Bruce Weiss

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Interview Review


Excellent
On November 2, 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered on a bustling street in Amsterdam as he rode his bike to work. Van Gogh's murderer, a radical Islamist, shot him eight times, slashed open his throat, and left a five-page letter pinned to his chest with a knife. The attack was a savage response to van Gogh's 2004 short film, Submission, a ten-minute lamentation on the problem of violence toward women in certain Islamic societies. Thus was born the legend of Theo van Gogh -- suffering artist, free-speech martyr, persecuted prophet.

Before his death, van Gogh resolved to remake three of his previous films, this time in English and set in New York City. Now, with the help of three notable actor-directors -- Steve Buscemi, Stanley Tucci, and John Turturro -- van Gogh's vision is being realized in the form of the Triple Theo Project. Interview, Buscemi's contribution, is the first film in the series.

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The Unbelievable Truth Review


Excellent
Hal Hartley's first feature is widely hailed as one of his best, if not the best of his quirky oeuvre. The story is simple (unlike his recent work, which has ventured into the inexplicably complex), featuring a mysterious ex-con (Robert John Burke) who returns to his Long Island hometown after his release from prison, eventually falling for the daughter (Adrienne Shelly) of his new employer. Of course, it's not a straight romance -- it's a witty diatribe on social interaction, the threat of world war, and the penal system. All of it is punctuated with Hartley's strange dialogue cadences reminiscent of David Mamet. Recommended.
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