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2012 Stories by Benjamin Mercer

Archives: 2012 | 2011
  • A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman

    published October 31, 2012

    A biopic bent on futzing with the form, A Liar's Autobiography bears the strong authorial stamp of its subject, but nonetheless looks... More >>

  • Burning Man

    published July 25, 2012

    The high-sheen Australian drama Burning Man leans heavily on a scrambled chronology, and likewise feels tonally mixed up, but it certainly... More >>

  • The Tortured

    published June 13, 2012

    Lean, nasty, and patently absurd, The Tortured plays like one long scream of agony. A jury sentences child-killer John Kozlowski (Bill... More >>

  • Master Qi and the Monkey King

    published June 13, 2012

    Following a respected Queens-based troupe of Peking opera performers, the polite-rather-than-probing documentary Master Qi and the Monkey... More >>

  • Music From the Big House

    published May 30, 2012

    Tuning in to a music-as-redemptive-force frequency, black-and-white documentary Music From the Big House follows Canadian roots musician... More >>

  • OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger's Movie

    published May 23, 2012

    A largely first-person documentary about living with a range of disorders, OC87 is also, in a sense, about a long hiatus from... More >>

  • Virginia

    published May 16, 2012

    Dustin Lance Black, scribe of J. Edgar and Milk, gets behind the camera for Virginia, a bonkers tragicomedy that blandly... More >>

  • The Downside to Reading in Bonsai

    published May 9, 2012

    The bookish young lovers at the heart of the Chilean film Bonsái have cultivated an almost militant seriousness when it comes to... More >>

  • Nesting

    published May 9, 2012

    A slick indie comedy that misses its snappy-irreverent mark, Nesting concerns the people you see "hanging out at Restoration Hardware,... More >>

  • Everyone's Looking for a Fix in Chronicling a Crisis

    published May 2, 2012

    At a midcareer impasse, Israeli director Amos Kollek turns the camera on himself, logging confessionals on his DV and walking the streets of... More >>

  • 96 Minutes

    published April 25, 2012

    Cutting between a carjacking gone wrong and the earlier-in-the-day events leading up to it, 96 Minutes weaves together separate-strand... More >>

  • Elles

    published April 25, 2012

    As she prepares for a dinner party, and fields rude dismissals from her two spoiled sons, journalist Anne (Juliette Binoche) thinks back on her... More >>

  • My Way

    published April 18, 2012

    Racking up a truly staggering bit-player body count, the Korean World War II epic My Way marshals an overbearing score, turbulent... More >>

  • Chimpanzee

    published April 18, 2012

    Disneynature's latest Earth Day release hunkers down in an Ivory Coast rain forest, taming its beasts-in-the-wild raw material into a... More >>

  • Blue Like Jazz

    published April 11, 2012

    Junior-college golden boy Don (Marshall Allman) is gearing up to attend a Baptist university in the fall and fielding warnings from members of... More >>

  • How to Grow a Band

    published April 11, 2012

    It's framed as a story of musical genius overcoming the odds: After the dissolution of his marriage and the "indefinite hiatus" of his... More >>

  • Your Brother. Remember?

    published April 4, 2012

    It begins as a one-man show, with master of ceremonies Zachary Oberzan seated onstage, doing a deliberately stilted Jean-Claude Van Damme... More >>

  • Bully

    published March 28, 2012

    Arriving in theaters on a wave of free publicity—its distributor, the Weinstein Company, butted heads with the MPAA over the R rating; a... More >>

  • Four Lovers

    published March 28, 2012

    Using a fluid naturalism to establish its afterglow vibe, Four Lovers follows two married couples as they swap partners and invigorate... More >>

  • Losing Control

    published March 21, 2012

    In the ostensibly charming, actually grating Losing Control, Harvard biophysics grad student Samantha (Miranda Kent) toils away in the... More >>

  • Come on Eileen

    published March 21, 2012

    "I used to drink—a bit too much, actually," confesses Eileen (Jackie Howe), an ex-dancer who tends bar at a north London cricket club, to... More >>

  • Free Men

    published March 14, 2012

    Another loosely factual gloss on a little-known chapter from Nazi-occupied Europe, Free Men tells of a Vichy France mosque... More >>

  • Jiro Dreams of Sushi

    published March 7, 2012

    Tucked away in the basement of a Tokyo office building, in a drab corridor attached to a subway station, the restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro seats... More >>

  • Where Are You Taking Me?

    published February 29, 2012

    Plying a keen compositional eye, American director Kimi Takesue films a succession of busy scenes from around Uganda's capital, Kampala: Salon... More >>

  • Patriocracy

    published February 29, 2012

    "How did it get so bad?" asks the narrator of Patriocracy after a prefatory montage that intercuts C-SPAN showboating from the chamber... More >>

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