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Hola Mexico Film Festival Tour! Three from Mexico

At the Digital Gym from October 11–17

Without much in the way of new releases available for review, it seems a good time to draw attention to the Reader’s weekly Festivals column, which highlights some of our city’s one-shot screenings and/or more ...

Takashi Miike’s First Love: Why we fight

A bit less self-conscious, a bit more humane

My friend shook his head. “It’s been a bad year for movies,” he said. “A couple of blockbusters, and what else?” Well, a few things, at least. My favorite for the year so far is ...

Renée Zellweger’s Judy Garland sings a sad song

Who among us wants to die with a bunch of nobodys?

Pick a celebrity biopic. Any celebrity biopic. Beyond the Sea? Okay. With the lighting just so — and the camera at a safe distance from its subject — a person could swear that it was ...

The Sound of Silence “muted” by Peter Sarsgaard’s strained expression

Maybe the quiet is surprising instead of fitting, since the movie is all about sound

Director and co-writer Michael Tyburski’s The Sound of Silence is, fittingly enough, a quiet film. In telling the story of a room tuner — a man who solves his clients’ problems by identifying dissonant sounds ...

Fagara: Sisters doing it for themselves

A film told from a feminist point-of-view by three smart, strong, and self-reliant actresses

Occupational Hazard #29, aka The Installment Plan: when a critic oversteps a self-imposed two-film-a-day limit, conks out halfway through a picture, and finishes watching it the next morning. The rating for Heiward Mak’s Fagara was ...

Los Reyes: Dog days and nights

That stuff is thoroughly human

There are two real dogs behind the canine stars of Los Reyes; their names are Football and Chola, and they really do spend their days (and nights) hanging around the titular skate park — the ...

Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles: Keeping it surreal in the land without bread

If I were asked to name ten favorite filmmakers who forever changed the face of cinema, Buñuel would be five of them.

Luis Buñuel’s third film, Las Hurdes (Land Without Bread), was the director’s only documentary. For his first feature, visual effects designer Salvador Simó’s Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles puts into cartoon motion an ...

Benjamín Naishtat’s Rojo: More dead hippies

All the viewer needs to know about the political climate is established in the silent two-minute launching shot.

The opening shot is a film’s calling card, an image of introduction. The best of them shape, inform, and herald the tone for what lies ahead. So instead of wasting an audience’s time with an ...

One Child Nation: People v. Policy

How China went about preventing 338 million births between 1979 and 2015

There are a great many talking heads in Nanfu Wang and Lynn Zhang’s One Child Nation, a documentary devoted to exploring how exactly China went about preventing 338 million births between 1979 and 2015, when ...

The Reports on Sarah and Saleem: an unfamiliar lover

A handily played round of “guess who’s coming to Shabbat dinner”

“There are millions of Jewish guys you could have chosen,” barista Ronit (Rebecca Esmeralda Telhami) admonishes her Israeli employer Sarah (Sivan Kerchner), “Are you that desperate? With an Arab?” Sarah’s difficulty in answering the question ...

How Mike Wallace helped turn TV news into show business

The guy who goes there, who asks the difficult, or embarrassing, or even just personal question

Remember 60 Minutes, America’s first TV news magazine? Remember its tenacious terrier of a host, Mike Wallace, he of the insistent, accusatory question? Yes? No? C’mon, the guy interviewed Putin just a few years ago. ...