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2006 Stories by Michael Atkinson

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  • About a Boi

    published August 15, 2006

    One of the weakest and most ridiculous aspects of popular culture is its narcissistic now-ness. There's often no then or later, and without past... More >>

  • '10th & Wolf'

    published August 15, 2006

    The trifling, cliché-choked trophy indie Robert Moresco got to make after the success of Crash (which he co-wrote), 10th &... More >>

  • Starving Artist

    published August 15, 2006

    A celebrated but by now largely forgotten Swedish-Norwegian-Danish adaptation of the Knut Hamsun classic, Henning Carlsen's icy 1966 film... More >>

  • A Deft Shadow of Noir Logic

    published August 15, 2006

    Calling Rian Johnson's teen indie a piece of stuntwork might seem faint praise, but try this thumbnail def: a high school noir, complete with... More >>

  • A Savory Psychodrama

    published August 15, 2006

    Dominik Moll's new film is a patient, savory psychodrama, fueled with domestic anxiety, spooky rhythms, and unsettled reaction shots. Hotshot... More >>

  • Raw Deals

    published August 8, 2006

    Your first impression of this five-hour-plus underworld trilogy is that director Nicolas Winding Refn is an engineer of epic scale and structural... More >>

  • Salvation Army

    published August 8, 2006

    Is this the strangest film produced by (and about) an Allied nation during WWII? So much of what's hauntingly unique about Michael Powell and... More >>

  • A Dreamy Voyage

    published August 8, 2006

    In a sense, Greek mega-art-film master Theo Angelopoulos is to world movie culture what Thomas Pynchon is to the modern novel—the work is so... More >>

  • A Hypnotic Samurai Film

    published August 8, 2006

    Septuagenarian workaholic Yoji Yamada repeats the colon-cleansing he gave the samurai genre with the thoroughly grown-up, character-crucial winner... More >>

  • A Tale of Two Pedros

    published August 1, 2006

    "The best of" Almodóvar raises some questions—namely, which Almodóvar? The Pedro gloriously festivaled and happily familiar now... More >>

  • Back to the Future

    published August 1, 2006

    This is why we have retro houses— to unleash, amid the handful of multiplex-squatting gargantua Hollywood overmanufactures for summer, the... More >>

  • Pillow Talk

    published August 1, 2006

    Like Ozu's consideration of the seasons and Kieslowski's meditation on the Commandments, Rohmer's famous anti-romance cycle comes into its own... More >>

  • 'Calvaire (The Ordeal)'

    published August 1, 2006

    Swoon over 75-percent-cocoa chocolate and corked blond ale all you want, nobody ever said the Belgians couldn't make perfectly mediocre genre... More >>

  • Unembedded

    published July 25, 2006

    Now that the Iraq occupation has out-endured the Korean War, and the polls all clock public disapproval of the war at a two-to-one ratio, the time... More >>

  • 'The Bridesmaid'

    published July 25, 2006

    Given his doggedly consistent fascination with psychopathic crime intersecting with bourgeois lives, it's a surprise to find that The Bridesmaid... More >>

  • The Century's Strangest Act of Pop Culture

    published July 25, 2006

    Amid the Cold War heat-up in Southeast Asia, British television gave birth to one of the century's strangest, most hermetic, most symbolically... More >>

  • Leaving Heel Marks on Our Consciousness

    published July 25, 2006

    Still marketably cool, noir flows freely from the archives—the shadowy fatalism, rich racetrack patter, and character archetypes still leave... More >>

  • Working-Class Zero

    published July 18, 2006

    One of the most notorious orphans of the American New Wave, Barbara Loden's Wanda (1970) is actually a benchmark of the era—in a... More >>

  • 'John Tucker Must Die'

    published July 18, 2006

    If only. No one buys the farm in this Heathers-wannabe teen "satire," a term used so loosely it'll fly off in a stiff breeze. But the... More >>

  • 'Raising Hell: Sam Peckinpah'

    published July 18, 2006

    The self-loathing underworld god-king of masculine genre angst, and the world's first genuine action craftsman, Sam Peckinpah made movies that... More >>

  • The Dead Pool

    published July 11, 2006

    It would be a mighty sweet thing to see M. Night Shyamalan as the great redemptive storyteller he clearly thinks he is—or as he portrays... More >>

  • 'Azumi'

    published July 11, 2006

    Have we gotten over being depressed by the dilutive impact flawless CGIs have had on the martial arts universe, a movie realm that had been... More >>

  • Giant Undulating Tales From Sweden

    published July 11, 2006

    Swedish pioneer Mauritz Stiller has never been completely forgotten, but the majestic epics he made in his homeland before disastrously (for him)... More >>

  • The Cold War's Most Sociopolitically Vital Film

    published July 11, 2006

    The overdue DVD'ing of Peter Watkins's long-marginalized, cry-in-the-wilderness corpus hits its stride with his most notorious film, and the one... More >>

  • He's No Angel

    published July 4, 2006

    An act of due homage and genuflection to David Mamet the '70s–'80s theatrical provocateur (not Mamet the '90s–'00s screenplay doodler),... More >>

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