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2012 Stories by Michael Atkinson

Archives: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998
  • China Heavyweight

    published July 4, 2012

    A paradigmatic "portrait" documentary—the popular sort that eschews cultural information and risk to focus on "how it feels" to be its... More >>

  • Invisible

    published July 4, 2012

    This brooding Israeli drama begins with a provocative title card that insists that "the resemblance between this film and real life is by no... More >>

  • 2012's New York Asian Film Festival: A Pop Explosion

    published June 27, 2012

    It's a new year for the city's favorite attack of the imported irrational—as the original publicity byline put it, Asian Films Are... More >>

  • Patang (The Kite)

    published June 13, 2012

    An India tourist trap packed into 90 shruggable minutes, this overpraised import is less Bollywood than Generic Asian Family Drama Lite, when... More >>

  • The Woman in the Fifth

    published June 13, 2012

    The first film from émigré director Pawel Pawlikowski since 2004’s dreamy My Summer of Love, this thoroughly odd and... More >>

  • A Cat in Paris

    published May 30, 2012

    A sketchy trifle of French animation grabbing time in theaters thanks to its recent Oscar nomination, Felicioli and Gagnol's barely-hour-long... More >>

  • Richard's Wedding

    published May 30, 2012

    A handheld New York indie that dallies in the queasy DMZ between hipster-narcissism and a self-satisfied critique of hipster-narcissism,... More >>

  • American Animal

    published May 16, 2012

    Bizarre, off-putting, and finally demanding of rubberneck respect, this fish-tank indie never leaves a rather lovely duplex apartment, occupied... More >>

  • Deeper Into the Abyss: On Death Row with Werner Herzog

    published April 25, 2012

    Unlikely as it might have seemed 25 years ago, when his documentary jones took off but his "career" was idling in neutral, Werner Herzog has... More >>

  • Headhunters

    published April 25, 2012

    Arguably the strangest of the many recent Scandinavian movies to rifle through modern American-indie tropes and then cash in by getting bought... More >>

  • Late Bloomers

    published April 11, 2012

    A life-crisis farce custom-built exclusively for self-absorbed menopausal women, Julie Gavras's film wants nothing more than to have coffee and... More >>

  • Womb

    published March 28, 2012

    Otherwise known as "That Crazy Cloning Incest Movie," Hungarian indie Benedek Fliegauf's attention-getter Womb begins with a childhood... More >>

  • Brake

    published March 21, 2012

    All right, now it's no longer just a stunt; it's a subgenre—the Lone-Actor-Trapped-in-a-Confined-Space Thriller. Squeezing into the... More >>

  • The Decoy Bride

    published March 7, 2012

    Pernicious tripe suitable only for masochists and the intellectually disabled, Sheree Folkson's rom-com tracks the shenanigans endured by a... More >>

  • The Intimate Details of Japanese Life in "Extreme Private Ethos"

    published March 7, 2012

    This palm-sized program of six films has a narrow focus: Japanese docs obsessing, for good or ill, on the emotional undulations of modern... More >>

  • Undefeated

    published February 15, 2012

    An inspirational sports tearjerker in distilled form, this new Harvey-hawked doc lands in North Memphis, where the underfunded, all-black... More >>

  • In Darkness: Down in the Sewer, Desperate to Survive

    published February 8, 2012

    Holocaust culture has proved to be essentially infinite—almost 70 years since the end of World War II, and untold stories of decimation... More >>

  • Splinters

    published February 1, 2012

    Apparently, in the '80s, some fly-by-night pilot left a surfboard behind on the beach in a small Papuan village, and, this being the unpaved,... More >>

  • Still Hell in West Memphis: No Happy Endings in Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

    published January 11, 2012

    The only films to help rescue warm bodies from death row besides Errol Morris's The Thin Blue Line, the Paradise Lost franchise... More >>

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