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  • Django

    Django

    ★★★★½

    Sergio Corbucci’s “Django” is a film hewn from mud and indignation. 

    Underexposed in the dirty elements to the point of near greyscale — excepting for its copious bursts of bright red blood - merely viewing “Django” will put hair on your chest. And you’ll say “Thank you, Maestro Corbucci,” for it. 

    “Django” lies somewhere between neorealism and genre film fantasy. Its hero wears clothes seemingly borrowed off the backs of Italian peasant farmers. But he lugs a coffin with a…

  • The Lusty Men

    The Lusty Men

    ★★★★★

    Nicholas Ray makes Western machismo into melodrama in “The Lusty Men.”

    As in “Rebel Without a Cause” and “In a Lonely Place,” the director here uses high emotion and theatricality in service of dismantling the stiff upper lip of masculine expectation. 

    Robert Mitchum plays Jeff McCloud, a rodeo star (of sorts) who meets the bad end of a bull and finds himself at the finish of his paydirt days. Instead of hopping back into the ring himself, he mentors greenhorn…

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  • The New Land

    The New Land

    ★★★★

    Jan Troell’s “The New Land” crosses the oceans of the world and the ages of life - but at the end of its six hour odyssey.... there is no freedom from the master of all men: love. 

    A sequel to Troell’s “The Emigrants;” the two instalments were so laudably received on release that the first part garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, and “Land,” a nod for Best Foreign Film. In the same year (the only time in history…

  • The Emigrants

    The Emigrants

    ★★★★½

    Jan Troell’s “The Emigrants” is a journey to the New World carried by the winds of necessity, rather than promise.

    Troell’s three-hour epic is the first of two films following a group of late 19th century agrarian Swedes as they depart their impoverished native land for a new life in Minnesota. 

    But while they are borne across the ocean on a precariously small vessel - Troell never lets his subjects, or the viewer, free from the excessive and burdensome baggage…

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  • The Dig

    The Dig

    ★★★

    “The Dig” is a movie to put on while you sip tea on a comfy couch; letting it slowly lull you into a peaceful nap. 

    There’s little surprising about director Simon Stone’s film. Nothing will astonish you, nothing will shock. The entire outing; about the amateur archeological expedition of Sutton Hoo, cruises along with the assurance of an experienced cab driver going below the speed limit on a back country road. 

    The gentle aural cadences and softly-lit scenic vistas of…

  • Pretend It's a City

    Pretend It's a City

    ★★★★

    I love to watch Martin Scorsese love things. The man laughs with his entire body, and speaks about his passions with his whole soul. And Martin Scorsese loves Fran Lebowitz. 

    A good deal of “Pretend It’s a City” is essentially just Scorsese sitting and listening... adoring Fran. And the rest, is the two of them... sitting and listening to each other... adoring New York City. And complaining about it. 

    Because what’s more New York than bemoaning everything wrong with New…