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  • Bloody Birthday

    Bloody Birthday

    ★★★

    So here’s a nasty little item from 1981, newly restored by Arrow Video, that is in many ways a typical slasher movie of the era — basically it’s end to end murders, interrupted by occasional leering at naked teenage flesh. But there’s something genuinely disturbing about this story of three 10-year-old kids, born under the same eclipse, who are absolutely ruthless psychopaths; director Ed Hunt works in a key of relentless nihilism that is undeniably effective. It’s so low budget,…

  • Panic

    Panic

    ★★★★

    The laughs land and then sting in this 1946 French comedy/drama from director Julien Duvivier, in which an intimate community is rocked by the revelation of a murderer in their midst. It puts the entire town on edge, understandably, as worry gives way to paranoia, rumors, and accusations. Duvivier manifests this mounting panic via inventive photography (the Dutch angles and subjective camera are especially striking), and the flashes of wicked humor and sly sensuality serve as a fine diversion on the way to a powerfully bleak conclusion.

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  • Mistress America

    Mistress America

    ★★★★½

    “In one instant, her behaviors turned from charming to borderline psychotic.” So notes Tracy (Kirke) of Brooke (Gerwig), the title character of Noah Baumbach’s latest chronicle of the bohemian facades and generational navigation in New York City. Free of much of the cynicism but none of the bite of last spring’s 'While We’re Young,' Baumbach and co-writer Gerwig’s screwball treat beautifully captures the way a slightly older, seemingly together mentor-type figure can first seem to be everything you hope to…

  • The Disaster Artist

    The Disaster Artist

    ★★★★

    Here’s a weird thing that happened: a sold-out SXSW audience saw a “work in progress” cut of 'The Disaster Artist', James Franco’s film adaptation of Greg Sestero’s first-person account of the making of Tommy Wiseau’s legendarily bad movie 'The Room.' And it’s a very funny film about a very weird and untalented dude, and we all had a great many laughs at the expense of this guy and his terrible film. But we were also watching it with Mr. Wiseau…