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Sunday, January 25, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 28.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Bab'Aziz: Desert journey

Mysticism isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word "Islamic" these days; terrorism is. But Islamic mysticism, a.k.a. Sufism, has a long, rich tradition that has nothing to do with flying airplanes into skyscrapers. And director Nacer Khemir would like us to know about it. >More
 Madison Horror Film Festival looks to scare for Halloween

The spectre of costumed crowds taking over downtown is still three months away, but one fan of the scariest of seasons is already planning a new addition to the city's renowned Halloween revelry: the Madison Horror Film Festival. "It's my favorite time of year," says Rich Peterson, who is busy organizing a one-day showcase of independent short and feature-length horror movies this autumn. >More
 48 Hour Film Project returns to Madison for second round of shorts

The scene at Escape Java Joint and Art Gallery was relatively calm on Sunday evening as more than a dozen teams of filmmakers taking part in the 48 Hour Film Project turned in their latest cinematic creations. The national two-day short filmmaking festival returned to Madison for a sophomore year over the weekend, with participants adhering to the deadline-driven spirit of the event to a much higher degree than in its local debut last year. >More
 The Dark Knight: Best Batman ever

In a summer jam-packed with superheroes, Batman has made a couple of smart moves. He's waited until everybody else -- Ironman, The Hulk, Hancock, Hellboy -- exhausted themselves, letting anticipation build. And he's kept things serious, refusing to stoop to comic-book high jinks. If anything, The Dark Knight is even more serious than Batman Begins. >More
 Tell No One: Cherchez la femme

There must be a reasonable explanation, and the French are nothing if not rational. That's what I kept telling myself as Guillaume Canet's Tell No One unfolded on the screen. Actually, it doesn't unfold so much as twist and turn, like dough being shaped into a pretzel. >More
 Kismat Konnection: Hooray for Bollywood

Westgate Art Cinemas tries something a little different with Kismat Konnection, a boy-meets-girl musical fresh off the Bollywood assembly line. Set in Toronto for reasons I never did figure out, the movie stars Indian heartthrob Shadid Kapoor as a budding architect who has a run of bad luck until he meets a community activist played by the lovely Vidya Balan. >More
 Hellboy II: Super Dude

After Iron Man and Hancock, you wouldn't think there's much left to say about superheroes who've neglected to go to finishing school. But now here's Hellboy II: The Golden Army, a sequel to 2004's Hellboy, and not only has writer-director Guillermo del Toro come up with something to say, he's said it in so extravagant a way that, if I were Batman, I'd consider holing up in the Batcave until this thing blows over. >More
 Ripple Effect: Pay as you go

What goes around comes around. That's the message I'm taking from Ripple Effect, Philippe Caland's karma-driven account of an L.A.-based fashion designer (Caland himself) who can't hit the big-time until he's cleared the accounts on a hit-and-run accident he was involved in 15 years ago. Perhaps only in La La Land would money play such a major role in the interconnectedness of things. But Caland, who also produced the movie and wrote the script, tries to avoid the charge of complete cravenness by making the story about caring for something other than money - you know, like people and stuff. Of course, this is a guy who once made a movie (Hollywood Buddha) about not having landed a major distributor for his previous movie (Dead Girl), so he may have a slightly different meaning for the phrase "pay it forward."

 Mamma Mia: Who's your daddy?

First let me soothe the jangled nerves of any purists in the house: Yes, Mamma Mia! stays faithful to its source material. By source material, I mean the hit theatrical show that strung together a bunch of ABBA chart-toppers and shoehorned a pittance of plot in between a giggling spectacle of song and dance. >More
 Gonzo: Writing up a storm

What can you say about the legendary Hunter S. Thompson that hasn't been said a thousand times before? He was a red Cadillac speeding down the highways and byways of the American Dream, his turbo-charged prose fueled by alcohol and.... >More
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