Film

The German director Margarethe von Trotta has had such a long and fascinating career that, if there were justice in these matters—which idea is laughable—she would be treasured by more than who do so now. Beginning in 1975 she has made films that dealt with women, known and unknown, all of which were wonderfully persuasive.

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'Lord of the Rings' for Cigarette-Smoking Cynics

How Richard Linklater's 'Before' trilogy defined my generation

How Richard Linklater's 'Before' trilogy defined my generation.

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Behind the Plastic Surgery

Matt Damon is the real star of HBO's Liberace biopic

Matt Damon is the real star of this Liberace biopic.

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Two friends, Alec Baldwin and director James Toback, elected to go to the Cannes Festival with a film crew. Their plan was to make a movie about themselves running around Cannes attempting to raise money for a project. The result is a more candid portrait of Cannes than the distinguished films that will play at the Palais.

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I don’t have a whole lot in common with Angelina Jolie, but we do share a terrifying family history of breast cancer. Like Jolie, I lost my mother to cancer—mine at 49, Jolie’s at 56. Also like Jolie, I decided to have the genetic test for the BRCA1 and 2 mutations, which, if present, indicate a severely increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer over a lifetime.

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Discovery

Right from the start of his career, it was clear that Terrence Malick was out to challenge the conventions of the art to which he was dedicating himself. Even that first film, Badlands, showed some unconventional ideas about time. His subsequent films, varying in success, all showed an impulse to see, to realize, in an individual way.

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How to Make a Hidden-Camera Movie of an Abortion Clinic

Analyzing the pro-life movement's dominant form of self-expression

The anti-abortion movement's defining medium used to be the poster, typically featuring a misleading photo of a stillborn fetus much older than most states' abortion laws allowed. These days, it's probably the undercover video.

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Christopher Guest Was Not Made for TV

What makes his films so good is what hurts 'Family Tree'

Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries are small, perceptive oddities, so unblinkingly committed to the worlds they investigate that the comedy can seem almost accidental. This is Spinal Tap (1984) spoofs the pretensions and ambitions of aging rockers with mortal seriousness. Waiting for Guffman (1996) does the same for a community theater ensemble in small-town Missouri. Best in Show (2000) makes tightly-wound dog owners into fully likeable monsters.

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Beauty and the Beast

A sex symbol takes on a mullah in Pakistan's national elections

A sex symbol takes on a mullah in Pakistan's national elections.

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An exploration of truth and fiction that will stay with you long after repeated viewings. 

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