province, you might miss them altogether if you don't catch local showings.

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The Garden of Pleasantville

May Contain Spoilers

How do things work in a perfect world? The book of Genesis tells us this much: every living thing lives in harmony, food is plentiful, there is no such thing as pain, and nobody knows the difference between good and evil.

That's the loophole the serpent uses to convince Eve to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. "God said not to because I'll die," she protests. "You won't die," the serpent says. "You'll just be wiser, like God, and see things the way he does." So Eve eats the fruit because she can't conceive of anything that isn't perfect, and if God is wise, then wisdom is perfect too. As for Adam, the Bible never really attributes any motive to his deed. He just seems to take the fruit from Eve without question.

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