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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

MOVIES

The Violin: Guns and music

"Calm down, boy, or you'll drop your taco," an elderly man says to his young grandson early on in The Violin, Francisco Vargas' movie set amidst the peasant uprisings in 1970s Mexico. It's one of those throwaway lines that, you realize later, sums up the movie's theme. >More
 Funny Games: Power plays

Part of the "fun" of watching Michael Haneke's movies is wondering exactly what he's up to. I just wrote about him a few weeks ago when the UW Cinematheque began a series called "Michael Haneke: A Cinema of Provocation." I called him "the thinking person's Hitchcock," by which I meant that he likes to take the kind of stories that Hitchcock used to tell - thrillers, basically - and deconstruct them a bit. >More
 Chicago 10: Days of infamy

"The whole world is watching," antiwar demonstrators shouted during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago as Mayor Daley's shock troops sprayed them with tear gas and clubbed them like baby seals. And they were right, the whole world was watching, via television - a cataclysmic moment in the country's slide into rebellion and repression. >More
 Semi-Pro:Court of last resort

Talladega Nights, Blades of Glory and now Semi-Pro - Will Ferrell continues to take on the wide world of sports, always with the same okay-but-not-great results. In Semi-Pro, it's basketball season, and if I told you Ferrell can't dribble, pass or shoot worth a damn, you probably won't be disappointed. But if I told you he doesn't really show us anything we haven't seen before, would you? >More
 The Killing of John Lennon: Crazy talk

Mark David Chapman had his 15 minutes of fame on December 8, 1980, a day that shall live in infamy. But here, nearly three decades later, is The Killing of John Lennon, another 15 minutes or so, which Chapman will surely appreciate. He still resides at Attica Prison, courtesy of the federal government, and nobody's heard much from him in a while, but you can almost imagine him pulling out a copy of this film at his next parole hearing. >More
 Romanian Film Festival: A country with a camera

Cold Mountain was shot there. So was Borat, in part. But most of us don't think of Romania as having a film life of its own. Our mistake, because this former Warsaw Pact country, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, has crawled its way to cinematic respectability, even greatness. >More
 Be Kind Rewind: Homemade Hollywood

Whimsy's a hard tone to pull off in a movie. You need to keep things light, but there's the danger of the movie just floating away, so you need to ground everything as well. At first, I resisted Be Kind Rewind, Michel Gondry's lark of a movie about our need to feel connected to one another through the movies we watch. But just when the movie would start to float away, Gondry would pull it back to the ground, anchor it in emotion. Some of you may have trouble getting on Gondry's wavelength, especially if you're not a big Jack Black fan. But there's a sweetness here, a nostalgia for the good ol' days of VHS - you heard me, VHS - that's hard to resist. >More
 The Business of Being Born: Special delivery

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 Taxi to the Dark Side: Shock treatment

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 Here, Kitty Kitty claws into cat killing in Wisconsin

"Do you favor the DNR take steps to define free roaming feral domestic cats by the previously mentioned definition and list free roaming domestic feral cats as an unprotected species?" Using the firestorm of anger and ridicule that was touched off by this question as a starting point, the new documentary Here, Kitty Kitty explores the debate over how to reduce feral cats in Wisconsin. >More
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