“Collective,” a documentary by Alexander Nanau, is so much more than the sum of its parts. What started as journalistic sleuthing on the part of Catalin Tolontan of the Sports Gazette into the October 2015 fire at the Collectiv, a popular underground nightclub in Bucharest resulted in 64 deaths and 146 injuries. Illegal pyrotechnics by…

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“Crazy, Not Insane,” another thought-provoking documentary from Alex Gibney (“Agents of Chaos,” “Out for Blood”), is being released by HBO and HBO Max. Gibney has focused his sights on Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis, a psychiatrist who has devoted her life’s work to the provocative question of why some people kill. Why, under similar circumstances, do…

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“The Nest,” written and directed by Sean Durkin (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”), is an attempt at dissecting the disintegration of a marriage. A more appropriate title might have been “Scenes from a Marriage,” but Ingmar Bergman got there first and did it better (much). Rory O’Hara, a self-defined entrepreneur, once at the top but no…

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“Spiral” (“Engrenages”), the top notch police drama from France, premiers its seventh season on November 17 on MHz Choice. Originally created by Alexandra Clert and Guy-Patrick Sainderichin in 2005, Clert stayed on to guide and supervise the writing through all seven seasons. Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times declared it “one of the best…

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“A Crime on the Bayou,” written and directed by Nancy Buirski, tells the story of an important miscarriage of justice and its long lasting influence. Between 1924 and 1969 Plaquemines Parish, the swampy but oil rich marshland south of New Orleans, was ruled by Leander Perez, one of the leading segregationists and white supremacists of…

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If you aren’t into fashion with a capital F, and you’re not a New Yorker, and maybe even if you are, you will have never heard of Ruth Finley. But “Calendar Girl” directed by Christian Bruun and written by Natalie Nudell will enlighten you, emphasis on the light. For 65 years, Ruth Finley ran a…

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“Alex Rider,” Amazon’s new series aimed primarily at a YA audience, is a fast-paced, character-driven spy drama. Creator Guy Burt has fashioned a cohesive and smart mystery/thriller adapted from the popular book series of the same name by Anthony Horowitz, prolific fiction and television writer. Besides the wonderful “Foyle’s War” television series, the Alex Rider…

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“Maybe Next Year,’ the well-intentioned documentary directed by Kyle Thrash tracks the 2017-18 season of the Philadelphia Eagles football team through the eyes of some of their devoted but frustrated fans. Philadelphia, a blue collar town, has had a bitter love affair with their football team, the also-ran Eagles. Following several die-hard fans throughout the…

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“Raining in the Mountain,” was directed and written by King Hu, a master of wuxia films. Wuxia, for those of you like me who are unacquainted by the term, is an adventure genre featuring martial arts and ancient Chinese themes. “Raining in the Mountain,” a Hong Kong and Taiwanese co-production originally released in 1979, has…

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“Proxima,” the thoughtful film directed and co-written by Alice Winocour is complicated in ways that she may not have intended. Working with a top notch international cast, she has produced a nuanced, intimate portrait of a conflicted woman about to leave on the trip of a lifetime. Sarah, a French astronaut, has been chosen as…

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“Alone with her Dreams,’ is a beautiful, melancholic film by first time director Paolo Licata. Based on the novel Picciridda – Con I Piedi Nella Sabbia  (The Little One – With her Feet in the Sand) by Catena Fiorello, it is a story of longing, sadness, hope, desperation, violence, and beauty. The screenplay, written by…

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“Perfect Murders,” is an anthology series premiering on MHz streaming platform on October 27. The six-episode series follows the investigative detectives as they try to solve a cleverly performed murder that has already been revealed to the audience “Columbo” style. The stand-alone stories are divided into groups of two. The first two murders are “solved”…

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“Coming Home Again” is thoughtful film based on a personal essay written by Chang-rae Lee and adapted to the screen and directed by Wayne Wang, best known as the director of “Chan is Missing” and “Joy Luck Club.” Wang has painstakingly constructed the familial relationship between Chang Rae and his mother that unwraps their long…

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