Landline: Kickin’ It Old School

By Pamela Zoslov Gillian Robespierre’s new comedy, Landline, has many traits in common with her debut feature, Obvious Child, which got a lot of attention due to its abortion story line. Both films focus on the romantic/sexual misadventures of a young woman played by comedienne Jenny Slate, and are sprinkled with copious amounts of scatological […]

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Maudie: A World of Her Own

By Pamela Zoslov The difference between Art and Life is that Art is more bearable. — Charles Bukowski “A World Without Shadows” is the title of a stage play and short film about Maud Lewis, a celebrated Canadian folk artist who lived most of her life in a tiny, primitive house in Nova Scotia, covering […]

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The Beguiled: Damned Yankee

By Pamela Zoslov Beguiling is not quite the right word to describe The Beguiled, the new Civil War-set film directed by Sofia Coppola. Slender, diaphanous, insubstantial — those might be more descriptive of Coppola’s adaptation of a 1966 novel by Cleveland-based novelist Thomas Cullinan, a onetime writer for Cleveland’s Plain Dealer newspaper. Originally titled A […]

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Labour Pains: I, Daniel Blake

By Pamela Zoslov Daniel Blake, a 59-year-old carpenter in Newcastle in northeast England, has had a major heart attack, and his doctor has advised him not to return to work. “I nearly fell off the scaffolding,” he tells the Jobcentre worker performing an assessment of his “work capability.” Daniel’s nightmare descent into Kafkaesque government bureaucracy […]

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Terms of Estrangement: The Lovers

By Pamela Zoslov The Lovers, a romantic comedy featuring the return to the screen of the elusive Debra Winger, reminds me of the adultery-themed farces that were prevalent in the 1960s, like A Guide for the Married Man (1967), in which practiced philanderer Robert Morse coached Walter Matthau on the best techniques for cheating on […]

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Norman’s Conquests

By Pamela Zoslov A recent celebrity quote I liked is from Richard Gere, the actor whose outspoken political views — protesting China’s occupation of Tibet on the Oscars red carpet, angering China and jeopardizing the overseas movie market — have sidelined him from the majors and led him to take roles in independent films. “I’m […]

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Iraq and a Hard Place: The Wall

By Pamela Zoslov The best news about The Wall, from Amazon Studios, is that it is not about President Trump’s pet barrier against “bad hombres” from Mexico. It also has nothing whatever to do with Pink Floyd. It is instead a one-set thriller about an American army sharpshooter trapped behind a wall, threatened and taunted […]

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Wilson: Drawn That Way

By Pamela Zoslov Dan Clowes’ Wilson is the kind of character that has long excited the imaginations of novelists, indie filmmakers and cartoonists like Clowes: a misanthropic loser who nonetheless feels superior to everyone else, and who spouts his cynical existential philosophy everywhere he goes. The type appeared in examples as diverse as John Kennedy […]

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