Elle and The New Normal

By Pamela Zoslov Elle, a French-language film directed by Paul Verhoeven, arrives here at a strange moment, when the “normalization” — a leading candidate for 2016 word of the year  — of sexual assault grew out of a vitriolic presidential election. So now we might expect that some people, in defiance of “political correctness,” might […]

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Jackie: Amazing Grace

By Pamela Zoslov I was two years old when President Kennedy was shot. Even though I have no memory of it, the assassination occupies a large part of my consciousness. I first encountered the images — the smiling president’s motorcade, the defiant Lee Harvey Oswald, the grieving Jackie, little Caroline and and brave toddler John […]

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Bleed For This: Born to Fight

By Pamela Zoslov Maybe the world doesn’t need another boxing movie, but the “sweet science of bruising” has provided enough energy, velocity and melodrama for hundreds of films. The newest, Bleed For This, is based on the true story of Vinny Pazienza (Vinny Paz), a professional boxer from Rhode Island who held world titles in […]

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Moonlight: Little Boy Blues

By Pamela Zoslov A group of schoolboys are a blur as they chase a classmate, taunting and tormenting him through a Miami neighborhood filled with abandoned houses. The boy, Chiron (Alex Hibbert), takes refuge in a boarded-up apartment, weeping silently as his persecutors bang loudly on the doors and windows. The opening scene of Moonlight, […]

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Gimme Danger: Raw Stooge Power

By Pamela Zoslov “I don’t wanna belong to the glam people, the hip-hop people, the TV people, the alternative people. I don’t wanna be a punk. I just wanna be.” That is as close to a manifesto as you will get from Iggy Pop, the incomparable frontman of the proto-punk band The Stooges. The plain-spoken, […]

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Denial: A Fight for History

By Pamela Zoslov “I don’t see any reason to be tasteful about Auschwitz. It’s baloney. It’s a legend…more women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz.” With incendiary words like these, in a 1991 speech before far-rightists and neo-Nazis, David Irving established […]

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Home Truths: The Hollars

By Pamela Zoslov The indie comedy-drama The Hollars belongs to a familiar category, the homecoming film, in which a person is plucked out of adulthood and forced to return to the family homestead, there to deal with all manner of dysfunction. Graced by a superior ensemble and flecked with humor and tenderness, it has the […]

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