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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 40.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily


A German teen questions her Nazi upbringing in Lore

Australian writer-director Cate Shortland is fascinated with teenage girls on the precipice of adulthood. They were the subject of her 2004 debut, Somersault, and they're also the focus of her latest effort, Lore, which is screening at the Wisconsin Film Festival. But this time, Shortland adds the bracing reality of political exigencies to a social and sexual coming-of-age story. >More
 In No, a man tries to oust a dictator with optimistic ads

Dictators are generally overthrown, not voted out of office. Yet Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's 15-year strong-arm rule -- noted for its colossal human-rights abuses and vast numbers of imprisoned, murdered, "disappeared" and exiled citizens -- ended as the result of a national referendum his increasingly reluctant allies demanded in 1988. >More
 Tchoupitoulas is a dreamy amble through nighttime New Orleans

A few years back, James Frey caused a fracas by marketing his book A Million Little Pieces as a memoir. After Oprah selected this tale of a recovering addict for her book club in 2006, The Smoking Gun revealed that many of its details were fabricated. Random House, the publisher, was so mortified that it offered refunds to customers who felt Frey had deceived them. It seemed that a discernible line had been drawn between truth and fiction. >More
 Like Someone in Love explores the relationship between affection and identity

For viewers, disorientation sets in early. The austere drama Like Someone in Love begins in a crowded Tokyo restaurant. We hear a voice. Who is speaking? The woman at the table over there, with her hand in front of her mouth? No. Eventually we learn that the voice belongs to Akiko (Rin Takanashi), a young university student. >More
 The Gatekeepers examines the triumphs and failures of an Israeli intelligence agency

The cardinal rule of surveillance is to keep quiet and let others do the talking. The Oscar-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers flips the script, to astonishing effect, giving voice to the retired directors of Shin Bet, Israel's domestic intelligence agency. >More
 In Spring Breakers, reality fades faster than a suntan in March

Harmony Korine, writer and director of Spring Breakers, launched his career as a teenager by writing the script for Larry Clark's incendiary opus Kids. His output since has included a movie about pranksters roaming the streets humping trash cans. But don't presume that Korine's work revolves around empty provocation. >More
 A gay couple try to adopt a disabled boy in Any Day Now

I admire the premise. In the indie drama Any Day Now, a gay couple (Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt) in 1970s Los Angeles take in a teenage boy (Isaac Leyva) with Down syndrome. The men bond with the kid, who has been all but abandoned by his junkie mother (Jamie Anne Allman). Then, in court, the men try to get permanent custody. >More
 The police state corrupts East German citizens in Barbara

In case anyone's not sure what's at stake, there are the body cavity searches. The chilling drama Barbara stars Nina Hoss as an East German doctor who has been banished by the state to the provinces. It's 1980. The collapse of the Soviet empire is only a few years away, though no one knows that yet. >More
 Is The Incredible Burt Wonderstone a redemption tale or a raucous comedy?

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone offers a useful humor principle: Nothing can ruin a comedy faster than changing what the audience is supposed to laugh at. Unfortunately, the movie hasn't fully absorbed this lesson. >More
 Happy People is a striking portrait of Siberian fur trappers

Werner Herzog peered into the infinite with the recent documentaries Cave of Forgotten Dreams, about 20,000-year-old paintings; and the death-penalty-themed Into the Abyss. He's at it again with the marvelous Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, which he codirected with Dmitry Vasyukov. >More
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