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‘Focus on French Cinema’: 3-day cultural immersion

Last weekend, the fantastic Jewish Film Festival ended an 11-day run in Hartford, today movie lovers have the chance to begin a three-day immersion in the best new French films at the Focus on French Cinema festival in Greenwich. The event kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. with the U.S. premiere of “Les Souvenirs (Memories)” […] [Read More]

‘A Little Life’: the mysteries of friendship

Think of it as the book equivalent of binge-watching. A 700+ page novel scares many people — no matter how good it is supposed to be — but there is nothing quite like a prolonged, total immersion in a fine writer’s vision of the world. A weekend spent watching a long TV serial can leave […] [Read More]

‘Tab Hunter Confidential’: happy to be forgotten

The new documentary “Tab Hunter Confidential,” which premiered at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin last week, presents an insider’s view of a period in Hollywood history when there was a vast disconnect between fantasy and reality. Director Jeffrey Schwarz takes us back to the 1950s when some of the biggest male movie stars […] [Read More]

A long-forgotten Hercule Poirot movie returns

After the success of the movie version of her play “Witness for the Prosecution” in 1957, Agatha Christie made a deal with MGM for the film and TV rights to a few dozen of her mysteries, including several featuring her beloved series characters, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. Christie started to regret the pact almost […] [Read More]

‘The Feast’: getting creeped out at The Flea

An unsettling mix of horror and psychological drama, Cory Finley’s “The Feast” takes us into the life of a successful young artist named Matt (Ivan Dolido) who falls apart after he starts hearing strange noises coming out of his bathroom. The play opens with the visit of a hostile plumber (Donaldo Prescod). He says a […] [Read More]

Bad Movies We Love: ‘Youngblood Hawke’

The sexual revolution of the late 1960s put an end to one of my favorite Hollywood genres — the lurid potboilers adapted from the naughty novels of hugely popular (and now forgotten) writers such as Harold Robbins and Grace Metalious. The filmmakers of the 1950s and 1960s couldn’t get away with the smut to be […] [Read More]

‘Above and Beyond’: thrilling piece of aviation history

The 19th annual Mandell JCC Hartford Jewish Film Festival will end on a high — literally — tomorrow with the closing night screening of “Above and Beyond,” a wonderful new documentary about a little known slice of post-World War II history. The film by producer Nancy Spielberg (above) and director Roberta Grossman introduces us to […] [Read More]

Killing hippies for sport

Film critic Michael Atkinson once wrote of “the uncelebrated genius of Peter Watkins” and I agree with his assessment of the position of the 79-year-old creator of “The War Game,” “Culloden,” “Edvard Munch” and several other modern classics that are known by too few movie buffs. Peter Watkins first made a name for himself in […] [Read More]

‘Silicon Valley’: unofficial sequel to ‘Office Space’

With a first season consisting of only eight half-hour episodes, the HBO series “Silicon Valley” feels like a longer-than-usual movie rather than a traditional TV sitcom. The creator, Mike Judge, made the 1999 cult hit “Office Space,” and the HBO series sometimes plays like an updated variation on that classic comedy about young male office […] [Read More]

‘The Go Go Boys’: the rise and fall of Cannon Films

The Israeli filmmaker cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus were virtually unavoidable during the 1980s. Their company — Cannon Films — seemed to go from 0 to 60 in record time. It covered nearly every base in terms of genre — from the hit breakdancing musical “Breakin’” to Franco Zeffirelli’s film of the opera “Otello.” […] [Read More]