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Aferim! Directed by Radu Jude Opens January 22 From a distance, Romanian director Radu Jude’s Aferim! resembles a classic American Western. If one examines it more closely, its self-conscious artiness becomes apparent. There are almost no close-ups, but plenty of extreme long-shots in which people are tiny dots in a vast rural landscape. Despite the use of black-and-white cinematography, Jude’s direction owes at least as much to Abbas Kiarostami as John Ford. Policeman Costandin (Teodor Corban) and his...
Anesthesia Directed by Tim Blake Nelson Opens January 8 Tim Blake Nelson’s last film as a writer-director, Leaves of Grass, wasn’t entirely successful, but had a loopy ambition in its double-casting of Edward Norton as a professor and his pot-dealing lowlife twin. Nelson’s latest, Anesthesia, has a heavier, draggier approach to both academic and drugs: It begins with a violent crime perpetrated against Walter Zarrow (Sam Waterstron), a philosophy prof at Columbia, then jumps back to show...

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