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Pick of the Week
Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Cinema Guild) — Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s latest is a remarkable movie. On the surface, Once Upon A Time In Anatolia is the story of a murder investigation; told over the course of a single night and morning, the film follows the police, a coroner and a prosecutor as they accompany a pair of confessed killers in search of a corpse. Gratefully, Ceylan is far too gifted a filmmaker to leave it at that. Masculinity has always been a crucial subject for Ceylan; from the impossibility of male communication in Distant, to the callous, violent sexual vanity on display in Climates, to the corruption of the individual by his duty that sets the fates in motion in Three Monkeys, Ceylan has always understood the emasculating brutality of power and the impact it has on the lives of men who desire and feel bound to its tropes. Once Upon A Time In Anatolia spends its time in search of both a body and something far more intangible: the nature of masculinity and its corruption. Put simply, there is something about Ceylan’s work that transcends. See this film. Available on DVD and Blu-ray. (Tom Hall)
21 Jump Street (Sony) — I semi-swore off Hollywood remakes quite some time ago, but then I realized that I might never have an opportunity to eat multiplex popcorn again, since that’s just about all they play on their screens these days (#2: superheroes; #3: boardgames). This is a case when a free afternoon and some friends and the promise of popcorn led me to cave in. In the case of 21 Jump Street, man, I’m actually glad I did! From the very beginning, it’s made very clear that the filmmaking team is self-aware of their premise in the best possible way. This surely ain’t great cinema, but I genuinely laughed throughout the entire film, which I certainly was not expecting. Available on DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy, Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy, and at Amazon Instant.
The Artist (Sony) — Call me a Philistine, but I found this movie to be a light, pleasant, and all around harmless trifle (waiting, waiting, waiting to be struck by lightning… nope, didn’t happen). Then again, I’m not an angry expert in silent cinema. Do I ever want to watch The Artist again? Err, prolly not. But if you haven’t seen it and don’t consider yourself to be an “authoritative cinephile,” it will likely put a grin on your face. Available on DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy, Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy, and at Amazon Instant.
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