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Iranian Film Shows Life’s Uncertainty

French director Jean Renoir has a bold statement in his 1939 film “The Rules of the Game,” and it goes: “The awful thing about life is this: everyone has their reasons.” That same principle holds true some 70 years later when transposed to present-day Iran in Asghar Farhadi’s spectacularly scripted[Read More…]

by April 17, 2015 0 comments Guide Columns, The Guide

Crossing the Barriers of Sound and Gender

Lucrecia Martel serves up a cacophonous brew of middle-class misery in her 2001 debut “La Cienaga,” or “The Swamp,” a film quite unlike any I had ever seen before. I say this on the tail end of having watched close to 300 movies in the last four years; it’s nice[Read More…]

by April 4, 2015 0 comments Guide - Top, Guide Columns, The Guide

Storytelling in Cinema

In a world where films that clock in at or around three hours tend to take straight, white men as their subjects (last year alone gave us “Boyhood” and “Mr. Turner,” to name two), it takes a certain chutzpah to make an epic-length movie about 15 years in the life[Read More…]

A Twist on Japanese Film

J.K. Simmons urged a captive audience to give their parents a call two weeks ago in his Oscar acceptance speech, and with that advice in mind—and with many of us returning home for the break—now seems as good a time as any to talk about “Tokyo Story.” Yasujiro Ozu’s 1953[Read More…]

by March 6, 2015 0 comments Guide Columns, The Guide

Film Boasts Bitter Satire

If death and taxes are the fabled two certainties of life, then attacks on the aristocracy and outrage over awards shows are the two certainties of cinema. With the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences set to bestow a new fleet of Oscar statuettes on their films of choice[Read More…]

Gripping Film Displays Journey of Self-Discovery

Poland, 1962. Winter. Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) is preparing to take her vows at the austere convent out in the countryside where she has lived since infancy. The Mother Superior calls her in for a meeting: Anna’s aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza), a controversial judge and public figure with a drinking problem,[Read More…]

by February 10, 2015 1 comment Guide - Top, Guide Columns, The Guide

Belgian Filmmakers Portray Everyday Struggles

No film now playing in theaters is more immediately pertinent to the life of a Georgetown student than the Dardenne brothers’ “Two Days, One Night.” Presumably, no one reading this column is currently married with children in a working-class neighborhood in Belgium, but it’s almost certainly true that many of[Read More…]

by January 23, 2015 0 comments Guide Columns, The Guide, Uncategorized

Polish Film Explores Human Complexities

Communication. Fate. Kinship. Moral responsibility. Such topics may seem better suited to your next philosophy class than to a movie, yet they happen to be central to one of the greatest films of the 1990s — and for my money, of all time. The late Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski undertook[Read More…]

by December 5, 2014 0 comments Guide Columns, The Guide

Director Raises Questions on Reality

Watch enough movies and you’ll start to notice that many filmmakers share a fascination with the medium through which they create their art. Indeed, film is a relatively new phenomenon in the grand scheme of the human artistic endeavor, and it is one whose capacity to replicate reality supplies the[Read More…]

by November 14, 2014 0 comments Guide Columns, The Guide

1960s Film Explores Greek Politics

‘Any resemblance to real events and persons living or dead is not coincidental; it’s INTENTIONAL.” The ’60s was a monumental decade for film, but perhaps no other film from that era is quite as exciting as Costa-Gavras’ “Z.” On the one hand, “Z” is one of those rare foreign films[Read More…]

by October 31, 2014 0 comments Guide Columns, The Guide