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2003 Stories by Michael Atkinson

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  • Rocket the Casbah

    published December 30, 2003

    This past August, as both Iraqi and "coalition" cadavers piled up in post-"victory" insurgency fighting, the Pentagon's Special Operations and... More >>

  • Theory of Flight

    published December 23, 2003

    Uniquely jacked into a ripe sense of antique-nursery Victoriana and buzzing with a pre-adolescent metaphoric charge, J.M. Barrie's Peter... More >>

  • Tough Guys Shouldn't Dance: Altman Ballet Sprains Ankle

    published December 23, 2003

    Looking ahead to his 79th birthday, Robert Altman has been plugging away on movie sets, manufacturing adroit classics, odious train wrecks,... More >>

  • Yesterday's Tomorrows: Futures From Sci-Fi's Past 35 Years

    published December 23, 2003

    Of course, we all know that science fiction—or speculative fiction, as in, fiction-of-what's-coming—is actually about the here-and-now,... More >>

  • Tracking Shot

    published December 9, 2003

    Written by The Pianist's Ronald Harwood, from a novel by the late, great Brian Moore, The Statement comes with a hoity-toity... More >>

  • Connect the Dolts

    published December 9, 2003

    Is there a name for what the Farrelly brothers do? Poker-faced genre pastiche, Helen Keller-joke snottiness, absurdist sentimentality, whatever:... More >>

  • As Bad As It Gets: What Women Want Panderer Helps The Aged

    published December 9, 2003

    Few contemporary names send more of a succubine chill down the discerning filmgoer's spine than Nancy Meyers (What Women Want, Father of... More >>

  • The Trip to Dreadful: Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Grubstakers

    published December 2, 2003

    A living demonstration of Sundance priorities, the ultra-indie Special Jury Prize winner What Alice Found has a shaky grip on interesting... More >>

  • His Life as a Fake: Small-Town Cop's Downtime at the Academy

    published November 25, 2003

    If South American cinema is indeed enjoying a renaissance, it may owe everything, ironically, to the continent's economic convulsions, which... More >>

  • Ride With the Devil

    published November 25, 2003

    The western is dead, long live the western. No longer a meaningful staple in our culture, this most iconic and supremely Kantian genre persists in... More >>

  • The Parent Traps

    published November 18, 2003

    The embrace and snarl of parent-child love-hate is one of humanity's deathless issues, and true to his record, Canadian auteur Denys Arcand... More >>

  • Life as a House: Grown-Up Drama Dances About Architecture

    published November 11, 2003

    Decidedly unsensational and appealingly grown-up, Chuck Workman's autumnal character study may be the most sagacious cinematic dancing ever done... More >>

  • Chips Off the Old Bloc

    published November 4, 2003

    Established one year before United Artists was incorporated on the opposite side of the globe, and before the other Hollywood studios coalesced... More >>

  • Odd Couplings: Brit Stars Flounder in Singleton Dysfunction

    published November 4, 2003

    No critic likes kicking lapdogs (though many semi-secretly enjoy, as I do, punting the occasional Rhodesian Ridgeback), and Richard Curtis's... More >>

  • Lone Star State of Mind

    published October 21, 2003

    Like so many fondly remembered DIY frightmares of the 'Nam era, Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) harbored a rich nougat... More >>

  • The Martyr They Come

    published October 14, 2003

    Veronica Guerin, the crusading Irish journalist played with a relentlessly playful squint by Cate Blanchett, is murdered just minutes into her own... More >>

  • Enemies, a Love Story

    published October 7, 2003

    The issue, for me, has never been the basic nature of la méthode Coenist, an arch, slapstick genre gumbo-boil into which anything... More >>

  • Bum and Coke

    published September 30, 2003

    The slimmest interface with the fringes of the American pornopolis is what justifies the docudrama existence of Wonderland, a... More >>

  • The Young and the Damned

    published September 23, 2003

    The post-teen rom-com is a desperate business in woeful need of intelligent resources, but after beholding Woody Allen's Anything Else and... More >>

  • Children's Hour

    published September 16, 2003

    The invention of childhood has been with us since the Victorians, but as the night-day contrast between Nicolas Philibert's nonfiction To Be... More >>

  • Leni Riefenstahl, 1902-2003

    published September 16, 2003

    Once upon a time in Berlin, there was a young, blonde, beautiful maiden named Leni, who starred in silent movies and longed to make films herself.... More >>

  • Back To Nature

    published September 9, 2003

    Both cries from the all-American wilderness, Robb Moss's The Same River Twice and Eli Roth's Cabin Fever comprise a veritable... More >>

  • Tarantino-Tested

    published September 9, 2003

    For better or worse, the entirety of our mass culture has taken one of the most iconic images from Citizen Kane—in which the aging,... More >>

  • Trouble Every Day

    published September 2, 2003

    Sophisticated, coolly imaginative, and genre-carefree, Delphine Gleize's debut feature Carnage has the organic shape and elliptical flux of... More >>

  • Rookie's Fortune

    published August 26, 2003

    Given the inherently debased modus operandi of the film industry in this country—has there ever been a system of aesthetic production so... More >>

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