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  • Tammy

    Tammy

    ★★★

    Tammy, the new comedy co-written by and starring Melissa McCarthy, is a hell of a lot better than anyone had a right to expect. In light of this, perhaps we can take a moment to think about the film and its star as participants in the ongoing tug-of-war we call feminism, even if you might not immediately think of Tammy as some kind of statement in the culture wars. Indeed it's not, but part of what makes McCarthy such a…

  • The Last Film

    The Last Film

    ★★★½

    Everything is dying. It's a truism that all cultural expression is a faint shadow of what it was a mere 20 or 30 years ago, that we're in a perpetual state of decline. As a result, one of the dominant themes of contemporary arts discourse is the Death of This and the Death of That. Some of this is more of the same nostalgia talking — that sense that once upon a time, more people read poetry, attended experimental one-act plays, and debated the relative merits of Sibelius over Rachmaninoff.

    Continued at the Nashville Scene.

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  • Charlie Victor Romeo

    Charlie Victor Romeo

    ★★★★

    Charlie Victor Romeo is a 1999 play by the Collective: Unconscious theatre group that has now been adapted into a feature film. Or more properly, we should say that it has been “transcribed” onto film; there is no attempt to expand on the stagebound, black-box origins of the piece, and this refusal to create a more obviously cinematic atmosphere is just one part of CVR’s conceptual project. The subject matter that comprises Charlie Victor Romeo is widely available to anyone…

  • Inside Llewyn Davis

    Inside Llewyn Davis

    ★★★★

    It's not a gimmick or an ironic twist that a shadowy figure of Bob Dylan appears onstage in the final moments of Inside Llewyn Davis. On a certain level, the sight of the man can provide a certain trainspotting amusement for viewers who have enjoyed the Coens' exacting reconstruction of the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early 1960s. (It could also function as the Coens' nod to their colleague Todd Haynes. Dylan doesn't need to play any explicit role…