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Guardians of the Galaxy

In many respects, “Guardians,” directed and co-written by indie wit James Gunn, and starring buffed-up former schlub Chris Pratt and Really Big Sci-Fi Blockbuster vet…

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Finding Fela

Alex Gibney's "Finding Fela," about the legendary African pop star and political activist, feels like the rough draft of a very good movie.

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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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Which great director is not-so-great?

As part of the Contrarian Blog-a-Thon, here's a chance to really vent your spleen (in a rational and persuasive way). Please cast your vote below, and then elaborate on your selection in Comments. Give your reasons. Try to change our minds. I happen to have a great deal of affection for all of the below, but I chose these because they have passionate partisans and detractors. (And, besides, nobody doesn't like Howard Hawks... RIGHT?!?!) Defend your favorites -- or explain why you'd choose a filmmaker who's not on this abbreviated list. (BTW, although a valid e-mail address is required to post a comment, it won't be visible to the public and nobody will send you any mail as a consequence. It's just a way to help filter out some of the vast quantities of comment spam that comes in.)

P.S. Do you know which of the above is still alive?

UPDATE (3/19/07): I can't believe I forgot to include Ingmar Bergman, once considered the greatest living filmmaker by so many. I'm not so sure I know where his reputation stands at the moment...

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Exploring Israel-Palestine through Movies: Part 1

The first part in a four-part series on what film can teach us about the relationship between Israel and Palestine.

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