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ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 2008 | Kevin Thomas, Special to The Times
The decline of the art-house theater has severely curtailed America's exposure to foreign films -- now limited largely to the occasional picture so prize-laden or distinctive that it breaks through. Romania's current critical darling, "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," is a prime example.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 6, 1999 | CHARLES SOLOMON, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
As the growing number of otaku (American fans of anime) can attest, animation in Japan is very different from what Americans are accustomed to seeing. In the United States, virtually every feature has followed the upbeat musical comedy model Walt Disney established in 1937 with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Nuanced acting and lip-sync dialogue bring the characters to life as individuals.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 23, 2012
The concise documentary "Words of Witness" proves a vivid snapshot of the hectic, yet hopeful weeks in early 2011 following the end of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year-dictatorship, the start of the military's interim rule and the nation's rocky road toward democracy. Czech-Egyptian director Mai Iskander, who also produced and shot the film, tells this crucial story of modern revolution through the eyes of Heba Afify, a 22-year-old, newly hired journalist at the English edition of Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt's chief independent newspaper.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 13, 2008
The Air I Breathe Four stories based on a Chinese proverb interweave to depict life's emotional cornerstones: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. With Kevin Bacon, Forest Whitaker, Andy Garcia, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Brendan Fraser, Julie Delpy and Emile Hirsch. Written by Jieho Lee and Bob DeRosa. Directed by Lee. ThinkFilm, Jan. 25. Alexandra Opera star Galina Vishnevskaya plays an elderly woman visiting her grandson, an army officer, at his base in Chechnya.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 25, 2012 | By Sheri Linden
Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev, whose 2003 feature debut, "The Return," was a masterpiece of cinematic allegory, turns to noirish territory, by way of Dostoevsky, in his third film, the spellbinding and impeccably crafted"Elena. " Set in contemporary, well-to-do Moscow and its seedy, Soviet-leftover suburbs, the drama lays bare the moral dilemma - and class divide - between a 60ish couple. Elena (Nadezhda Markina) and Vladimir (Andrey Smirnov) share an orderly life in the ocean-blue expanse of their apartment, but their relationship feels more like an arrangement than a marriage.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 20, 2012 | By Mark Olsen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Over the course of a career that stretches back more than 50 years, Jean-Luc Godard might have cultivated a reputation as a maker of forbiddingly dense, impenetrably allusion-heavy films, but his work also always holds the potential to offer something groundbreaking and new. Despite (or maybe because of) his penchant for provocation and predilection toward the obtuse, he was and remains a rare, uncanny mix of professor, trickster and crackpot, guardian of the past and gatekeeper of the future.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 2012 | By Gary Goldstein
More successful when mining its DePalma-esque tale of a red-dressed avenging angel than during its flatter romantic or domestic moments, first-time feature writer-director Oscar Luis Costo's "Shanghai Red" largely emerges as a tantalizing, involving thriller. A coolly enigmatic Vivian Wu ("The Joy Luck Club," "The Pillow Book") stars as Meili Zhu, a widow whose husband was killed as a result of a business venture gone bad, the specifics of which are intriguingly saved for last. Motivated by honor and guilt, Meili dons an assumed identity - a high-end call girl dubbed Shanghai Red - and sets out to murder her late mate's alleged assassins.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
The Korean import "Venus Talk" starts off as a light and lively look at the sex lives of 40ish female friends before eventually giving way to something deeper and more thoughtful. It's an enjoyable, often amusing, occasionally touching ride that may not break much new ground but still satisfies its modest goals. The three "Venusians" here each find themselves at a romantic crossroads early in the film. Hae-Young (Jo Min-soo), a single mother and cafe owner, wants the security of marriage from her wedding-averse carpenter boyfriend (Lee Geung-young)
ENTERTAINMENT
May 11, 2012 | By Mark Olsen
At the outset of the new film"Where Do We Go Now?"the usual constant fighting between Muslim and Christian men in a remote Lebanese village has reached a fragile peace aided by the arrival of a television set. When a series of events threatens this uneasy accord, the women of the town must band together to bring things back to an even keel with a plan that comes to involve Eastern European belly dancers and baked goods laced with hashish. Directed, co-written by and starring Nadine Labaki, the film aims to be a gentle comedy (there are even some songs approaching musical numbers)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2011 | By Mark Olsen
'Silenced' is harrowing A recent hit in Korea, "Silenced" (" Dogani ") is based on a true story in which administrators at a school for deaf children received extremely light penalties for sexually abusing their young charges. In the film, a teacher (Gong Yoo) uncovers the awful goings-on and enlists a local human rights worker (Jung Yu-mi) to seek justice. They come to realize that officials are more concerned with sweeping the problem under the rug than bringing vicious predators to justice.
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