Monthly Archives: July 2008

FILM REVIEW: ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’

By Ray Bennett LONDON — British movies have a history of exporting incorrigibly phony portraits of life in the country from village green coppers to plucky wartime Cockneys to country house families. Gurinder Chadha’s “Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging” adds … Continue reading

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Orson Welles would applaud this ‘Mad Detective’

By Ray Bennett It’s already available on DVD, but I’ve been waiting for a chance to see “Mad Detective” on the big screen again since it was the surprise entry at the Venice International Film Festival last year. The picture … Continue reading

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KVIFF AWARDS: ‘Terribly Happy’ night for festival winners

By Ray Bennett KARLOVY  VARY, Czech Republic – “We have a saying in England,” said Christopher Lee, ” Always take a woman by the waist and a bottle by the neck.” Lee spoke as he clutched a Crystal Globe – a trophy in … Continue reading

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KVIFF FILM REVIEW: Zhang Chi’s “The Shaft”

By Ray Bennett KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic – In three bittersweet episodes, Chinese filmmaker Zhang Chi’s “The Shaft” observes the monotony and frustration of workers whose lives are defined by the coalmines that offer the only local employment. Education alone … Continue reading

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KVIFF FILM REVIEW: Michaela Pavlatova’s ‘Night Owls”

By Ray Bennett KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic – Czech filmmaker Michaela Pavlatova’s “Night Owls” (Deti noci) tells of a young woman who works the late shift at her family’s convenience store in Prague but dreams of a better life. A … Continue reading

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KVIFF FILM REVIEW: ‘The Investigator’

By Ray Bennett KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic – Talky, quirky and full of inventive moments, Hungarian director Gigor Attila’s noir send-up “The Investigator” pitches a hired killer into a quest to discover the identity of the man he was paid … Continue reading

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KVIFF FILM REVIEW: Petr Zelenka’s ‘The Karamazovs’

By Ray Bennett KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic – Fyodor Dostoevski’s classic Russian novel about four brothers divided by the murder of their father forms the basis of Petr Zelenka’s “The Karamazovs,” which is a film about a play based on … Continue reading

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KVIFF FILM REVIEW: Aleksey Uchitel’s ‘Captive’

By Ray Bennett KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic – Shot in ferocious conditions and told with harsh economy, Aleksey Uchitel’s hard-as-nails little war picture “Captive” gives a pointed snapshot of how men in combat tend to extreme behavior. High in the … Continue reading

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KVIFF FILM REVIEW: Ed Gass-Donnelly’s ‘This Beautiful City’

By Ray Bennett KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic – Stark and inventive, Ed Gass-Donnelly’s “This Beautiful City” compares and interlinks the lives of a middle-class couple and a pair of down-and-out drug users all suffering from inner-city angst. Boasting superior performances … Continue reading

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KVIFF FILM REVIEW: Henrik Ruben Genz’s ‘Terribly Happy’

By Ray Bennett KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic – Set in an insular community on the windswept plains of southern Denmark, Henrik Ruben Genz’s “Terribly Happy” plays like a modern-day Western with a solitary lawman squaring off against corrupt townsfolk. It’s … Continue reading

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