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Album Reviews
Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013
 The music called rebetiko is the Greek blues, born in the same era as the great Mississippi players and arising from similarly impoverished, underclass environs. Çiğdem Aslan breathes new life into the old songs with her young, London-based band. A Turkish Kurd who grew up in Greek
Film
Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013

An Israeli Falafel Western

 The young stranger walks into a bar, a cavernous stony hall where musicians perform in staccato flamenco rhythms, and orders a beer. The stranger, Avram, is searching for a lost legend, Josef, a master of a Levantine stringed instrument called a tar. The bartender shrugs. “He’s a
Album Reviews
Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013
 Malian singer-guitarist Mamadou Kelly was chased out of his hometown in 2012 by Islamic fundamentalists who hate music—not just Kelly’s but all music. As the militants burned instruments and chopped off hands, Kelly and his band regrouped to await a precarious victory by French troops
Film
Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013

Bullock and Clooney bring star power to space drama

 The immensity of space provides a vast canvas on which to paint the primal human drama of survival against the elements, the urge to live against the relentless claims of death. In Gravity, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play a pair of astronauts whose shuttle is destroyed by
Home Movies/Out on Digital
Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013
“Beware of strangers in strange places” might be the motto of this Australian film about a tourist who vanishes while on vacation in Cambodia. Nicely shot and edited, the non-linear story builds toward its climax in back-and-forth movement between the ill-fated trip and its aftermath. A quietly 
Film
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013

Contemplating consciousness at Milwaukee Film Festival

 Psychiatry has often become a retail arm of the pharmaceutical industry, with psychology as the industry’s PR department. But there are discontents. Aside from their side effects, psychotropic drugs tend to redress symptoms without addressing causes. And the limitations of the
Home Movies/Out on Digital
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
 Julianne Moore is believable as an inspiring educator in her high school classroom but a lonely heart at home. Literature has set a high bar of manhood that the puerile, arrogant, dim guys she meets can never reach. Life gets more exciting when a male former student returns with