programming

Subliminal messaging theories rehashed in trite documentary

Jeff Warrick’s “Programming the Nation?” tiresomely rehashes a potentially fascinating topic: subliminal messaging in mass media.  With an obvious left-wing bias and an overambitious scope — covering everything from subliminal techniques in advertising, film and music, to those in political propaganda and more — the film fails to provide any
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martha

A Case of Mistaken Identity

A fog of dreams and delusions, light and dark, “Martha Marcy May Marlene” is a movie to go mad by. It is a decidedly anti-narrative mood piece, frustrating to navigate and, like the title, easy to trip up on. The first viewing, the pure experience, is hazy and tantalizing, and
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skinilivein

Live Flesh: Almodovar’s latest only ‘Skin’ deep

David Lynch, when told “Blue Velvet” had no subtext, that everything was in plain sight and on the surface, responded “It’s all there, yeah,” and laughed. This statement derived from critics’ belief that filmmakers, in a postmodern showing-of-the-hand, were suddenly doing all the work for them: the theory, the interpretation,
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San Francisco Documentary Film Festival 2011

“Scenes of a Crime” Scenes of a Crime” is a portrait of the grotesque underbelly of the American justice system.  Wait.  That is inaccurate. The film takes the stance that it is hardly a “just” system if innocent citizens are sent to jail on the basis of false confessions, extracted
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thing

Van Heijningen takes a stab at ‘The Thing’

This “Thing” has survived three cinematic reincarnations, and there could be more I don’t know about. What begins as the short story “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell Jr. becomes “The Thing From Another World” (1951), which is B-horror bliss. Then John Carpenter directs “The Thing” (1982), with that
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idesofmarch

Clooney film attacks political corruption

“The Ides of March” is a thorough examination of the blemishes on the face of politics that lie beneath hastily applied stage makeup. It is a film that reveals the flaws of the American political system, presents a portrait of shattered ideals and refuses to take a black or white
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dreamhouse

See You In My Nightmares

The dream house in “Dream House” is hardly a dream house. It’s actually pretty mediocre. A two-story cottage tucked in the sleepy snow of New England suburbs, filled with secret histories and haunted antechambers — it’s the stuff of Thomas Kinkade’s nightmares. But Will (Daniel Craig) and Libby (Rachel Weisz)
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