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three days, three films

I saw three movies this weekend--two in theaters, one at home: 1) THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SESAME STREET---I didn't catch this at SIFF or at NWFF, so I was ecstatic to find it was going to be released on DVD (available now in the New Releases). WORLD focuses on the challenges in creating international co-productions of the beloved program, specifically in Kosovo and Bangladesh. In Kosovo, a team struggles to represent both Albanian and Serbian languages and customs, but find difficulty even getting representatives from both groups to sit down at the same table. In Bangladesh, the team discovers the one state-run TV station may not air their amazingly designed show because the local production company may be linked to an opposition party. It is strikingly apparent all the dedicated producers at Sesame Workshop want to do is what's best to educate and serve the children of these countries, to lay groundwork for a more peaceful and prosperous future. With such sincere and simple goals, it's heartbreaking to watch the complex problems of adults stand in the way. MARIE ANTOINETTE--There's a brief scene of Louis XVI and Marie's coronation where the couple walks (with much pomp and circumstance) down a grand set of stairs. The music playing? 'Plainsong' by the Cure. You know, the first song on Disintegration? It's perfect, and it nicely sums up the film as a whole: beautiful, lush, hollow, sad. Excellent work, Ms. Coppola.

THE PRESTIGE--Christopher Nolan's latest about magicians (not to be confused with illusionists, or films with that name), starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Michael Caine. Jackman and Bale play magicians who fall into a tug of war of showmanship and revenge, often with Caine and the love interest (played by Scarlett Johansson, who seems to be playing a lot of this type of role lately) stuck in the middle. It's a bit hard to explain without giving a lot away, so just see it and let us know what you think.

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