Custom Screening: The Dark Knight Rises?

Before I even got a chance to see “The Dark Knight Rises” at a midnight screening last week, I was bombarded with emails and blog posts that frantically dissected  every frame for any hint of allegory to any time — historical or contemporary. The Guardian, sounding ever more the indignant
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Custom Screening: This land is your land

Buried in my pillow, seeing flashes of red, white and blue and slowly giving in to drowsiness, my first Independence Day drew to an early, Sangria-induced close. I rather enjoyed the festivities. From GQ’s self-congratulatory list of “50 Things You Can Do In America But Not Socialist Europe” (number one:
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Custom Screening: Sleepless in Hollywood

I was looking out the bathroom window of the cheap Hollywood hotel room I had rented for the week. It was 1 o’clock in the morning and I was struggling to sleep. The sticky Los Angeles heat is inescapable when it lingers in the thin pocket of air between your
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Custom Screening: The vagina dialogue

It seems that everyone this week had something to say about the word “vagina.” Last Thursday, Republicans in the Michigan House of Representatives objected to State Representative Lisa Brown’s use of the word “vagina” during a debate about birth control, prompting a global debate about the word’s use. A week
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Custom Screening: In defense of offense

I was trawling YouTube one night and happened upon a 2006 discussion between Stephen Fry and the late Christopher Hitchens on the subject of blasphemy. Now, anyone who knows anything about either of these men will need no introduction to their stance on religion.
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Custom Screening: ‘Burning Love’ and TV hook-ups

I pulled the sheets over my large double bed, dislodging enough crumbs from last night’s dinner to excuse me from washing my sheets this week. I was busy counting sheep when I heard a voice from the pillow beside me: “If I was still in my experimental phase, I’d rip
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Custom Screening: It came from the rubbish bin

From the moment the customs official confiscated my manuka honey at SFO border control to the first time I buried my teeth into the sugary wonderland of my first piece of taffy, the last six months of my American life have yielded endless moments of wonder and discovery. It hasn’t
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Off The Beat: It’s in the Cannes!

The rain, the heat, the crowds, the croissants, the movies. This is the Cannes Film Festival, or where I was the past few weeks. Cannes is a little city on the French Riviera, and how did I get there? I was sent by the San Francisco Film Society, along with
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Custom Screening: Visions of Europe

Last weekend, as cinephiles the world over compared their picks for the Cannes Film Festival’s revered Palm d’Or award, another festival grabbed the attention of some 100 million viewers around the world. That festival was the Eurovision Song Contest that, last Saturday, crowned Sweden’s Loreen champion. Eurovision began in 1956
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Custom Screening: Notes from a mad ad man

I must confess that until this summer — when I was lucky enough to spend three nights in a hotel — I had not watched an entire TV program on an actual television in America.In February, I managed to squeeze in the last half hour of the Super Bowl. I’m
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