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Art House && International


Editor's Choice--Art House


cover Big Night (1996) ~ VHS  
Driver / Rated R
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Actor Stanley Tucci cowrote, codirected, and stars (along with Tony Shaloub) in this touching and funny parable about two brothers, Italian immigrants, who run an unsuccessful restaurant on the Jersey shore in the 1950s. Convinced by a thriving rival (Ian Holm) that jazz great Louis Prima will be stopping by their eatery for a late dinner after a show, the brothers pull out all stops and spend their last dollar organizing a banquet that ought to make culinary history. Expect to be very hungry...

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cover Chasing Amy (1997) ~ VHS  
Ben Affleck / Rated R
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Writer-director Kevin Smith (Clerks) makes a huge leap in sophistication with this strong story about a comic-book artist (Ben Affleck) who falls in love with a lesbian (Joey Lauren Adams) and actually gets his wish that she love him, too. Their relationship is attacked, however, by his business partner (Jason Lee), who pulls a very unsubtle Iago act to cast doubt over the whole affair. The film has the same sense of insiderness as Clerks--this time, Smith takes us within the arcane, funny world...

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cover Walking and Talking (1996) ~ VHS
Catherine Keener / Rated R
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The winsome and underappreciated Catherine Keener plays Amelia, an unattached New York City cutie living uncomfortably in the shadow of her best friend Laura (Anne Heche). But Laura has problems of her own--including professional insecurities and dwindling sexual interest in her nice-guy fianc�. Not by any means a sidesplitting Generation X comedy, Walking and Talking is the sort of film that relies on bittersweet irony to generate sympathy for its characters. Director Nicole Holofcener...

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Apartment Zero (1989) ~ VHS  
Hart Bochner / Rated R
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A tense psychological thriller, Apartment Zero concerns the intertwining of a loner, film buff Colin Firth (The English Patient) and his new mysterious boarder (Hart Bochner) in present-day Argentina. The new roommate is enigmatic and outgoing, befriending everyone that the poor loner could not. But Firth soon suspects a connection between his boarder's appearance and the reports of bodies in the streets murdered for political reasons.

The heart of the film lies in the increasingly bizarre...

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The Sweet Hereafter (1997) ~ VHS  
Ian Holm / Rated R
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In synopsis The Sweet Hereafter may sound like a devastatingly unpleasant downer, but don't be discouraged. The real subjects of this luminous picture (adapted by director Atom Egoyan from Russell Banks's novel) are hope and renewal--avoiding the cheap emotions suggested by those clich�d terms. Like other Egoyan films (Exotica, for one), it's an intriguing sort of mystery, a puzzle in which the big picture is not revealed until the very last piece is in place. A metropolitan attorney (Ian...

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Basquiat (1996) ~ VHS  
Bowie / Rated R
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In his writing and directorial debut, Julian Schnabel's film Basquiat depicts the life of graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, a.k.a. SAMO, and the turbulent period from the late 1970s to 1988, as his life was catapulted into fame and notoriety. As Jean-Michel's work gained favorable attention from New York's elite art community, he went from a street punk living in a cardboard box to the first black artist to succeed in the all-white dominated art world. Tony Award-winning actor Jeffrey Wright...

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