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‘Mobile’: British TV thriller a perfect mini binge-watch

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Acorn Media is one of the best sources of British TV programming, both on DVD and on the streaming TV system the company launched last year. I couldn’t find the 2007 ITV miniseries “Mobile” on the streaming site, but it is worth searching out on the Acorn DVD (I got it via Netflix). The four-episode […] [Read More]
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‘Rogue Royale’: the James Bond film that might have been

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Here’s another strong argument for having a Kindle — last year, British thriller writer Jeremy Duns published a short but fascinating e-Book, “Rogue Royale,” about the rocky history of making a film out of the first James Bond novel “Casino Royale” after it appeared in 1953. The book is an expansion of an article Duns […] [Read More]
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‘Marlene’: a star’s petulance fuels classic documentary

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Faced with the seemingly insurmountable challenge of a documentary subject who refused to appear on camera, Maximilian Schell managed to turn that crisis situation around in his 1984 film “Marlene.” Searching for something to watch one night, I spotted the movie on Amazon Prime and had a great time — “Marlene” is even better than I […] [Read More]
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Music, sex & espionage power delightful ‘Joy of Singing’

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You could go a little crazy trying to describe — or categorize — Ilan Duran Cohen’s 2008 “The Joy of Singing (Le plaisir de chanter)” which is available on most download platforms and on DVD from IFC Films. The best thing to do is just sit back and enjoy the very entertaining mix of comedy, eroticism […] [Read More]
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Joan Crawford before her drag queen years

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So much of the Joan Crawford image and mythology grows out of the pictures she made in the 1940s and 1950s — when she was almost scarily tough and mannish — that it’s always a shock to see one of the movies she made for MGM in the 1930s when she was a much fresher […] [Read More]
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The uncelebrated genius of Peter Watkins

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I borrowed a phrase from the film critic Michael Atkinson for my headline, because I agree with his assessment of the current position of the 78-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 […] [Read More]
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‘Between the Lines’: when the underground went mainstream

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The news of the closing down of the Boston Phoenix  last year, after 47 years of publication, made me think of the wonderful but largely forgotten 1977 independent film “Between the Lines.” The movie was written by a former Phoenix staffer, Fred Barron, in the wake of the first big shake-up at the paper — in […] [Read More]
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Bad Movies We Love: ‘Rome Adventure’

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I had a vague feeling of deja vu as I sat through the vapid 2010 princess fantasy “Eat Pray Love” about a well-off lovelorn American woman licking her wounds, after a divorce and a bad love affair, by wolfing down pasta in Rome, avoiding squalor in India, and enjoying spa cuisine and meditation in Bali. […] [Read More]
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