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PRINT November 2008

RIDE LONESOME: THE FILMS OF LISANDRO ALONSO

I’m interested in the world of prisoners. —Lisandro Alonso

SINCE DEBATES OVER AUTEURISM now seem as distant as Madame de Staël, it was hardly noticed at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival, even as the Directors’ Fortnight celebrated its fortieth birthday, that the politique’s monism had created a small crisis. Through caprice, impatience, or sheer fatigue, critics experienced collective irritation with the staunch constancy of several celebrated auteurs. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, even while extending his muted narrative into once unimaginable modes of suspense and melodrama in Three Monkeys), was scorned for relying on his patented long takes and meteorological effects. Jia Zhang-ke alienated some erstwhile supporters by retreading familiar territory in 24 City, which contemplates China’s social history of the last half century by recounting, as did his Still Life (2006), the erasure

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