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5 items from 2011

Netflix Nuggets: Russians Filming G.I. Joe Dolls Fighting Hercules for the Serpent’s Egg

19 April 2011 6:41 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Netflix has revolutionized the home movie experience for fans of film with its instant streaming technology. Netflix Nuggets is my way of spreading the word about independent, classic and foreign films made available by Netflix for instant streaming.

This Week’s New Instant Releases…

Promised Lands (1974)

Streaming Available: 04/19/2011

Cast: Documentary

Director: Susan Sontag

Synopsis: Set in Israel during the final days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, this powerful documentary — initially barred by Israel authorities — from writer-director Susan Sontag examines divergent perceptions of the enduring Arab-Israeli clash. Weighing in on matters related to socialism, anti-Semitism, nation sovereignty and American materialism are The Last Jew writer Yoram Kaniuk and military physicist Yuval Ne’eman.

Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (2009)

Streaming Available: 04/19/2011

Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Heino Ferch, Hannah Herzsprung, Gerald Alexander Held, Lena Stolze, Sunnyi Melles

Synopsis: Directed by longtime star of independent German cinema Margarethe von Trotta, this reverent »

- Travis Keune

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Why must action heroines wear S&M stripper outfits to kick butt?

1 April 2011 1:41 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Zack Snyder's adolescent Sucker Punch makes me wonder why female action stars can't have a happy medium between drab boiler suits and stay-up stockings

I often fantasise about kicking ass, but only now, with Sucker Punch, do I see I've been getting it wrong. For a genuine sense of empowerment, I should have been daydreaming about dancing in a brothel dressed in bustier and stay-up stockings. Or maybe imagining myself in a customised Japanese schoolgirl outfit with my navel showing. Which, of course, would frighten the horses. But thank you, Zack Snyder, for helping to set the standard by which women's fashion choices are judged.

Sucker Punch isn't based on a comic-strip or a computer game, though it might as well have been, since it peddles that male adolescent vision of female fetishwear now displayed in everything from rock videos to catwalks to Taylor Momsen gigs. You'd have thought Snyder, »

- Anne Billson

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Silken Skin – review

5 February 2011 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Initially released in 1964, La peau douce (aka Silken Skin) was Truffaut's fourth feature, the film in which he cast off the showy trappings associated with the first years of the Nouvelle Vague and became a truly mature film-maker. It applies Hitchcock's editing style and attention to significant detail to an exquisite study of the tragic affair between a married literary intellectual (a plausible, sympathetic Jean Desailly) and a beautiful young airline hostess. The lover (Françoise Dorléac, sister of Catherine Deneuve) is a cool blonde, the wife (Nelly Benedetti) a passionate brunette, the perplexed husband unsure of what he wants from love and life. Raoul Coutard's black-and-white images are splendid.

Francois TruffautWorld cinemaDramaPhilip French © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds »

- Philip French

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This week's new films

4 February 2011 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The Fighter (15)

(David O Russell, 2010, Us) Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, Mickey O'Keefe. 116 mins

Just when America needed a tale of blue-collar dreams, hard-up families coming together and a Hero with Heart, along comes this bracing boxing drama. What distinguishes it from Rocky and co is that it's based on a real boxer ("Irish" Micky Ward), and there's not much boxing in it. The emphasis is on Wahlberg's colourfully unhelpful family, particularly his formidable mother (Leo) and crack-addicted brother (Bale). There's so much big acting going on, our quiet contender can't compete, but hey, he's got Heart.

Rabbit Hole (12A)

(John Cameron Mitchell, 2010, Us) Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest. 91 mins

A couple's marriage reaches breaking point after their son's death in an everyday trauma-drama that's carefully handled. Nothing too depressing, hysterical, boring or serious, but it's still emotional, and Kidman has never been better.

Brighton Rock (15)

(Rowan Joffe, »

- The guide

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Silken Skin (La Peau Douce) – review

3 February 2011 4:01 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

A welcome big-screen return for François Truffaut's passionate 1964 drama, starring Françoise Dorléac, ill-fated sister of Catherine Deneuve. By Peter Bradshaw

François Truffaut's 1964 drama of amour fou, now rereleased as part of a Truffaut season at London's BFI Southbank, is conducted with suavity and flair; it progressively discloses a satisfyingly subtle and textured love story with depth. Jean Desailly plays Pierre Lachenay, a married middle-aged publisher and literary celebrity. In Lisbon to lecture on Balzac, he has a passionate fling with Nicole, the air-hostess on his flight who is staying at the same hotel; she is played by the beautiful Françoise Dorléac, elder sister of Catherine Deneuve. (Dorléac was to die in a car accident three years after this movie was made.) Sexually infatuated with Nicole's exquisite youth, Pierre begins a furtive affair in which he is tormented by the social agonies, embarrassments and humiliations of contriving weekends away when they can be together. »

- Peter Bradshaw

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