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  • Rome Film Review: 'The Maias: Scenes from Romantic Life'

    LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - It wouldn't be strictly accurate to say that "The Maias: Scenes from Romantic Life" requires viewers to watch paint dry, but there's certainly a lot of it at rest in Joao Botelho's boldly stylized Portuguese costumer. Favoring undisguised matte backdrops and an arch performance style to counter the florid melodrama of Eca de Queiroz's 19th-century source novel, this highbrow soap opera of star-crossed passion, economic downfall and other aristocratic mysteries of Lisbon has visual intrigue to spare, but a distinct case of emotional torpor limits it to festival-curiosity status. To be filed -- if not necessarily ranked -- between comparable works by Raul Ruiz and Eric Rohmer, Botelho's film opened on Sept. 11 in its home country and has since played the Rio and Rome fests.
  • From jazz to tango, Regina Carter transcends genre

    From jazz to tango, Regina Carter transcends genre
    There's something uniquely moving about hearing folkloric music played at the highest concert level. When that happens, listeners encounter the songs of everyday life played with a technical virtuosity and tonal sheen they richly deserve but rarely...

    'Carmin Tropical' Surprises With Top Prize at Morelia Film Fest

    MEXICO CITY - "Carmin Tropical," Rigoberto Perezcano's exploration into gender, family and violence, took the top prize for best fiction feature at the Morelia International Film Festival on Friday evening. It beat out Alonso Ruizpalacio's "G├╝eros,"...

    In 'Death Comes to Pemberley,' a brisk mystery in Austen-land

    In 'Death Comes to Pemberley,' a brisk mystery in Austen-land
    That Jane Austen failed to write a murder-mystery sequel to "Pride and Prejudice" was an oversight remedied in 2011 by P.D. James with her novel "Death Comes to Pemberley." Like "P&P" and many other Austens before it — and many of James' own works,...

    The Gadarene Swine is a carnivore chef's complicated vegan venture

    The Gadarene Swine is a carnivore chef's complicated vegan venture
    The pleasures of veganism, not so long ago the far frontier of meat-free dining, are not as elusive as they used to be. The strictures of raw-food enthusiasts, macrobiotic restaurants and paleo devotees make the demands of vegans, who demand only that...