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items tagged with Lars von Trier

Schadenfreude-ian Slips: “Inside Job,” “Dogtooth,” and “The Mechanic”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2011-01-30 22:16:31

Elliot Spitzer in Inside JobINSIDE JOB

You might not think that director Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job, the newly (and deservedly) Oscar-nominated documentary about 2008’s global economic meltdown, would offer much in the way of participatory, audience-goosing entertainment. After all, this isn’t exactly a Michael Moore doc we’re dealing with here. Employing dozens of lucid, well-reasoned interviews with financial experts and reams of statistics and graphs, Ferguson’s strong, angry, yet level-headed explanation of our current financial crisis is the polar opposite, in temperament and tone, of a Fahrenheit 9/11 or Capitalism: A Love Story. But while the experience of the impeccably photographed, sharply edited Inside Job is a mostly dead-serious one, damn but my audience appeared to have a good time at it – or, perhaps it’s more appropriate to say, a cathartic time.


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Pulp Friction: "A History of Violence," "Oliver Twist," and "Serenity"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2005-10-05 00:00:00

Viggo Mortensen in A History of ViolenceA HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

I was completely rapt by the austerity and dread of David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence – for the first five minutes. In the film’s beautifully sustained opening sequence, we watch as two men – one middle-aged, in a black suit, and another, younger and sporting a T-shirt and jeans – exit their motel room. They load up their car, and the older gentleman drops off the room key while the other – slowly, slowly – pulls the car up to meet him. Moments later, the older man returns, having had, he says, “a little trouble with the maid.” But before they leave, they need water. The younger man enters the motel office to replenish their supply, and as he does, we finally see the image that Cronenberg has thus far denied us, and that we in the audience have properly anticipated – the motel manager and maid lying dead in pools of blood. A frightened little girl, gently stroking the hair of her doll, enters the scene and makes eye contact with the younger killer. And the man, smiling gently, tells her not to be afraid, slowly aims his revolver at the girl’s head, and fires.


Read More About Pulp Friction: "A History Of Violence," "Oliver Twist," And "Serenity"...


2005's Alternative Oscars: The Shoulda-Been Contenders
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2005-02-16 00:00:00
After the announcement of last year’s Oscar nominations, in which the Academy made almost shockingly inspired choices across the board, this year’s slate of nominees was bound to be a more predictable lot; barring a few minor surprises – the director and screenplay nods for Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake (still unseen by me) chief among them – voters opted for traditional, safe choices in 2004, especially among the squarer-than-usual Best Picture contenders.
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"Moulin Rouge" Provokes Passionate Response: Also, "Pearl Harbor" and "What's the Worst That Could Happen?"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2001-06-07 00:00:00

Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor in Moulin RougeMOULIN ROUGE

I loved Baz Luhrmann’s musical Moulin Rouge, but what I adore even more than the film itself are works like it – artistically divisive movies that give you no choice but to love or hate them.


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