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The Blossoms of “Harrison’s Flowers” – Andie MacDowell, Adrien Brody, and Elie Chouraqui

Given the surplus of information Americans are constantly bombarded with, it’s amazing to ponder just how much pertinent news has difficulty finding its way to the proper outlets. French director Elie Chouraqui’s new film (the ninth of his career), Harrison’s…

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From the Water to the Sky: “Baywatch” Star Alexandra Paul in “Rough Air”

Regular television viewers know Alexandra Paul as Lt. Stephanie Holden on Baywatch — but filmcritic.com readers may recall my utter lack of small screen pop culture knowledge when I confessed to an amused Michael Gross that I’d never seen an…

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The Brothers Kornbluth: Getting Their Systems Down

Making a successful independent film on a shoestring budget is a tough proposition for anybody. But for brothers Josh and Jacob Kornbluth, the challenge was made greater because they had no real filmmaking experience. Armed with a bunch of pizza…

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Penelope Spheeris: Selling Her Soul For Cinema

Twenty plus years working both within and way outside the Hollywood system has produced one of the most eclectic of female film directors working today -Penelope Spheeris. Since her early days working with Lorne Michaels and Saturday Night Live, Spheeris…

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All About the Cube: A Conversation with Ice Cube and Mike Epps

‘It’s having some control of your own destiny in a way,’ explains rapper-cum-actor-cum-movie producer Ice Cube about his production company, which just put out All About the Benjamins. ‘In Hollywood, you can become a guy who’s just waiting for the…

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The End of the World at the 2002 San Francisco Independent Film Festival

Note to Robert Redford: Just because Christina Ricci produced a film doesn’t make it a real independent. The San Francisco Independent Film Festival always eschews celebrity vanity projects like Ricci’s Pumpkin, tall in its encouragement of real indie films, bringing…

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The 2002 Oscars: Blame It on the Elves

I guess it’s something of a tradition now — our annual Oscar handicapping. We did so badly last year (averaging only about 50% on our picks) we can’t really do much worse. But with an exceptionally weak year like 2001…

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The Year in Film – 2001

2001 is not so much a year of bad film, but a year of such obsessively hyped and massively overrated junk that it’s hard to tell the difference between the good, the bad, and the simply mediocre. Most of the…

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John Singleton: Working with Soul

At the age of 22, John Singleton hit the independent film scene and ultimately the mainstream movie scene with a big blow to the chest — with his harrowing coming-of-age in the South Central tale Boyz N the Hood. From…

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“Steaming Slits”: The 2001 Z Film Festival

December spawned a monster. The 2nd Annual Z Film Festival runs for two days (Dec. 8 & 10) at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. Program Director Kristie Drew describes the underground cinema content as, ‘The slimy and messy…

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