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"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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Political Thumbnails 6/23/17

Special edition of Thumbnails with political articles: How to live with critics; Obama on the new health care bill; Trump says the poor can't be…

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NYFF Interview: Mathieu Amalric on "The Blue Room"

Mathieu Amalric's unforgettable features have graced almost a hundred films. His boundless range and singular charisma have made him something of a good luck charm for auteurs. It's a rare season without a film featuring his voice, a velvety, hesitant tenor, how you'd imagine double espresso to sound, or his wild, piercing eyes. You'd be forgiven for thinking that they were black, because until watching "The Blue Room," I can't remember a director having ever taken the time to get close enough to his pupil to divine their color. This may be because the director of "The Blue Room," Mathieu Amalric, has the doggedness and specificity of Sherlock Holmes whenever he steps behind a camera. No detail is wasted, no inch of screen space misappropriated, no composition ever less than perfect. After over a decade of sporadic directorial credits, largely dramatic pieces with a comedic edge, best exemplified by his masterpiece "On Tour," Amalric has changed things up with an adaption of a novel by Georges Simenon. It's a detective story; a dark romantic cautionary tale; an examination of how our memories betray us. More than anything, however, it's another example of Amalric's peerless skill at finding new and ever more sensitive ways of telling stories and displaying human emotion. It may be the last time he ever acts for himself and he could not have found a better and more arresting film with which to end that partnership. 

Sequence 1-Mathieu-Carax from Scout Tafoya on Vimeo.

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