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John Wick

The film breathes exhilarating life into its tired premise, thanks to some dazzling action choreography, stylish visuals and–most importantly–a vintage anti-hero performance from Keanu Reeves.

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Low Down

Preiss' movie does a consistently excellent job of explaining the lure of jazz, and the psychology of addicts, their enablers and their children, without explaining…

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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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I'm doing some version of "great"

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Raven Evans, a Cannes first-timer, will be a sophomore at Pomona College this September.

Thursday, May 14--It might be assumed that a first entry, like this one, be a fairly formal introduction. As a student at a small liberal arts college, I now see formal introductions as an overrated formality. For example, the box to the right of this text will inform you that I am my parent's child, and that I am a teenage student.

My most recent experience with introductions in large quantities was the first two weeks on my college's campus. I spent this time shaking hands and answering the same three questions about myself over and over; 80% of the time I knew the answers to all the questions I intended to ask. Most likely, I recognized a face and name from doing some research on some social networking website, and considering they are attending one of the best liberal arts colleges in America, I'm sure they are doing some version of "great."

After the introduction questions and handshake, things can quickly go South. A great conversation topic can be introduced, or one of us finds a way to slowly turn around and disappear into the crowd. From this point, I will then proceed to run into this person two to three times a day for the rest of the year. A tight lipped smile may be shared, an averted eye, or a quick and awkward salute may suffice. While the formal introduction gives you an opportunity for in-depth conversation, it can also have a reverse effect and leave both parties anxious to exit stage left.

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That's the famous Palais des Festivals behind my shoulder. 

All of this to say that the best way to get to know someone is through observation and natural conversation (or by talking to their mothers, or by reading their blogs). For this reason my first entry for what I'm hoping will be a rewarding journey into the blogosphere will be less of a handshake and how-do-you-do and skip ahead a few rungs on the relationship ladder to a level of basic friendship.

Yes, I am at the Cannes Film Festival! I have been traveling for two days, but I finally sit in a quaint French hotel overlooking the festival's busiest streets. My intentions are to share, from my point of view, and the highlights of my experience here, whether that includes actual films or the scandalosity of Scarlett Johansson's bikinis... only time will tell.

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