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Articles in Culture and Criticism

The Princess and the Frog
February 22, 2010 – 3:31 PM | 14 Comments

It's nice to see a heroine of color in a Disney movie, but I don't know if Tiana spending the bulk of the story as a frog necessarily strikes a great blow for multiculturalism, not …

The Messenger
February 22, 2010 – 11:12 AM | 4 Comments

The Messenger is nominated for Best Original Screenplay; if it wins, Oren Moverman and Alessandro Camon should waste no time chopping the statue in half and handing it to Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson. The …

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
February 22, 2010 – 8:20 AM | 11 Comments
<I>The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus</I>

Roger Ebert, though he feels more generously towards it than I, sums up my reaction to the movie in his January 6 review:
My problem with Gilliam's films is that they lack a discernible storyline. I …

The Live-Action Shorts Program: …Chimay!
February 20, 2010 – 12:20 PM | 10 Comments

Thanks to the IFC Film Center, I managed to knock off five movies in two hours last night — and pull ahead in the Death Race.
The live-action shorts, in screened order…
Kavi. The credits note that …

In the Loop
February 20, 2010 – 9:51 AM | 13 Comments

Absolutely hilarious.The dialogue tends to put British phrasings in the mouths of American characters, but this is more than made up for by all the clever bits: the unbe-liev-ably foul-mouthed rants coming from Malcolm; General …

The Lovely Bones
February 18, 2010 – 8:13 AM | 20 Comments

Although the novel also drowned in a vat of syrup, Sebold got by for nearly 100 pages on the unsentimental clarity of her style and sustained verisimilitude of the narrator's adolescent voice. Jackson demonstrates no …

Bright Star
February 17, 2010 – 9:04 AM | 22 Comments
<em>Bright Star</em>

Bright Star is a strange little movie, and typical Campion — it's ravishing to look at, you can nearly smell the things in every shot (bread, rained-on linen), and apparent anachronisms don't distract the viewer, …

Invictus
February 17, 2010 – 8:09 AM | 22 Comments
<I>Invictus</I>

And thus endeth the Racism Is Bad, Mmmkay Oscar trifecta.
…I shouldn't be flip. It's an important story. Alas, it's filmed as just that, An Important Story, and the weight of that responsibility presses all the …

Harry Potter and the Hyphen-Something Doodad
February 15, 2010 – 4:29 PM | 34 Comments

I can't say I paid rigid attention to it, by which I mean that I left the room without pausing the film to get snacks, borrow thread from Gen, sign for packages, and so on. …

The Cove
February 15, 2010 – 12:59 PM | 15 Comments
<em>The Cove</em>

…Man.The Cove is a gripping documentary, but "hard to watch" doesn't begin.It's hard to watch Ric O'Barry, who worked as the dolphin trainer on Flipper, trying to atone for his part in the culture's continuing …