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  • Raging Bull

    Raging Bull

    As Jake La Motta, the former middleweight boxing champ, in RAGING BULL, Robert De Niro wears scar tissue and a big, bent nose that deform his face. It's a miracle that he didn't grow them—he grew everything else. He developed a thick-muscled neck and a fighter's body, and for the scenes of the broken, drunken La Motta he put on so much weight that he seems to have sunk in the fat with hardly a trace of himself left. What…

  • Ordinary People

    Ordinary People

    You know you're in for it when you see the solemn white titles against a black background—and in silence. Is it going to be Robert Bresson cauterizing your funny bone? When the discreet classical music starts—a piano, first just one hand and then the other, on Pachelbel's Canon in D—you know it's going to reek of quality, and that it's going to be an attempt at the austere manner of KRAMER VS. KRAMER and SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE. Movie stars…

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  • Something Wild

    Something Wild

    For seven decades of romantic screwball comedies, sexy, smart, funny women have been waking up heroes who, through fear or shyness or a stuffy educational background, were denying their deepest impulses. The women perform a rescue mission. Sometimes, in earlier eras, they did it in the guise of dumb blondes (like Marie Wilson) or dizzy dames (like Katharine Hepburn in BRINGING UP BABY), but mostly they were wisecracking broads, like Mae West and Joan Blondell, and Jean Harlow in RED…

  • Stop Making Sense

    Stop Making Sense

    STOP MAKING SENSE makes wonderful sense. A concert film by the New York new-wave rock band Talking Heads, it was shot during three performances at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in December, 1983, and the footage has been put together without interviews and with very few cutaways. The director, Jonathan Demme, offers us a continuous rock experience that keeps building, becoming ever more intense and euphoric. This has not been a year when American movies overflowed with happiness; there was some…