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Ten years, a wave

The Camden International Film Festival's journey from provincial to premier
As the festival has evolved, examples of Fowlie’s preferred breed of film—once a small niche of the documentary universe—have become a lot more common, a lot more variegated, and a lot more accomplished.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  September 26, 2014


Girls (and boys) on film

 MIFF 2014 features Glenn Close, Sara Driver, and a boy's unforgettable adolescence
The Maine International Film Festival, now in its 17th year in Waterville, remains one of the region’s more ambitious cultural institutions, less bound by a singular ambition than a desire to convey the breadth and depth of cinema’s past and present. (This, and a healthy dose of music and human-interest documentaries.) On that account, MIFF ’14 is an impressive achievement, offering area filmgoers its best program in years. With so much to survey, let’s make haste with the recommendations. (Particularly emphatic suggestions are marked in bold print.)  
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 11, 2014


American values

Marion Cotillard gets a rough welcome in James Gray’s The Immigrant
The Immigrant  seamlessly folds elements of New York history and the American promise into a story about the varieties of captivity and loyalty.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  June 11, 2014


Character is political

Three Kelly Reichardt films coming to PMA
Kelly Reichardt, one of the most admired and resourceful voices in American independent cinema, appears at the Portland Museum of Art Friday night to participate in a weekend-long retrospective of her three most recent films.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  April 10, 2014


Let's talk about sex

Lars von Trier gives you what he wants
Throughout its two volumes and four hours of explicit sexuality, masochism, philosophical debate, and self-analysis, Nymphomaniac remains the steadfast vision of a director talking to himself, and assuming you’ll be interested enough in him to listen and pay close attention.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  April 09, 2014


Ashes and dioramas

Wes Anderson makes a film about nostalgia
History, rather than ennui, is the incursion that motivates this, his most antic and most somber work.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  March 28, 2014


Passion of the strongman

A reclusive New Yorker takes the stage in Bending Steel
The film’s aim is modest and powerful: to focus on the physical and psychological hurdles Schoeck must overcome not only to become a true strongman, but also to become an engaging performer.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  January 09, 2014


2013's best films are only united in their audacity

 From murders to musings
 From murders to musings
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 19, 2013


The Season: Bountiful boxes

Add to life's soundtrack with musical gifts
The modest renaissance of the record player has led to something of a golden age in the music-reissue industry.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 11, 2013


The Season: Dynamic discs

 Gifts for tele- and cinephiles
Christmas shopping was a lot easier five years ago. Not only did most of us own DVD players back then; we actually used them.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 11, 2013


Gifts for the tele- and cinephiles in the family

 Expand the home-theater library
These days, buying a family member a DVD or (now, for some) a Blu-ray can be a weird act.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 04, 2013


Add to life’s soundtrack with musical gifts

 Set holiday records
Loads of the great albums of the post-LP era are getting well-deserved (and usually remastered) reissues of modern-day classics.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 04, 2013


Dissenters hold their own in a trio of documentaries this weekend

 Keep it down
Volume is important in each of the three documentaries screening at SPACE Gallery this weekend, under its Human Rights Film Series umbrella.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  November 14, 2013


What the upgrade to digital does (and does not) mean for Maine’s drive-ins and arthouse theaters

 To serve and project
The horror film regional drive-ins and arthouse cinemas have been dreading for the past five years would be best titled The Reckoning .
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 17, 2013


This year’s Camden International Film Festival unearths lovers, countries, and children at crossroads

 Culture wars
This would seem to be the year the Camden International Film Festival fully grows into its skin.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  September 26, 2013


Performance and grisly reality collide in the astonishing Act of Killing

 Memories of murder
A group of genocidal Indonesian gangsters/government-sanctioned militiamen agree to discuss their crimes if they can do so on their own terms, by stylishly reenacting them in the mode of Hollywood genre films.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  September 13, 2013


Blackfish exposes SeaWorld’s poor treatment of its prized possessions

 Bitter Orca
Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s unimaginative Blackfish has just enough gripping footage to make up for its unrelenting structural blandness.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  August 08, 2013

More highlights from MIFF’s selections

 Film extras
Other locally-focused film highlights at MIFF this weekend include what ought to be a fine and raucous screening of local cult classic documentary  Dead River Rough Cut  (1976)
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 18, 2013


Outdoor music to get your mellow on

 Get comfy on the grass
The lazy, the restless, the cheapskates, yuppies, ravers, snobs, and prudes: the magic of the outdoor summer concert ecosystem is that it offers very nearly everyone who doesn’t care about exquisite sound quality a reason to get out of their house or state for a day, evening, or weekend.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  June 07, 2013


Summer Guide: Get comfy on the grass

 Outdoor music to get your mellow (and aggro) on
The lazy, the restless, the cheapskates, yuppies, ravers, snobs, and prudes: the magic of the outdoor summer concert ecosystem is that it offers very nearly everyone who doesn't care about exquisite sound quality a reason to get out of their house or state for a day, evening, or weekend.
By: CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  June 05, 2013
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