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Sam Wasson
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Entries by Sam Wasson

Goodbye, Jill Clayburgh (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2010 | 1:09 PM

I remember Jill Clayburgh in An Unmarried Woman.

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As Erica Benton -- a New York woman coping with life after divorce -- she conveyed a calm, even serene intelligence uncommon in American movies. Naturalistic and sensual, Jill Clayburgh appeared to be both brighter,...

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La Dolce Vita, More Dolce Than Ever

(4) Comments | Posted November 2, 2010 | 5:55 PM

The best view of the red carpet, I realized, was from above. Browsing the bleachers a full hour before even the press arrived for The Rome Film Festival's world premiere restoration of La Dolce Vita, I decided, finally, on a front row seat next to a shrunken woman of about...

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How to Tilda

(13) Comments | Posted June 21, 2010 | 12:38 PM

How can you convince an audience that Tilda Swinton is capable of living a sedentary life?

You can't. That's one of the problems with I Am Love, the enterprising and enterprisingly twee new film from director Luca Guadagnino. It's a family saga in the Visconti style, and Guadagnino bows very...

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Goodbye, Dennis Hopper

(2) Comments | Posted June 1, 2010 | 3:33 PM

Dennis Hopper has died.

In the coming weeks, and months, I think we'll begin to learn more about Dennis Hopper's great range of talent, not just as an actor and director, but also as a photographer and painter. From what I understand, late in his life, Hopper had become...

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What Can Cannes Do?

(1) Comments | Posted May 13, 2010 | 3:36 PM

In the spring, a young cineaste's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of Cannes. Or, in the case of certain cineastes, not so lightly.

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Does it matter? Does Cannes really do anything anymore, or has it become an airless pageant, one long, beachside photo-op with...

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The Night of the Oscar

(4) Comments | Posted March 11, 2010 | 3:54 PM

Oh boy it was a grim Oscars. So grim I've put off writing this.

Now here I am and I feel like the Underground Man from Notes From the Underground or that guy from Camus (or was it Sartre?) who begins his book with "My mother died today, or was...

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Shutter Island Paradise

(9) Comments | Posted February 22, 2010 | 1:27 PM

I'm not surprised Shutter Island has put people off. It's bombastic, loud, prone to hysteria, and engaged with the sort of horror hokum we want to think Martin Scorsese -- our most popular highbrow filmmaker -- is too good for. To be frank, some scenes clank. Others are embarrassingly operatic,...

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How to Enjoy Your Sadomasochistic Oscar Romance

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2010 | 4:17 PM

Quibbling over Oscar nominations is as futile as quibbling over who left the cap off the toothpaste. No matter what you say or how emphatically you protest, you know it's going to happen again, so either give it up, or pack your things and get out. Fighting the tide isn't...

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Remembering Jean Simmons

(10) Comments | Posted January 25, 2010 | 10:54 AM

Remembering Jean Simmons, who died Friday of lung cancer at 80, the first thing I thought of is her performance in Angel Face. Opposite Robert Mitchum, Simmons played a femme fatale so fraught, she could be considered amongst the most challenging in all of noir. But to look at her...

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The Avatardation of Hollywood

(26) Comments | Posted January 20, 2010 | 4:54 PM

First, the good news.

A thousand hours ago, before Avatar won its Golden Globes, when the picture was only a hit-to-be, people had already begun to speak in wild, sweeping terms about the revolutionary effect it was destined to have on the future of Hollywood film making. In those early...

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Could Wes Anderson Win an Oscar?

(10) Comments | Posted January 12, 2010 | 12:13 PM

As the Oscar-speaking world delves deeper into the Avatar/Hurt Locker debate - which has to be one of the more exciting awards dramas in recent memory - I've begun to wonder, with the ballot deadline fast approaching, if any of the Academy's 5,777 voting members has begun to think seriously...

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Knife in the Auteur

(27) Comments | Posted January 6, 2010 | 11:36 AM

I don't mean to scratch open an old wound here (well, maybe I do), but I wanted to take advantage of the present calm in the Polanski business to underscore a point that seems to have gotten lost in the endless backandforthing.

Roman Polanski is arguably the world's greatest...

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