Streams

Mark Jenkins

Mark Jenkins appears in the following:

A Disorienting But Electrifying Look At The Troubles

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Grim, terse and jumpy, '71 effectively evokes the chaos of early-1970s Belfast. A little too effectively, perhaps, since some sequences are as bewildering as the four-way civil war the movie re-creates. American viewers may wish the film came with both subtitles and a study guide.

'71 can be recommended, though, ...

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'Queen And Country' Follows A Familiar Protagonist Through A New War

Thursday, February 19, 2015

In John Boorman's first semi-autobiographical film, 1987's Hope and Glory, war came to the school-age protagonist's London. In Queen and Country, set roughly a decade later, the director's alter ego goes to war — except that he doesn't. As the Korean conflict rages, 19-year-old Bill Rohan (Callum Turner) is drafted, ...

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'Gett' Follows A Years-Long Quest For Separation

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Seen mostly in a cell-like white room, the characters in Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem circle each other fruitlessly, seeking a resolution that's probably unachievable. Both the scenario and its severity suggest a play by Sartre or Beckett. But these actors are trapped not in an existential void but ...

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In 'The Voices,' The Dog And The Cat Talk, But The Film Says Little

Thursday, February 05, 2015

A serial-killer spoof set in a parody of small-town U.S.A., The Voices wants desperately to be bizarre. But it manages just to be a little odd, and that's mostly because its vision of American gothic was crafted on a German soundstage by a Franco-Iranian director.

The screenplay is by veteran ...

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'Timbuktu': Stories From A City Held, Then Freed

Thursday, January 29, 2015

In one of Timbuktu's first vignettes, jihadists open fire on traditional sculptures, shredding wooden bodies with bullets. It's foreshadowing, of course: Human flesh will later face the same guns. But the moment is also a fine example of Abderrahmane Sissako's lyrical style. The Malian-Mauritanian director has made a film of ...

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A Lead Performance Keeps 'Still Alice' Grounded

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A circumstance that might well qualify as a fate worse than death is to continue living after one side of the human equation — body + mind — has been canceled. For a jaunty account of an active brain in a withering physique, see The Theory of Everything; for a ...

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Murder, Cows And Bad Funerals In The Absurd Comedy Of 'Li'l Quinquin'

Friday, January 02, 2015

Although set in Bruno Dumont's home region of northern France, L'il Quinquin finds the writer-director in unexpected territory. The film is a arguably Dumont's first comedy, and was made as a four-part TV miniseries.

Yet with its relaxed pacing, inconclusive plot and elegant widescreen cinematography, the movie doesn't feel much ...

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A Watery 'Goodbye To All That'

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Otto Wall, the protagonist of Goodbye to All That, is well-meaning, clumsy and a little dull. The movie embodies his character perfectly.

Goodbye to All That is the directorial debut of Angus MacLachlan, who's best known for writing 2005's Junebug, Amy Adams' breakout film. Both are set in North Carolina, ...

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An 'Exodus' With Extra Eyeliner And Crocodiles

Friday, December 12, 2014

The tale of Moses is not exactly fresh cinematic material, so anyone attempting an update would to be wise to have a theme. The subtitle of Exodus: Gods and Kings suggests that Ridley Scott intended just that. The director must have meant to contrast the decadent Egyptian pharaohs, who imagined ...

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A 'Wild' Trek Made A Bit Too Neatly

Friday, December 05, 2014

With a backstory that includes heroin use and zipless you-know-whats, Wild is a daring foray for its star and producer, the usually prim Reese Witherspoon. As an excursion into the untamed stream of human consciousness, however, the movie is less bold.

Wild was adapted by About a Boy man Nick ...

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'Before I Disappear': A Long Night's Tale Without A Short Film's Charm

Friday, December 05, 2014

Curfew, Shawn Christensen's 2012 Oscar-winning live-action short, tells a simple, affecting story about Richie (Christensen), a depressed man who is about to commit suicide when he receives an emergency call from his estranged sister (Kim Allen) asking him to babysit his preteen niece Sophia (Fatima Ptacek) for the night.

Ptacek ...

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In A Weekend Or A Year, Remoteness Is Captured On Film

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Remote Area Medical and Antarctica: A Year on Ice are both studies of human life in extremis, and each documentary employs a strict chronological framework. The former observes a single weekend, while the latter — well, it's right there in the title, although the movie draws on a decade's worth ...

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A Concert Film Without Much Concert Film, 'Pulp' Sketches A Hometown

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets is a concert documentary that includes little concert footage. But that doesn't mean it spends much time on the themes mentioned in its subtitle. Mostly, the movie is about singer-songwriter Jarvis Cocker and his hometown, Sheffield, which he acknowledges has "never been ...

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The Slow-Talking 'Foxcatcher' Goes Long And Comes Up Short

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The rich are different from you and me. They talk more slowly.

Speaking ... like ... this isn't the entire extent of Steve Carell's impersonation of John du Pont in Foxcatcher, which fictionalizes an odd case from the 1990s. The actor is also outfitted with a prosthetic nose that recalls ...

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In 'The Theory Of Everything,' Science Takes A Back Seat

Saturday, November 08, 2014

British science is having a cinematic moment, with The Theory of Everything now and The Imitation Game soon. Yet neither film has much science in it. These accounts of Stephen Hawking and Alan Turing, respectively, are engaging and well-crafted but modeled all too faithfully on old-school romantic dramas.

In the ...

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In 'Goodbye To Language,' Jean-Luc Godard Seeks New Ways To Make Pictures

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Even the most ordinary movies can be seductive, as Jean-Luc Godard knows all too well. In the 1960s, he was besotted with American commercial cinema, even as he rejected the U.S. policies that led it to make war in Vietnam.

Now, oddly but with a certain logic, the 83-year-old Franco-Swiss ...

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'Life Of Riley,' Alain Resnais' Final Film, Bids A Sunny Adieu

Friday, October 24, 2014

There are as many mysteries in Alain Resnais' final film, Life of Riley, as there are in the movies that made his reputation almost 60 years ago. But where Hiroshima, Mon Amour and Last Year at Marienbad were shadowed by history, this sunny adieu is set in a series of ...

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'The Golden Era' Follows A Path From Northern China To Tokyo

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Director Ann Hui's The Golden Era tells of a female novelist and poet who lived in, as the Chinese curse puts it, "interesting times": from 1911 to 1942. Simultaneously sweeping and intimate, the three-hour drama overcomes many of the usual difficulties of depicting writers on screen. But it can't finesse ...

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'Kill The Messenger' Incompletely Unravels A Complex Tale

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Which is the better story: a massive conspiracy to use CIA connections to import cocaine into the United States, or the efforts of one reporter to uncover that intrigue?

Gary Webb, the protagonist of Kill the Messenger, pursued the first topic, and rightly so — even if it did destroy ...

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A Man, A Plane, A Rapture: 'Left Behind'

Thursday, October 02, 2014

The world is ending, billions will die, and hell is, literally, coming to Long Island. But the rebooted Left Behind doesn't want to alarm you.

Fourteen years ago, as a new millennium's arrival failed to extinguish our doggedly persistent universe, the first Left Behind movie introduced a slithery Antichrist — ...

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