Kiarostami at Work [10 on TEN]

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Published on 29 Oct 2004 in Featured Texts, Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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Schizo

If one discounts the facile and unconvincing ending, this first feature by Guka Omarova, a former actress and writer for Sergei Bodrov (who collaborated with her on the script for this film), offers a convincingly bleak view of how a 15-year-old boy could get ahead in rural Kazakhstan in the early 90s. Hired by a hood to find miners willing to participate in murderous amateur boxing matches, he winds up delivering the prize money of a fighter who dies to the boxer’s girlfriend and son, and eventually gets pushed into crime. 86 min. In Russian with subtitles. (JR)

Published on 15 Oct 2004 in Featured Texts, by admin

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The Final Cut

This debut feature by writer-director Omar Naim takes place in a future age when a person can have a video chip implanted in his brain, record his entire life, and arrange for the images to be edited down into a funeral memorial. Robin Williams plays Alan Hakman, an editor of such tributes, who’s haunted by a childhood memory and seems modeled on the Gene Hackman character in The Conversation (1974). Naim’s premise has possibilities, but its execution often feels slapdash, and considering that The Conversation itself was a reworking of Blowup (1966), the viewer’s sense of deja vu may be even more excessive than the characters’. With Mira Sorvino and Jim Caviezel. PG-13, 105 min. (JR)

Published on 15 Oct 2004 in Featured Texts, by admin

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How This World Works

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Published on 08 Oct 2004 in Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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L.A. Existential

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Published on 01 Oct 2004 in Featured Texts, Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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