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2006 Stories by J. Hoberman

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  • Festival Express

    published September 19, 2006

    Mafioso Alberto Sordi was that rare thing, a matinee idol with a gift for ridiculous comedy. (Imagine a voluble, foolish Cary Grant.)... More >>

  • Royal Pains

    published September 19, 2006

    The Queen, which opens the New York Film Festival on Friday and goes into release the next day, is more fun than any movie about the... More >>

  • Toronto Confidential

    published September 12, 2006

    TORONTO—Proudly international yet wildly local, the world's most all-inclusive film festival is obliged to open with a Canadian... More >>

  • North by Northwest

    published September 12, 2006

    A dozen years ago, Kelly Reichardt made her feature debut with a wonderfully desultory, nearly avant-garde riff on the last romantic couple.... More >>

  • Reinvention Redefined: A Haunting Doc

    published September 5, 2006

    Amnesia, per the Psychiatric Dictionary, is the most often faked mental anomaly—the plot device that powered countless film noirs and... More >>

  • Ghost World

    published September 5, 2006

    Directed by Brian De Palma from the novel by neo-noirist James Ellroy, The Black Dahlia is a true-crime policier unfolding in late-'40s Los... More >>

  • An Obvious Allegory

    published September 5, 2006

    The second feature by Mohammad Rasoulof is an obvious allegory. But it's an unusually vivid, even visceral one for being set almost entirely on an... More >>

  • Magical History Tour

    published August 29, 2006

    Generic VH1 rock doc, The U.S. vs. John Lennon—opening here next week—is snazzy, mawkish, and practically Pavlovian in recycling... More >>

  • Hollywood's Self-Reflexive Post-9-11 Movie

    published August 22, 2006

    Too provocatively titled for its first distributor, Albert Brooks's Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World is nothing if not high-concept.... More >>

  • The Science of Bleep

    published August 22, 2006

    Why we choose to watch the movies we watch is strictly personal, a matter of taste mediated by finance and geography. The nature of what we can... More >>

  • In Living Color

    published August 15, 2006

    Half a century ago this summer: Elvis on TV, the surrounding hysteria approached only by that around dead star James Dean; Ike poised for... More >>

  • Drugstore Cowboy

    published August 8, 2006

    The Last Movie, the exhilarating cinematic outrage that incinerated Dennis Hopper's career in 1971, might also be known as The Lost... More >>

  • Transaction Film

    published August 1, 2006

    An infant is born into this world. His parents are homeless minors. The father, Bruno (Jérémie Renier), a feckless hand-to-mouth... More >>

  • Mixed Nuts

    published August 1, 2006

    Connoisseurs of the disgustingly visceral will find Jan Svankmajer hardly mellowed at 72. Lunacy is dark, scary, and yucky—even by... More >>

  • Good Soldiers

    published August 1, 2006

    Oliver Stone's World Trade Center lands today—its title as emphatic and its subject as world historical as any movie since Stone... More >>

  • Twin Peaks

    published July 25, 2006

    The desire to couple movies most likely derives from the Depression-era gimmick of the double feature. The imperative, though, is much more than... More >>

  • Dream Team

    published July 25, 2006

    A minor miracle, this newly restored, long-lost 1922 silent was discovered a few years ago, nearly complete, in a Dutch collection. Beyond the... More >>

  • Russia's Famous Occult Thriller

    published June 27, 2006

    Night Watch, the occult thriller that shattered box office records in Russia, not only represents an alternate universe—it is one. As... More >>

  • Tropical Maladies

    published June 27, 2006

    Laurent Cantet's previous features, Human Resources and Time Out, are the work of a filmmaker drawn to workaday political scenarios;... More >>

  • Myths American

    published June 20, 2006

    Clocking in at 157 minutes and shackled to one of the clunkiest mythologies in American pop culture, Superman Returns is surprisingly... More >>

  • Underworld U.S.A.

    published June 20, 2006

    The ultimate underground movie, finished (or perhaps abandoned) after nearly half a century of work, Ken Jacobs's monumental, monstrous assemblage... More >>

  • Skate or Die

    published June 13, 2006

    Larry Clark's latest finds the grizzled shock-meister in a thoughtful mode and a mellow mood. Unusually benign, Wassup Rockers details a... More >>

  • Battlefield Earth

    published June 13, 2006

    Asked about that triple suicide last week at Gitmo, Colleen Graffy, our deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy, opined that it... More >>

  • Adventures in the Fifth Dimension

    published June 6, 2006

    An experiment in German Expressionism, this 1923 silent, directed by the American-born Arthur Robison, was subtitled "A Nocturnal... More >>

  • Scarlet Street

    published June 6, 2006

    Film noir may be a French coinage but it's a mode with echt German roots. Half the key directors of Hollywood noir were Third Reich refugees and... More >>

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