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The Battle of Algiers (1966) Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo Based on the eponymous campaign during the Algerian war, The Battle of Algiers is perhaps best known for its technical aspects, which have been rarely, if ever imitated: the almost universal use of non-actors; the hand-held, documentary-style aesthetic, so convincing that the film ran in America with a disclaimer that “not one foot” of actual war footage was used. But none of this would be nearly...
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Directed by Tim Burton Opens September 30 As film visionaries go, Tim Burton is one of the clunkiest out there. He's barely able to maintain coherence of tone and rhythm, though the quality of his material (think Sweeney Todd with its genius Stephen Sondheim music and lyrics or Ed Wood with its ace screenplay by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski) can occasionally do the heavy lifting. More often, Burton movies are...
Let's begin with the premise that it's virtually impossible for everyone who saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland to have hated it, or even regarded it with chilly indifference. Far be it from me to equate box office success with quality, but a movie does not gross one billion dollars worldwide on the backs of hatred or even indifference. On a more manageable scale, it's rare that a movie grosses over $300 million in...
Alice Through the Looking Glass Directed by James Bobin Opens May 27 If Alice Kingsleigh’s (Mia Wasikowska) great enemy in Tim Burton’s 2010 Alice in Wonderland was the staid middle-class lifestyle that threatened to crush her feminist wiles and overall sense of child-like wonder, her nemesis in James Bobin’s sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass, is broader and more universal: time. Actually, it’s not just the concept itself that isn’t on her side, but a literal figure...

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