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'Never Rarely Sometimes Always' Matches:

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

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Spring Night, Summer Night (1967)

This one-of-a-kind piece of Americana, considered by many to be an American slice of Italian Neorealism, has finally been rescued from its long period of obscurity. A professor of film at the University of Ohio, Joseph L. Anderson (credited as "J.L." and no relation to me) directed this one and only feature film, with help from his former student Franklin Miller, who shared writing, producing, and editing credits. Made for something like $29,000 and with non-professional actors, the movie feels low-budget — the sound is sometimes not quite synced — and it reminded me of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Kent MacKenzie's The Exiles (1961). But at the same time, it artfully captures a sense of place and a simmering sensation of stagnation, life as a dead end. read more...
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Spring Night, Summer Night (1967)

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  • With: Larue Hall, Ted Heimerdinger, Marjorie Johnson, John Crawford
  • Written by: J.L. Anderson, Franklin Miller, Doug Rapp
  • Directed by: J.L. Anderson
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 82 minutes
  • Release Date: 06/02/2020
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I, Daniel Blake (2016)

I, Daniel Blake was director Ken Loach's second Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner, after The Wind That Shakes the Barley. It's another example of his brand of keenly-observed social realism, with moments that are genuinely touching mixed with moments of righteous indignation. Loach's frequent screenwriter, Paul Laverty, is back, and while he has a tendency to fall back on simplistic, melodramatic moments, Loach is mostly capable of smoothing them out; this turns out to be one of their best collaborations. read more...
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I, Daniel Blake (2016)

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  • With: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Briana Shann, Dylan McKiernan, Kate Rutter, Sharon Percy, Kema Sikazwe, Steven Richens
  • Written by: Paul Laverty
  • Directed by: Ken Loach
  • MPAA Rating: R for language
  • Running Time: 100 minutes
  • Release Date: 06/01/2017
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From Nowhere (2017)

Director Matthew Newton delivers an earnest drama whose lack of technique is superseded by its highly relevant message, underlining the plight of undocumented teens and the tough realities they face. read more...
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From Nowhere (2017)

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  • With: J. Mallory McCree, Octavia Chavez-Richmond, Raquel Castro, Julianne Nicholson, Denis O'Hare
  • Written by: Matthew Newton, Kate Ballen
  • Directed by: Matthew Newton
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 89 minutes
  • Release Date: 03/30/2017
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My Brother's Wedding (1983)

Charles Burnett's follow-up to his great Killer of Sheep was squashed before it had a chance to see the light of day. An unfinished print was shown at a film festival and then, after receiving a negative review in the New York Times, it was shelved. In 2007, on the Milestone DVD release of Killer of Sheep, Burnett was finally able to complete his director's cut of My Brother's Wedding. It's a great film, funny and touching and powerful, about a man, Pierce Mundy (Everett Silas), who works with his parents in their dry-cleaning shop. His successful brother Wendell (Monte Easter) is marrying a wealthy woman, Sonia (Gaye Shannon-Burnett), whom Pierce hates; he sees her as constantly boasting of her privilege. Meanwhile, he tries to help his troubled friend Soldier (Ronnie Bell). The major conflict comes when a funeral is scheduled on the same day as the wedding. Burnett's handling of the material is gentle and humane, finding odd, funny, and sad rhythms of life in the material. Sy Richardson, who plays Sonia's father, went on to appear in many films, including Repo Man. read more...
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My Brother's Wedding (1983)

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  • With: Everett Silas, Jessie Holmes, Gaye Shannon-Burnett, Ronnie Bell, Dennis Kemper, Sally Easter, Angela Burnett, Monte Easter, Frances E. Nealy, Sy Richardson
  • Written by: Charles Burnett
  • Directed by: Charles Burnett
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 81 minutes
  • Release Date: 09/13/1983
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Shoplifters (2018)

The Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda is probably the closest thing to the spirit of Yasujiro Ozu we have, having made several beautiful, contemplative stories about families of all sorts, and especially non-traditional families. For his newest film, Shoplifters, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, he has gone back to a kind of messagy storytelling, evident in my least-favorite film of his, the otherwise highly acclaimed Nobody Knows. But this time, he has more effortlessly entwined his message and the emotional centers of his characters, and it flows smoothly, even if it's often rough going. read more...
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Shoplifters (2018)

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  • With: Lily Franky, Sakura Ando, Jyo Kairi, Miyu Sasaki, Kiki Kirin, Mayu Matsuoka, Kengo Kora, Chizuru Ikewake, Sosuke Ikematsu, Kairi Jo
  • Written by: Hirokazu Kore-eda
  • Directed by: Hirokazu Kore-eda
  • MPAA Rating: R for some sexual content and nudity
  • Language: Japanese, with English subtitles
  • Running Time: 121 minutes
  • Release Date: 11/22/2018
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