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¡Palante, Siempre Palante! The Young Lords (1996) Directed by Iris Morales This informative and vital 50-minute-long documentary (which originally premiered on PBS) focuses on the Young Lords, a US-based group of Puerto Rican social activists that formed in 1968 with a Black Panthers-inspired eye towards uplifting oppressed people. The film combines archival footage with firsthand testimony from former Young Lords (including the filmmaker) to recall the group’s history, from its beginnings engaged in organizing free...
Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle (1987) Directed by Éric Rohmer “Adventures” may be a bit of a misnomer here; in Rohmer’s four-part film, teenage girls Reinette and Mirabelle embark on the kinds of “adventures” that are more about navigating life’s mundane situations, from rude waiters to loud trucks disrupting rural idyll. It’s Rohmer’s peppering of subtle humor and his careful study of character—focusing his lens on two girls from different backgrounds (Reinette from the...
Beau Travail (1999) Directed by Claire Denis As is her elliptical wont, Denis doesn’t directly announce Beau Travail’s Herman Melville-based inspiration in the opening credits. Sharp-eared viewers, however, will immediately recognize that snatch of operatic music during a montage of French Foreign Legion officers doing calisthenics in the Djibouti desert to be from Benjamin Britten’s opera adaptation of Melville’s Billy Budd; the film itself gradually reveals its kinship to Melville’s novella in its tale of an...
As we stumbled—exhausted and pretty over it—to the bitter end of 2016, we took stock of the music that helped us muddle through the worst of it. This list is not meant to be an authoritative tally of anything; just a compilation of tracks from the year, in every genre, that goddamn did it for us (reminded us of our joys, made us dance our pants off, helped us shut out the world) throughout these inglorious 12 months. And so we present them to you (along...

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