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Facing Those False Memories

Movie: ‘The Sense of an Ending’

Julian Barnes’ Man Booker Prize-winning novel, “The Sense of an Ending,” is a concise, elegant story of a man — an ordinary man, like so many of Barnes’ protagonists — forced to revisit memories of his past and the “forgettings,” both natural and willful, that have informed those memories. No movie could capture the ambiguity and interior musings of Barnes’ crystalline prose, but Ritesh Batra has made a fine adaptation.

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Binge Watch: Aliens Spotted in Beacon

TV: ‘People of Earth’

If you missed “People of Earth” when it debuted on TBS in October, you have another chance to watch this quirky, clever and touching comedy. The channel will air a marathon of the entire 10-episode first season on Monday, March 20, beginning at noon, in honor of Alien Abduction Day.

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A Timely Topic

Movie: ‘I Am Not Your Negro’

Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated documentary, “I Am Not Your Negro,” is not what you might be expecting. Above all, it is a primer on racism in America and a searing indictment of its persistence right up to this moment.

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‘Wedding Doll’ screening features Q&A with Director

The Moviehouse in Millerton will present Nitzan Gilady’s award-winning film “Wedding Doll” on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 3 p.m. as part of its Filmmakers Spotlight series, which invites the audience to meet the filmmakers and hear real stories from behind the camera. 
“Wedding Doll” made a dramatic impression at the Jerusalem Film Festival, winning the awards for Best Actress, Best First Film and Best Israeli Film, along with awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Director at the Ophir Awards.

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Not Dirty, Just Dull

Movie: 'Fifty Shades Darker'

Every once in a while, a film comes along that is so magnificently awful it transcends itself and attains the status of “So Bad It’s Good.”
James Foley’s “Fifty Shades Darker” is not one of those films.
The second installment of the intensely tedious tale of career girl Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and bazillionaire pervert Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) — based on the book trilogy by E.L. James — finds our heroine working for a publishing firm and trying, not very hard, to fend off her old boyfriend.

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Full of Grit, Heart

Movie: ‘Hidden Figures’

Like the women it celebrates, “Hidden Figures” is a calculating movie that recalls a time when we raced to catch up to the Soviet Union in space. It is shameless in its audience manipulation, yet we do not care: The true story of three African-American women who played critical roles in launching John Glenn on America’s first flight into space is so flabbergasting that their triumph over racism and sexism becomes ours. 

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McAvoy Mesmerizes In Many, Many Roles

Movie: ‘Split’

M. Night Shyamalan’s career as a writer and director seems to be following an inverted bell curve. He started on a high note with 1999’s acclaimed “The Sixth Sense” — you know, the one where Haley Joel Osment saw dead people. He followed that hit with Bruce Willis as a real-world superhero in 2000’s “Unbreakable,” then focused on Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix as they dealt with aliens in 2002’s “Signs.”

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A New Life For Movie Musicals

Movie: 'La La Land'

“La La Land,” the delicious film by Damien Chazelle that won an unprecedented seven Golden Globes (including Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy) and is the odds-on favorite to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, is a musical: the soaring, twirling, over-the-top kind that was last fashionable in the 1960s when Jacques Demy sent Catherine Deneuve dancing down sunny boulevards in his masterpiece, “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” to Michel Legrand’s jazzy pop score.

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Bringing Moonshine to the Masses

TV: ‘Billion Dollar Buyer’

It’s always fun to see somebody you know on reality TV. My sister-in-law recently killed it on “Jeopardy!” (She won a trip to Canada.) Local celebrities have done well on reality shows: Dafna Mizrahi, the chef at Monte’s Local Kitchen and Tap Room in Amenia, won an episode of “Chopped” in 2015. Now, Dutch’s Spirits, a purveyor of moonshine based in Pine Plains, was featured on a Jan. 10 episode of “Billion Dollar Buyer” on CNBC. 

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This Stand-Alone Film Has Heartbreak, Humor, Hope

Movie: ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a ragtag group of Rebel fighters set out to retrieve the plans for the Empire’s Death Star, a massive space station that can destroy planets.

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