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Wildlife

One never senses judgment from Dano, Kazan, Gyllenhaal, or Mulligan—they recognize that there’s beauty even in the mistakes we make in life. It’s what makes…

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Halloween

Do you know the biggest sin of the new Halloween? It’s just not scary. And that’s one thing you could never say about the original.

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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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The Unloved, Part 39: "The Bling Ring"

If you're wondering why I thought now was a good time to highlight a movie about children who, influenced by reality TV, try to steal material goods to possess the false hope of power and respectability, when in reality they remain hopelessly deluded and more than kind of dumb ... I'm afraid I don't have an answer for you. Just coincidence, I guess. 

Sofia Coppola's sad-eyed strivers have a special place in my heart. How do you not feel for everyone in "The Virgin Suicides"? For all her characters, really. Awkward high school boys who imagine they're unworthy of a clan of girls of otherworldly beauty, more goddesses than people. A young girl married into the wealthiest and most powerful family in the world and must find out how to find out who she is in opposition to their customs and privilege. A sad newlywed woman and an aging lothario who only find confidence enough to forge a bond because they sense that they've lost everything. A movie star who pulls himself out of an endless string of meaningless sexual encounters with fans to forge a relationship with his daughter. And of course, with 2013's "The Bling Ring," a gang of admirers attempt to lift the curtain separating those with famous faces and names by reveling in their palaces and mountains of expensive clothes after dark.

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Coppola gets us and the critical response to her understanding has been largely hostile and indifferent. If I had any say she'd be as well-regarded as her Dad and we'd be teaching "Marie Antoinette" alongside "The Godfather" and the works of Stanley Kubrick at film school. Her voluptuous ironic counterpoints have been joyous highlights of my moviegoing life and I for one can't wait to see what she does with the vicious "The Beguiled," which she's remade and will see release later this year. She's run up against sexism, classism and claims of nepotism but nevertheless, she persisted. She's one of America's most vital and gentle filmmaking voices and we're lucky to have her tuning into our frequency. 


The Unloved - The Bling Ring from Scout Tafoya on Vimeo.

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