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Poltergeist

Rarely has a remake felt more contractually obligated than the 2015 version of Poltergeist.

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Sunshine Superman

I found Jean Boenish’s philosophical musings less than persuasive. And I don’t think my fear of heights was the reason for my bias.

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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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Sundance 2006 winners

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) Ñ Two films examining immigrant life in America, the Hispanic teen drama "Quinceanera" and the Sudanese refugee documentary "God Grew Tired of Us," won top honors Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival.

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Sundance #10: Push comes to screen

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PARK CITY, Utah – On the last day of Sundance 2006, I went to see one final film, named “Man Push Cart.” It was playing at 8:30 a.m. in the Prospector Square Theater, which is a large room filled with fairly comfortable folding chairs. The movie tells the story of a young man who was once a rock star in his native Pakistan, but now operates a stainless steel push cart on the streets of Manhattan, vending coffee, tea, muffins and bagels (“You want cream cheese?”).

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Photos: Faces of Sundance 2006

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Sundance is so much a festival of people, as well as films, that I started bringing a camera several years ago. This is the crossroads of the indie film movement, where big stars and little ones, famous directors and first-timers, meet because they have made films that fall outside the narrow boundaries of the mainstream distribution system. I shoulder in with the paparazzi to shoot Winona Ryder or Ashley Judd, but I also like to shoot folks I meet on the street, on the shuttle bus, or at a screening. To see them is to get the idea that Sundance is not so much an industry event, more of a family reunion, complete with patriarchs and crazy cousins.

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Sundance #7: Film ratings exposed!

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PARK CITY, Utah - Since 1968, the MPAA Code and Ratings Administration has been an anonymous group enforcing secret guidelines on almost all movies seeking release in America. The difference between its R and NC-17 ratings can mean life or death for a movie. A rating can be appealed -- to another anonymous group, also with guidelines that are never made clear. The board's founder and great defender, Jack Valenti, explained for years that the movie raters were "ordinary parents" with young children, trying to advise other parents on how appropriate movies might be for younger viewers.

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Sundance #6: 'Pajamas' & The Kid

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PARK CITY, UTAH – I have seen one of the wisest films I can remember about love and human intimacy. It is a film of integrity and truth, acted fearlessly, written and directed with quiet, implacable skill. I will not forget it. Now here is a dilemma: The film is so truthful and observant, so subtle and knowing about human nature, that it may be too much for most audiences. Moviegoers demand a little something in the way of formula, if only for reassurance, or as a road sign.

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Sundance #4: Childhood inspiration

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PARK CITY, Utah – Julia Kwan, the director of one of the most beloved films at Sundance this year, didn’t touch a film camera until she was 23. She was studying to be a legal assistant. Her dad worked in a restaurant. Her mom worked in the garment industry. “I’ve yet to meet a relative who makes a living as an artist,” she says. When she told her mom she was studying writing at Ryerson University in Toronto, her sister told her, “Mom thinks you’re studying calligraphy.”

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