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'First Cow' Matches:

First Cow

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    Vagabond (1985)

    Agnes Varda's great film about the last days of a drifting, homeless girl is simultaneously beautiful in form and heartbreaking in content. It opens with Varda's own voice, narrating. A girl (Sandrine Bonnaire) is dead in a ditch, frozen, and Vagabond wonders who she was, what might have happened to her and what led her to this end. The film plays out in segments as the girl occasionally works odd jobs for spending money, scrounges a meal, sleeps in her tent, and sometimes makes small connections with people. Varda's camera frequently drifts in long takes from right to left, suggesting someone going the wrong way, or backwards, or perhaps towards death. She makes lovely use of chilly exteriors and sometimes a splotch of color, like a discarded red scarf. In the end, of course, the girl is ultimately unknowable — and perhaps never even knew herself who she was — but Varda's film is nonetheless an act of empathy, suggesting that we never give up trying. read more...
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      • Overall Depth ▶ Deep or penetrating

    Vagabond (1985)

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    • With: Sandrine Bonnaire, Macha Meril, Yolande Moreau, Stéphane Freiss
    • Written by: Agnès Varda
    • Directed by: Agnès Varda
    • MPAA Rating: NR
    • Language: French, with English subtitles
    • Running Time: 105 minutes
    • Release Date: 05/16/1986
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    Walkabout (1971)

    In Australian Aborigine culture, young men have a rite of passage called a "walkabout," in which they must survive on their own in the outback for a period of months. After explaining this term, Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout (1971) doesn't explain anything else, preferring the fascinating themes to emerge on their own. After a horrifying act, a man abandons his two children, a teen girl (Jenny Agutter) and her younger brother (Luc Roeg), in the outback. The boy and the girl are forced to wander, until, desperate and out of water, an Aborigine boy (David Gulpilil) saves them. A simpler film would praise the benefits of living off the land rather than living in constrained society, but Roeg shows that neither culture is fully aware of the possibilities of the world, even if they briefly cross paths. It's a beautiful, powerful film, savage and full of life. read more...
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      • Overall Depth ▶ Deep or penetrating

    Walkabout (1971)

    100.0% Match

    • With: Jenny Agutter, Luc Roeg, David Gulpilil, John Meillon, Robert McDarra, Peter Carver, John Illingsworth, Hilary Bamberger, Barry Donnelly, Noeline Brown, Carlo Manchini
    • Written by: Edward Bond, based on a novel by James Vance Marshall
    • Directed by: Nicolas Roeg
    • MPAA Rating: NR
    • Running Time: 100 minutes
    • Release Date: 07/01/1971
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    Fireworks Wednesday (2006)

    One of the things I love about Iranian cinema is that it seems to inspire itself. Even a decade after the first Iranian "New Wave" films began appearing in the United States in 1997, Iranian filmmakers have refused to "go Western" and use Hollywood methods in their films. Rather, Iranian filmmakers have continued to work with the original ideas and methods that made their cinema exciting in the first place. Here's a film directed by a relative newcomer, Asghar Farhadi, that feels just as fresh as films by his predecessors, yet it also turns slightly inward, getting a little closer to the more turbulent human emotions, and it comes out the other side with a vivid, three-dimensional portrait of three characters over the course of one day. read more...
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      Fireworks Wednesday (2006)

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      • With: Hedye Tehrani, Taraneh Alidoosti, Hamid Farokhnezhad, Pantea Bahram
      • Written by: Asghar Farhadi, Mani Haghighi
      • Directed by: Asghar Farhadi
      • MPAA Rating: Unrated
      • Language: Farsi, with English subtitles
      • Running Time: 104 minutes
      • Release Date: 08/08/2006
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      Certain Women (2016)

      The wonderful American director Kelly Reichardt seems to have been made for short stories. Many great short stories are about moments, experiences, or revelations, rather than plots. Her films — including Old Joy (2006), Wendy and Lucy (2008), Meek's Cutoff (2011), and Night Moves (2014) — all nestle inside moments of quiet and reflection, rather than aggressively moving forward toward a tidy conclusion. So it makes sense that her latest film, and one of her best, Certain Women, comes from three short stories by author Maile Meloy. ("Tome" and "Native Sandstone," appear in Meloy's 2002 collection Half in Love, and "Travis, B." is from her 2009 collection Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It.) read more...
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        • Boldness ▶ Surrender, endurance, struggle, supression or restraint
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      Certain Women (2016)

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      • With: Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, Laura Dern, Jared Harris, James Le Gros, Rene Auberjonois, Lily Gladstone, John Getz, Ashlie Atkinson, James Jordan, Sara Rodier, Matt McTighe
      • Written by: Kelly Reichardt, based on stories by Maile Meloy
      • Directed by: Kelly Reichardt
      • MPAA Rating: R for some language
      • Running Time: 0 minutes
      • Release Date: 10/23/2016
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      Nomadland (2020)

      Following up her remarkable The Rider, director Chloe Zhao loosely adapts a non-fiction book by Jessica Bruder to create Nomadland, another movie that blends fact and fiction and takes a look at outsider culture. Because it features movie stars, Frances McDormand and David Strathairn, it's sometimes possible not to be fully immersed, to be jarred from the story, but Zhao's gentle, open-eyed direction blends things as well as anyone could ask for. McDormand plays Fern, who lives in her white van (named "Vanguard") after the death of her husband, and after her hometown was literally shuttered when the local sheetrock factory closed. (Even the town's zip code was discontinued.) She works Christmases at Amazon, sleeps in parking lots when she can, and occasionally falls in with large communities of similar wandering souls. She meets Dave (Strathairn), and though there seems to be a connection, the movie — rather than falling into a traditional romance — uses the pair to ask questions about how relationships might work in a community of loners, and when and where does one get off the road, if ever? (Note: Zhao's next film is Marvel's Eternals, and I, for one, am extremely curious to see how, and if, she can adapt her curious, realistic style to that film.) read more...
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        Nomadland (2020)

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        • With: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May, Swankie, Bob Wells, Derek Endres, Melissa Smith
        • Written by: Chloé Zhao, based on a book by Jessica Bruder
        • Directed by: Chloé Zhao
        • MPAA Rating: R for some full nudity
        • Running Time: 108 minutes
        • Release Date: 12/04/2020
        Find tickets and showtimes on Fandango.
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