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Thursday, March 5, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 12.0° F  Fair
The Daily


Guy Maddin: The most accessible film avant-gardist

"I don't believe in ghosts," says Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin, "but when ghosts appear in film or literature, they are the positive record of something missing, a loss." The Winnipeg native, whose films include The Saddest Music in the World (2003) and Keyhole (2011), both featuring Isabella Rossellini, will elaborate on the concept of loss in cinema in a series of free public events organized by the UW Cinematheque and the Material Culture program. >More
 A writer loses his passion for lavish living in The Great Beauty

If I lived in Jep Gambardella's apartment, I would never leave. Jep is at the center of the seriocomic Italian film The Great Beauty, and his flat has a close-up view of the Colosseum in Rome. It's a stunning vista, and it reminds me that by way of comparison, one of the most interesting views I ever had from a Madison apartment was of the old Kohl's supermarket on East Washington Avenue. >More
 The Armstrong Lie examines a champion cyclist's elaborate scheme to hide his drug use

Oscar-winning documentary maker Alex Gibney is best known for films built on the assumption that truth can be separated from spin (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Taxi to the Dark Side, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks). For his latest project, The Armstrong Lie, he turns to Tour de France medalist Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his titles after admitting to doping. >More
 Documentaries shine the brightest among short films nominated for 2014 Oscars

I'll start with the good news. This year's five Oscar-nominated documentary shorts are wonderful. They're screening next week at Sundance, and the shorts nominated in the animated and live-action categories are screening this week. >More
 A woman falls for her captor in Labor Day

Single? Lonely? Starved for human touch? Why not get abducted by an escaped convict? Guaranteed relationship starter! That's basically what Labor Day tells its audience, without a whiff of irony. Writer-director Jason Reitman seems completely unaware this message might be a problem. >More
 I, Frankenstein thrusts the famous fiend into a contemporary battle between heaven and hell

Mary Shelley, author of the classic 19th-century novel Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus, must be rolling in her grave. In the new I, Frankenstein, hunky Aaron Eckhart is oddly cast as Dr. Victor Frankenstein's brutish creature. He isn't a monster so much as a dour, angsty dude. >More
 Camille Claudel 1915 is a fascinating portrait of an institutionalized sculptor

She seems to be in the wrong place. She lives in an institution for people with severe mental and cognitive disabilities, but she looks to be competent and lucid. The nuns who work at the facility even give her special privileges. She cooks her own meals and dines alone. Sometimes she helps out with other patients. >More
 Tom Clancy's action hero visits yawn-worthy territory in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

All ticking time bombs are not made equal. When an action flick's hero starts a warning with, "Once I start the audit," blacking out from boredom is a clear and present danger. That's the kind of countdown only an IRS agent could love. >More
 A loquacious videogamer gets a taste of police work in Ride Along

It's easy to find a buddy-cop action comedy at the cinema, but it's hard to find a really good one. Unfortunately, Ride Along isn't a gem of the genre. >More
 The Nut Job crawls with furry villains but few species of good guys

The Nut Job is a head-scratcher. Kudos to writers Lorne Cameron and Peter Lepeniotis for pitching a curveball, though: a basic talking-animal cartoon with a parallel plot about 1950s gangsters. Unfortunately, the human characters' goon patois makes little sense next to the modern slang of the rodent protagonists in this Canadian and South Korean co-production. >More
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