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Movie Guide

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Baadasssss! (R)

Director: Mario Van Peebles. With Mario Van Peebles, Ossie Davis, Nia Long, Bill Cosby. (108 min.)

Sterritt *** A docudrama account of how African-American film pioneer Melvin Van Peebles used a flash of Hollywood success to launch a production of his 1971 hit "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song," recognized as a key event in modern independent moviemaking. This colorful time capsule of a movie was directed by Van Peebles's son, who appeared in "Sweetback" as a child and doesn't minimize the difficulties his father's underfinanced dream entailed for his hard-pressed family and friends.

The Day After Tomorrow (PG-13)

Director: Roland Emmerich. With Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sela Ward, Ian Holm. (123 min.)

Sterritt ** See review.

The Five Obstructions (Not rated)

Director: Lars von Trier. With Lars von Trier, Jorgen Leth, Patrick Bauchau, Majken Algren Nielsen. (90 min.)

Sterritt **** In one of his most ingenious cinematic stunts, Trier digs out an experimental short called "The Perfect Human," directed by Leth in 1967, and asks his former mentor to remake it five times in accord with instructions designed to guarantee bad outcomes, unless Leth manages to make a virtue of adversity. This movie equivalent of Robert Rauschenberg's artwork "Erased de Kooning" is funny, ornery, and ultimately inspiring. In English, Danish, French, and Spanish with English subtitles

Raising Helen (PG-13)

Director: Garry Marshall. With Kate Hudson, John Corbett, Joan Cusack, Helen Mirren. (119 min.)


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