Menashe: A Yiddisher Kop

By Pamela Zoslov Joshua Weinstein didn’t have an easy time making his movie Menashe. The filmmaker drew his cast of nonprofessional actors from members of the Hasidic Jewish community in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Many had never even seen a movie before. Some signed on and then dropped out, fearing the disapproval of their synagogues and […]

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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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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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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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Times of London: 100 Streets

By Pamela Zoslov The multi-strand British drama 100 Streets (alternatively titled A Hundred Streets), starring Idris Elba, has received some tepid reviews, but don’t allow them to discourage you from seeing this nicely understated film. Based on a short film by the screenwriter, Leon Butler, it tells three very loosely linked stories about people living within […]

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Lee Shore: Manchester by the Sea

By Pamela Zoslov Manchester by the Sea, the new film written and directed by the playwright Kenneth Lonergan, has much common with Lonergan’s well-regarded 2000 film You Can Count on Me. Both address complicated relationships between adult siblings, one responsible and the other reprobate; a history of tragic accidental death; and issues surrounding surrogate parenting […]

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Love Has No Color: Loving

By Pamela Zoslov “Tell the judge I love my wife.” That was the plain request of Richard Loving, a white man, to the lawyer who was about to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967 for Loving’s right to be married to his wife Mildred, a black woman, in 1967. Loving’s simple words are […]

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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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