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Nocturama is a mesmerizing, disturbing tour de force—and one of the best films of the year

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A nocturama is the part of the zoo where they keep the small animals that only come out at night. The term is obscure, but evocative—so, an apt title for the audacious and disturbing new film by the French writer-director Bertrand Bonello (House Of Pleasures, Saint Laurent), the longer second part of which finds a…

The Only Living Boy In New York is a Simon & Garfunkel song brought to life and made terrible

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The gorgeous 1970 Simon & Garfunkel song “The Only Living Boy In New York” has a petty origin story: It was written by Paul Simon about his bitter loneliness when his singing partner Art Garfunkel left him in New York to go shoot a movie in Mexico. (Jeez, Simon, maybe just let Garfunkel have that one?) That acrimony…

The best movies of 1997

Hindsight is 20/20. Does it get sharper when the distance between then and now is 20 years? The A.V. Club wasn’t putting together best-of lists in 1997, so it’s impossible to know how this retroactive ranking of the year’s movies might compare with one compiled by the staff at the time—especially since that staff has…

Mortal Kombat’s 1997 was the opposite of a flawless victory

It’s not hard to see why Mortal Kombat turned into one of the biggest pop-culture phenomena of the ’90s. It wasn’t the first game with gratuitous gore, but none of its bloody predecessors had the marketing dollars, strategic timing, or eye-catching panache of Midway’s infamous fighter. Landing one year after Street…

1997 was the year Star Wars came back and never left

The Star Wars universe has evolved and expanded (and in the case of the Expanded Universe, contracted) considerably in the last two decades, a process that took root in the mid-’90s and entered hyperspace in 1997. On the occasion of the franchise’s 20th anniversary, the original trilogy of films set a long time ago in…

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