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  • Investigation of a Flame

    Investigation of a Flame

    ★★★★

    “I didn’t feel any sense of guilt or regret at prosecuting what i regarded as excessive arrogant attempts to inflict their views on others. That’s not the way democracy is supposed to work. You can’t burn what you hate.” -Catonsville 9 prosector Steve Sachs

    “We had burned papers instead of children.” -Daniel Berrigan

  • The Pearl Button

    The Pearl Button

    ★★★★★

    Patricio Guzman’s new film The Pearl Button, following 2011’s masterpiece Nostalgia for the Light, confirms that the great Chilean filmmaker is in the middle of a late-career renaissance, one which adds a cosmic dimension to the political sensibility he’s worked with since his appearance in the 1970s with The Battle of Chile.

    In this second film of his trilogy, Guzman focuses on water. We begin with a 3,000-year-old block of quartz taken from the Atacama Desert with an inexplicable drop…

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  • Terminal Island

    Terminal Island

    That TERMINAL ISLAND is 'bad' in some ways (worse-than-clunky acting, non-existent production values) is the least interesting thing about this otherwise pretty dang radical film, which pits a communalist cell led by women, based in back-to-the-landism, against a hierarchical pseudo-civilization of rapists and bootlickers - & guess who wins! (All of our characters are murderers left to die on an island somewhere, we can surmise, off the coast of CA in a dystopian future California.) Before there was the obnoxious "SLAY…

  • The Red Balloon

    The Red Balloon

    ★★★★★

    I showed this film to a group of 5-10 year olds after being told that kids don't have the necessary patience for art cinema in 2015, & unsurprisingly those adults were dead-wrong, the action in this acclaimed short film being driven by an utterly dynamic bright red balloon as it explores the nooks and crannies and social nooks and crannies of life in a drab, grey Parisian ghetto. I heard the kids were talking about the film afterward for months, and…