Archive for category: by Robert Horton

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Film Review: ‘When Marnie Was There’

2 July, 2015 (04:01) | Animation, by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Although it tells a mildly fantastical tale of ghosts and a magical mansion, When Marnie Was There is best at capturing authentic childhood experience. Even the sound is right. Maybe it stands out because we’re watching an animated movie, but the ambient noise is uncannily good. When the heroine arrives at her new home for […]

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Film Review: ‘One Cut, One Life’

2 July, 2015 (03:51) | by Robert Horton, Documentary, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Back in the ’60s Ed Pincus made some key social-issue documentaries and wrote a how-to book that became a bible for low-budget filmmaking. If he’d kept on that track, he would have remained a respectable figure in the world of nonfiction film. Instead, Pincus rejected the idea that a camera could record something without changing […]

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Film Review: ‘Güeros’

25 June, 2015 (04:32) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

My heart sank a little when Alonso Ruiz Palacios, the director of Güeros, showed up onscreen halfway through this movie, asking the actors what they think of the screenplay. Oh, boy—that breaking-the-fourth-wall gag is the kind of thing you’re supposed to get out of your system in film school. In retrospect, though, the intrusion actually […]

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Film Review: ‘Sunshine Superman’

25 June, 2015 (04:28) | by Robert Horton, Documentary, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The film was apparently eight years in the making, but Sunshine Superman happens to open just after the death of Dean Potter, which might color its rainbow feel-good spirit just a tad. Potter was the superstar climber and BASE jumper who fell to earth in May after he illegally leaped off a very high place […]

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Film Review: ‘The Wolfpack’

18 June, 2015 (04:00) | by Robert Horton, Documentary, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

You know your weird neighbors? They seem to be a big family, but nobody ever sees them, except when the angry-looking father goes out to get groceries. Sometimes you hear strange things going on. What are they doing in there? Well, keep your camera handy, because behind those cardboarded-over windows might be a documentary film […]

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Film Review: ‘The Film Critic’

11 June, 2015 (04:02) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

He has the power to make or break careers. He is quoted all over town. His editors despair of his latest negative notice. He is . . . the film critic. This fantasy figure is the main character of a new film by Argentine director (and former critic) Hernán Guerschuny, and it’s a movie with only one comic idea. […]

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Film Review: ‘The Connection’

4 June, 2015 (04:51) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Although the shorthand description of this movie is “The French Connection from the French side,” viewers may be forgiven for flashing instead on GoodFellas and even American Hustle for their reference points. The Connection comes loaded with the sideburns and wide lapels of the ’70s, embedded in a cascade of short, violent scenes syncopated to […]

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Film Review: ‘The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq’

4 June, 2015 (04:47) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The week of the Charlie Hebdo murders, the satirical magazine’s cover boy was Michel Houellebecq. Although a stone-cold intellectual superstar in France (where “intellectual superstar” is not an oxymoron), Houellebecq’s accidental association with the massacre likely brought him even more notoriety, especially outside France. And it probably didn’t hurt sales of his new novel, Submission, […]

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Film Review: ‘La Sapienza’

4 June, 2015 (04:47) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

A quick synopsis of La Sapienza suggests the possibility of an eye-pleasing excursion into la dolce vita, a heaping helping of architecture and Italy served with a nice Chianti. We meet a slightly uneasy middle-aged couple, Alexandre (Fabrizio Rongione, the patient husband in Two Days, One Night) and Aliénor (Christelle Prot Landman). He’s a well-known […]

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Film Review: ‘In the Name of My Daughter’

21 May, 2015 (04:44) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

As evidenced by the success of radio’s Serial and TV’s The Jinx (like anybody consumes things on radio or TV any more, amirite?), our collective taste for true-crime stories remains boundless. If murder is on the menu, so much the better. Which means that veteran filmmaker André Téchiné (The Girl on the Train) ought to […]

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Film Review: ‘Réalité’

21 May, 2015 (04:41) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The films of Quentin Dupieux would’ve been a smash in the late ’60s and early ’70s, crammed as they are with surreal tricks and car tires that kill people and questions about how much of what we see is real, man. After the zany shenanigans of Rubber and Wrong, Dupieux takes on the moviemaking business […]

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Film Review: ‘Animals’

14 May, 2015 (04:36) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

He looks like a junkie, she doesn’t; but maybe that’s the point. Animals seeks to humanize the struggle of two lovers in the throes of addiction by depicting them as ordinary people who fell through the cracks. They drive an Oldsmobile, they go to the zoo, and every so often they run a scam or […]

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Robert Horton’s SIFF 2015 Preview

13 May, 2015 (08:32) | by Robert Horton, Film Festivals | By: Robert Horton

Fatih Akin (Head-On, Soul Kitchen) is on the short list of the most intriguing 21st-century directors, and his latest effort, The Cut, travels into the realm of historical epic—namely the slaughter of Armenians by Turks during World War I. A Prophet star Tahir Rahim plays a survivor searching for family members. Adding intrigue is that […]

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Film Review: ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’

7 May, 2015 (05:19) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Along with a great novelist’s assumed ability to peer into the human soul and all that, Thomas Hardy added two key obsessions: land and time. Hardy knew the soil of his English countryside, knew the trees and animals, and the way a footpath connects farms and destinies. He also knew how the turning of the […]

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Film Review: ‘Welcome to Me’

7 May, 2015 (05:16) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Beyond the valley of black comedy is a place where laughter and horror mingle freely. Here roams the original British version of The Office and the amazing Scorsese/De Niro King of Comedy (still one of Scorsese’s best, despite its low profile). It clicks only intermittently, but Welcome to Me is an attempt to inhabit this […]

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