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Steve Erickson

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The Lovers and the Despot Directed by Rob Cannan and Ross Adam Opens September 23 Even after the disaster of The Interview, the West’s appetite for stories of North Korean tyranny rolls on. The Lovers and the Despot tells the tale of the kidnapping of South Korean director Shin Sang-ok and his wife Choi Eun-hee, who were forced to work in the North Korean film industry under Kim Jong-il’s supervision. Kim dreamed of rivaling Hollywood, or at...
Nuts! Directed by Penny Lane Opens June 22 at Film Forum Penny Lane’s Nuts! tells a story so outrageous that I wondered at times if it were a mockumentary. In fact, Lane’s structure sets out to encourage her spectator to question the truth of her storytelling: Nuts! is a documentary, in which more than half of the footage is animated, that turns into a courtroom drama. It takes the uplifting story of success and triumph over adversity...
Unlocking the Cage Directed by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker Opens May 25 at Film Forum Even the staunchest vegan can see the potential for humor in Unlocking the Cage, a documentary portrait of animal rights lawyer Steven Wise, his Nonhuman Rights Project team and his fights on behalf of chimpanzee clients. However, directors Chris Hegedus and D.A Pennebaker play it very straight. Unlocking the Cage isn’t entirely humorless, but it requires the spectator to agree with the...
Sweet Bean Directed by Naomi Kawase Opens March 18 at Lincoln Plaza At Cannes, a festival not known for its friendliness towards female directors, four of Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase’s eight films have played in competition and two have won awards. Oddly, her work has rarely screened in the US, even on the festival circuit, until now. (Her debut film, Suzaku, went straight from winning the Camera D’Or at Cannes to a one-night engagement at Anthology Film...

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