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Film Talks: Most Recent

May 27, 2013 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

In a story told more through image and feeling than through dialog and action, Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color explores human identity and authenticity, deception and complicity, loss and …more »»

May 25, 2013 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

A good friend and filmmaker described To the Wonder by saying, "It's the film around the film." The description is apt. It's storytelling is unconventional and, in this way, it is like …more »»

May 25, 2013 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing // After viewing

Imaginative, compassionate, and perceptive, Kore-eda Hirokazu’s After Life creates a crucible of sorts to distill a person’s life down to its essence — or at least its essence as seen …more »»

January 25, 2013 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

2013’s Oscar nominations are a diverse set

It’s a quite diverse collection of films that the Academy has singled out for Oscar 2013 Best Picture nomination. Only two are similar enough in their style, theme, and content to feel like they might fit into the same category: …more »»

January 23, 2013 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

Intimate and conflicted, tender and raw, Amour explores an elderly couple’s struggle with the hardships of sudden disability. Considering the whole of the film, it is bold on director Michael Haneke’s part to choose …more »»

January 15, 2013 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

Zero Dark Thirty is tense, tight, and deep into the uncertainties and risks of intelligence work in a post-9/11, terror-ridden world. Indeed, the film’s exploration begins and ends with that fact: that our world is …more »»

January 3, 2013 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

With intense performances, marvelous (not perfect) singing, excellent staging, and more, Les Misérables delivers strongly on Victor Hugo’s classic novel — and does itself proud in comparison to the stage production from which the …more »»

December 29, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

With grace, beauty, tenderness, and most of all subtlety — extreme subtlety — The Loneliest Planet tells an intimate story of love and character. Unhurried and sensually rich, the film …more »»

December 29, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

Slavery was (and is) a horrible thing, and Django Unchained explores 1800s USA slavery with unblinking intensity, insightful juxtapositions, and indulgent relish. It’s this last bit that …more »»

December 18, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

Whether your belief system is atheist, agnostic, or theist, Life of Pi has something important for you. Whenever a film is adapted from a book, there’s always the question of comparison between the two. With Pi, this question is not simply …more »»

December 15, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

Off-beat, witty, and creatively dysfunctional, Silver Linings Playbook explores the craziness that underlies our lives. Whether it’s obsessive attachments or odd superstitions or poor social skills or …more »»

December 11, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

Lucky for us, Steven Spielberg’s holiday offering for 2012, Lincoln, is much more worthy than last year’s War Horse. This time around, the single best part of the film is Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of the man, in which …more »»

November 11, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

Loosely weaving many lives together over a period of perhaps 500 years or more, Cloud Atlas explores the interconnectedness and interdependencies of our lives. Across past, present, and future, the film presents varying embodiments of …more »»

November 10, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing // After viewing

With depth and unblinking intensity, Things We Lost in the Fire explores human connection, dependency, love, selflessness, and jealousy, focused in the aftermath of a tragic death. The main characters’ pain, mixed motivations, and confused needs intertwine, …more »»

November 3, 2012 by Randy Heffner   Before viewing

Argo succeeds quite well as an action-suspense film, with excellent storytelling and filmcraft. Beyond that, it admirably touches on issues of trust, loyalty, and the difficulty of …more »»

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