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2004 Stories by Michael Atkinson

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  • Attack of the Puppet People

    published October 19, 2004

    "I really do not think terrorism is funny," sputtered a senior White House adviser to Matt Drudge this summer, "and I would suggest Paramount give... More >>

  • Brain Dead: With Race Closing, Conservatives Go After F9/11

    published October 19, 2004

    In effect a feature-length Bush campaign commercial co-produced by the Christian-libertarian director of The Hanoi Hilton, this desperate... More >>

  • Silent Majority Report

    published October 12, 2004

    Not only the definitive American documentary about the war in Vietnam but a landmark political action, Peter Davis's Hearts and Minds... More >>

  • Known Pleasures: Another Sampling of Post-Boom HK Cinema

    published October 12, 2004

    New York programmers and movieheads can't seem to get their fill of the Hong Kong quintessence; up to five retros in the last 18 months have... More >>

  • Film

    published October 12, 2004

    A sober, touchy-feely video documentary chronicling the issue of undocumented workers as seen from the p.o.v. of suburban homeowners,... More >>

  • Re-Creating Nihilist Hippie-Punk Saga With Wicked '70s Vibe

    published October 12, 2004

    Toiling for years on the psychotronic fringes of festival culture, indie gore-meister Jim Van Bebber has never had one of his films... More >>

  • Return to Sender

    published October 5, 2004

    If Roger Dodger and the new quasi-rom-com P.S. are any indication, indie greenhorn Dylan Kidd just can't shut up. His characters... More >>

  • Film

    published October 5, 2004

    Essential post-war American cinema, Hope-Crosby-style mirror image of Fail-Safe, Rabelaisian Cold War slapstick—Stanley Kubrick's... More >>

  • Film

    published October 5, 2004

    In this troika of shorts, shot over six years and assembled into a low-thread-count omnibus, electrical engineer-indie-horror moonlighter Douglas... More >>

  • Film

    published September 28, 2004

    It was inevitable that Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate would ring the death knell, in 1980, for what has since been called the American new... More >>

  • Studio of Flying Daggers

    published September 21, 2004

    A quixotic choice for a NYFF restoration sidebar, Shaw Brothers Studios was the purest of pulpmeisters and one of the world's great B-movie... More >>

  • Vodka Tonic: Small-Town Hardship in a Screwball Comedy

    published September 21, 2004

    Maintaining a wry pH balance between Kaurismäki and Paradjanov, this Armenian comedy about a post-Soviet mountain village, its boondocks... More >>

  • Hungover Hero: Things to Do in London When You're Dead

    published September 14, 2004

    A pie-throwing, Maxim-Nintendo-stoner-pub-lad parody of the George Romero paradigm, Shaun of the Dead might be the sign that... More >>

  • Film

    published September 7, 2004

    Cellular was written by a neophyte script polisher, and directed by a second-unit pro whose main fame claim is having helmed Final... More >>

  • Red-State Blues

    published September 7, 2004

    With hardly a breath taken in contemplation of the sulfurous odor left to linger by Casa de los Babys, our reigning middle-class-liberal... More >>

  • Film

    published September 7, 2004

    A virtual spoiler siren for itself, the new film Incident at Loch Ness is a double-edged whoopee cushion, and writing about it is an act of... More >>

  • Screen Siege

    published September 7, 2004

    What we've seen this year has been an all-out, unprecedented siege by independent filmmakers—aided and abetted by laissez-faire distributors... More >>

  • Another Activist Doc Offers Familiar Arguments, Recaps News Footage

    published August 31, 2004

    The election-year insta-docs keep rising like sunflowers from the Bush admin cow pile; this week, we have a Media Education... More >>

  • Film

    published August 24, 2004

    If Iranian cinema still leads the Arab pack in terms of visionary sophistication, then Darius Mehrjui is its beleaguered pioneer, having struggled... More >>

  • Torrents of Arabia

    published August 24, 2004

    In the enlightening, if mildly patronizing, tradition of alt-film programming of third-world movies that are more exotic cultural expressions than... More >>

  • A Documentarian Searches for His Tobacco-Stained Roots

    published August 17, 2004

    If Ross McElwee were a novelist instead of a creative-nonfiction documentarian, he'd have awards by the mantelful, he'd be an Oprah's Book Club... More >>

  • Matinee-Ready Exorcist Prequel Haunted by Its Own Phantom

    published August 17, 2004

    Green-lit after its progenitor's surprise re-release reap-load, Exorcist: The Beginning comes trailing a fascinating shadow: Ethical... More >>

  • Film

    published August 17, 2004

    Floating around festivals for four years since it killed at the Thai box office, Bang Rajan emerges from the dank, Hollywoodized Asian... More >>

  • Streamlined

    published August 10, 2004

    A fairly ordinary, machine-shopped Sundance résumé indie, seemingly balanced somewhere between half-realized ambition and... More >>

  • Film

    published August 3, 2004

    Another ingenious double bill from Criterion, this set slams together the 1936 French version of Maxim Gorky's theatrical yowl directed by Jean... More >>

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