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The push for the final films of 2014 is in full effect, and there are some films that are pushing the envelope while others are re-hashing old ideas with tired stereotypes.

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritú’s Birdman, whose central theme is re-birth as Michael Keaton plays a fictionalized version of himself trying to reclaim the glory of his superhero days. Then there’s Jorge Gutierrez’ Book of Life, produced by Guillermo del Toro, a hyper-stylized imagining of an entire Día de Muertos universe.

Then there are films dealing more explicitly with race, like Dear White People, a first outing for director Justin Simian about a group of black students at a mostly white Ivy League school. And then there’s Exodus, the Biblical epic from the epic-loving Ridley Scott, featuring an all-white cast playing Ancient Egyptians (led by Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Ramses II).

Maria sat down with film critic and podcaster Alonso Duralde about the films of the season.

 

AlonsoDuraldeAlonso Duralde is the author of 101 Must-See Movies for Gay Men (Advocate Books) and Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas (Limelight Editions). He is the film critic for The Wrap/Reuters and has written about film for Movieline, Salon, MSNBC.com, and HitFix, among many other publications. He also co-hosts the Linoleum Knife podcast and regularly appears on What the Flick?! (The Young Turks Network).

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