Spring 2014

You Have To Laugh

The first words of Obvious Child are heard over black. Effervescent stand-up comedian Donna Stern (the pitch-perfect Jenny Slate) appears in flashes, lording over her audience as she addresses the myth of clean underwear in graphic detail. If it wasn’t already apparent from the mere premise of her Sundance breakout, director Gillian Robespierre knows how to make a first impression. A romantic comedy that upends all that the genre holds dear, Obvious Child, based on Robespierre’s 2009 short, is an irreverent, hilarious and touching examination of a woman’s brash misstep and her hesitant navigation through its domino-like ramifications. Impregnated during […]

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Alexia Rasmussen Subscribers

In Sorrow and Anger

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  • The Power of the Purse

    At their fourth floor office in Gowanus, Brooklyn, directors Carl Deal and Tia Lessin are preparing for the release of their second documentary feature, Citizen Koch. Outside their window is the neighborhood’s famous polluted canal but also a new Whole Foods that wasn’t there just one year ago. Gowanus, with its Superfund cleanup site, is a “neighborhood in transition,” but one that urban planners and TEDx speakers hope will be gentrification done right, retaining artists, artisans and small businesses amidst the fancy restaurants and incoming homeowners. A recent New York Times profile said Gowanus “seems poised to exist as an […]

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  • The New Americans

    I have found myself disconcerted in writing about James Gray’s The Immigrant. I was immediately moved by the film and couldn’t fail to appreciate its elegantly controlled cinematic style, but I also felt there was something elusive and hard-to-pin-down about the many levels on which it attempts to address the audience. The film is consistently surprising in how traditional it is in some ways, how unabashed it is in its tenderness toward its characters, the milieu and historical period. Yet the film never succumbs to the twin dangers of stereotypical downbeatness or sugar-coated wish-fulfillment; it has an unusually complex level […]

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  • Subscribers Phantom Rides
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