Take Care Of Your Scarf, Tatiana (Pida Huivista Kiinni, Tatjana)

BBB (out of 5) Miniature charmer by Aki Kaurismaki that begins when a young man, who spends his days sewing the children’s clothing that his mother boxes for shipment, has had enough of her nagging ways.  Locking her up in a closet and hitting the road, he picks up rocker Matti Pellonpää and the two of…

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Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

BBBB (out of 5) Ten years after Wes Craven’s original hit became a staple franchise of the genre, Heather Langenkamp enjoys a healthy life as a somewhat popular actress living in California with her husband and son. She’s also being plagued by nightmares having to do with the character of Freddy Krueger, but when she runs…

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Crumb

BBB.5 (out of 5) Unappealing, insightful, and powerful documentary by Terry Zwigoff about adult comic artist Robert Crumb.  We are taken into his seedy, sometimes revolting life, featuring his beyond whacky family (for whom the world of fiction could never make enough room) and his many colleagues and friends. Zwigoff doesn’t put in any effort…

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Chungking Express (Chung Hing Sam Lam)

BBBB (out of 5) Wong Kar-Wai deservedly burst forth onto the international art house scene with this exuberant urban romance, which he actually filmed during a break while making Ashes Of Time. It tells two stories, one of a hopelessly romantic cop (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who is dumped by his girlfriend and instead falls for a…

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Vive L’Amour (Ai qing Wan sui)

BBB.5 (out of 5) If the study of isolation is your bag, then dive right in to Tsai Ming-Liang’s exasperating but unforgettable drama. An abandoned Taipei apartment serves as the centre of action for two desperate individuals: a real-estate agent who brings her latest pickup back to the as-yet-unsold property for wild sex, and an…

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The New Age

BB.5 (out of 5) Disappointing comedy that reunites Peter Weller and Judy Davis, who previously performed together in David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch. They play a middle-aging couple in California who, thanks to employment troubles, are being forced to catch up with the trendy times of modern L.A. in order to survive. They do power-lunches, swanky…

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Once Were Warriors

BBBBB (out of 5) Fascinating, intense drama about the life of a Maori family in New Zealand, and the many troubles they suffer thanks to the destructive behaviour of their alcoholic father (Temuera Morrison). Rena Owen is excellent as the mother of this damaged family, now at the point of deciding what she must do to…

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Clerks

BBB (out of 5) Hilarious independent film that ignited the career of filmmaker Kevin Smith. Told from the point of view of security cameras, it follows the whacky adventures of employees who work the endless hours it takes to keep a convenience store going, while also managing their own personal lives. Hilarious dialogue as well…

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Double Happiness

BBB (out of 5) Wonderful film about an aspiring Asian-Canadian actress (Sandra Oh, winning a deserved Genie Award for her performance) who continues to disappoint her family with her professional and personal ambitions: besides pursuing a career that they don’t in the least approve of, she has now infuriated them by bringing home a white…

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Blue Sky

BB.5 (out of 5) Jessica Lange deservedly won an Academy Award for her terrific performance as the near-nymphomaniacal wife of a career army man (Tommy Lee Jones) who must fight to save her husband when he is involved in a coverup involving nuclear arms testing. It’s got a lot of great dramatic impact, thanks mostly to…

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The Postman (Il Postino)

BBBB (out of 5) Peaceful little romance about an illiterate fisherman (Massimo Troisi) who takes a job delivering mail to his village’s new visitor, the famous poet Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret). When Troisi realizes that he has developed feelings of love for a local barmaid (Maria Grazia Cucinotta), he asks Neruda to help him woo…

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In Custody

BB (out of 5) A columnist and teacher of Hindi (Om Puri), lamenting the dying of the Urdu language in India, convinces his magazine editor to let him spend time interviewing a famous poet (Shashi Kapoor) who is now an aging, drunken mess. What he discovers is a self-destructive lout with two bickering wives and…

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