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  • Keep Quiet

    Keep Quiet

    ★★★★

    This fascinating, stranger-than-fiction documentary tells the story of Csanad Szegedi, the Hungarian co-founder of the anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi political party Jobbik. When Szegedi is outed as Jewish on his mother's side (his grandmother was sent to Auschwitz, a family secret kept from the young man), he undergoes a remarkable transition to Orthodox Jew within the space of a year or so. Many doubt his sincerity; but once a fanatic, always a fanatic...only with new stripes. Szegedi doesn't become likable in this…

  • Karl Marx City

    Karl Marx City

    ★★★

    U.S. resident and co-director Petra Epperlein returned to the city of her birth, Karl Marx City, GDR (now Chemnitz, Germany), to attempt to uncover the reason her father had committed suicide after the fall of the Wall. Had he once worked as a Stassi informant? The documentary camera then followed Ms. Epperlein, always carrying a gigantic microphone, as she explored the paper and video trail left by the secret police and their thousands of informants. In the course of her…

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  • El Topo

    El Topo

    ★★★★★

    The New York Times contacted me today for background about my review of El Topo that was published in the L.A. Free Press on April 23, 1971. They provided me with a scan of the article, and I'm reposting it here. Maybe 43 years later its verbiage is a little embarrassing; but I stand by what I wrote back then. How often do we get an opportunity to view what we thought about films through the prism of the far…

  • Joy

    Joy

    ★½

    David O. Russell's popularity and reputation for enlightened whimsy eludes me. I can't blame the actors in what has become his "stock company" for my dislike of this film. Rather it must be Russell's mechanistic, by-the-numbers script filled with neurotic characters acting nonsensically. I know I'm out of step with audiences here; so forget that I ever tried to review this film.