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Welcome to another installment of our monthly feature in which a rotating cast of film critics hold forth on the highs and lows of month of moviegoing. 5. Behemoth Always at the multiplex, and this year at the White House, January is an ugly and dismaying spectacle. At the movies, it’s Dump Month, which stretches into February: no film with award aspirations will open until the end of winter. But there are exceptions in this dominion...
Behemoth Directed by Zhao Liang Opens January 27 at the Metrograph Exposing the ill effects of China’s drive to develop, the mesmerizing Behemoth, a boldly visual essay film by the political documentarian Zhao Liang, depicts the successive stages of industrial manufacture as a de facto descent into hell. Zhao (who co-wrote the film with his French producer, Sylvie Blum) observes the pulverized landscape and punishing human labor in the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, first at a coal...

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