The concept for the eight-year-old Japanese blockbuster Battle Royale is nearly the same as that of the forthcoming Hunger Games: In a dystopian future, children are forced to fight to the death as a spectacle for the rest of the population. Neda Ulaby explores the links between the two movies.
The 1993 documentary The War Room, which offered a verite look behind the scenes of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, has just been released on Criterion Blu-ray and DVD. Critic-at-large John Powers explains why the film was revelatory — and why it could never be made today.
In his new book, Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good, Kevin Smith, the director who kicked off his career 20 years ago with Clerks, explains how he got into the movie business — and why he's walking away from it now.
The Israel Film Festival is running in Los Angeles. It features a wide range of subjects, including highly personal documentaries and a romantic comedy about a Mexican salsa dancer disguised as a nun. Host Michel Martin speaks with the founder and executive director of the Israel Film Festival, Meir Fenigstein.
Two pairs of filmmaking brothers are both opening movies on the same weekend, and both films are about the awkwardness of growing up. Critic Bob Mondello says Jay and Mark Duplass' Jeff, Who Lives At Home and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's The Kid with a Bike share a common sense of humanity.
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