Festival Reports

Coming of Age with Care: the 21st Maryland Film Festival (2019) »

Mickey and the Bear

By Gary M. Kramer. Now in its 21st year, the Maryland Film Festival in Baltimore is a showcase for eclectic independent features, shorts, and documentaries. This year’s program features films both homegrown and far-flung.…

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Portraits and Passions: Tribeca Film Festival 2019 »

Gasoline Thieves

By Gary M. Kramer. The Tribeca Film Festival, April 24-May 5, offers a variety of features, shorts, documentaries, television and new media productions from new and established filmmakers. This year’s programs offered some…

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Documenting the Past and Gender: Istanbul Film Festival, 38th Edition »

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By N. Buket Cengiz. Held only a couple of days after a social democrat mayor has won the elections in the city after long years, Istanbul Film Festival, organized by Istanbul Foundation for…

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The Weight of the Journey: The 2019 Miami International Film Festival »

Journey to a Mother’s Room

By Gary M. Kramer. At this year’s Miami International Film Festival, there are some interesting debuts, some intriguing slow-burn films, and some compelling documentaries. Here is a rundown of a half-dozen titles screening…

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Gods and Penguins: The 2019 DC Independent Film Festival »

Penguin Highway

By Gary M. Kramer. The DC Independent Film Festival, unspooling March 1-10 in Washington, DC, is celebrating its 20th year in 2019. This year’s program features dozens of features and shorts, along with a…

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Independents at 25: Slamdance 2019 »

We are Thankful

By Gary M. Kramer. Now in its 25th year, the Slamdance Film Festival – held in Park City, Utah, January 25-31, 2019 – is a showcase for independent filmmakers. Here is a rundown of…

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The Dawn of New Era: Locarno 2018 »

Dragonfly Eyes (2017)

By Martin Kudláč. The largest annual Swiss film gathering, and one of the longest running film festivals in the world, in Locarno flourished into a sought-after cinephile event, some say even “the worldwide cinephile…

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Ultimate Moments: NYFF Shorts 2018 »

The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin

By Gary M. Kramer. Two shorts programs at this year’s New York Film Festival feature new and exciting works by debut, established, and returning filmmakers. The International Shorts Program II opens with the…

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Interview

“If You Don’t Learn from the Greats, You’d Be Stupid”: An Interview with Cinematographer Robin Vidgeon »

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By David A. Ellis. Robin Vidgeon BSC born in August 1939 is a retired cinematographer. For many years he…

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Violent Urban Transformation: Ali Vatansever on Saf »

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By N. Buket Cengiz. Ali Vatansever’s Saf (2018) was one of the outstanding films at the Human Rights in…

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Surveying Shorts in 2019: A Interview with Sharon Badal (Tribeca Film Festival) »

STREET MAIN

By Gary M. Kramer. This year, the Tribeca Film Festival had more than 5,100 submissions for its shorts programs.…

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Larry Cohen in Conversation with Tony Williams: on Bone (1972) »

Larry-Cohen

To celebrate the life of Larry Cohen (1936-2019), Film International will excerpt portions of Tony Williams’s interviews with the filmmaker from Larry…

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In Retrospekt: An Interview with Esther Rots and Dan Geesin »

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By Yun-hua Chen. With a puzzle plotline that resembles Memento, Retrospekt focuses on two women, Mette and Lee Miller,…

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Living the Truth: Claus Räfle on The Invisibles »

Invisibles

By Tom Ue. Claus Räfle has directed over forty feature-length documentaries for German television. Die Heftmacher earned the Grimme…

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Probing Bannon: Alison Klayman and Marie Therese Guirgis on The Brink »

Producer Marie Therese Guirgis and Director Alison Klayman

By Elias Savada. The Kimpton Hotel Monaco is just 9 blocks east of the White House, the work place…

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Heisting Nixon: Mark Steven Johnson on Finding Steve McQueen »

Finding 01

By Jake Rutkowski. The 1972 United California Bank robbery and the gang that pulled it off don’t occupy a lot…

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Beyond the Stereotypes of a Selfie: An Interview with Agostino Ferrente »

Selfie 01

By Yun-hua Chen. Agostino Ferrente, the director of Selfie, started this film project with the initial intention to document…

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A National Pride for Tunisia: An Interview with Dhafer L’Abidine »

That Al Saytara (2015- )

By Neila Driss. During the 40th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), which took place from November…

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In Search of a Home: Vladimir de Fontenay on Mobile Homes »

MOBILE HOMES 2

By Tom Ue. Vladimir de Fontenay’s Mobile Homes follows a young mother (Imogen Poots), her boyfriend (Callum Turner), and her eight-year-old…

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MOST RECENT

  1. Film Scratches: Listening to the Invisible – Notes from a Journey (2019)
  2. DocuChronicles: Barbara Rubin and the Exploding NY Underground
  3. Peace & Love, 50 Years On – Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation
  4. Gentrification on Film: Capital Expansion and the Limits of Video Activism
  5. Giving by Stealing: Denys Arcand’s The Fall of the American Empire
  6. Transcending the Chains of Illusion – The Assassin: Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s World of Tang China, Edited by Peng Hsiao-yen
  7. Film as Cultural Artifact: Palestinian Cinema in the Days of Revolution by Nadia Yaqub
  8. It’s a Hard Knock Life: American Woman
  9. Film Scratches: the Beguiling Play of Illusion – Gelateria (2019)
  10. A Device to Remember: Halston
  11. Researcher Beware! – Frankly: Unmasking Frank Capra by Joseph McBride
  12. “If You Don’t Learn from the Greats, You’d Be Stupid”: An Interview with Cinematographer Robin Vidgeon
  13. DocuChronicles – Elsa Almaraz Flores on Carlos Almaraz: Playing With Fire
  14. Reassessing Blue Velvet: a Criterion Collection Release
  15. Film Scratches: Symphony of Bugs – Flesh City (2019)
  16. Kal-El Spelled Badly Is Brightburn
  17. The De Palma Basics: Domino
  18. “Brooksie” Revisited: Beggars of Life (1928) from Kino Lorber and Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film by Thomas Gladysz
  19. Scholar, Lawyer, Catcher, Spy: The Spy Behind Home Plate
  20. Beyond the “Post-Western” – Marlina: A Murderer in Four Acts
  21. Pondering the Ponderous: Malick’s A Hidden Life (Cannes 2019)
  22. Look and Listen: Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Cannes 2019)
  23. Screening Communities: Negotiating Narratives of Empire, Nation, and the Cold War in Hong Kong Cinema by Jing Jing Chang
  24. Where Has the Film Gone?: My Son
  25. A Traditional Period Piece: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Cannes 2019)
  26. A Disquieting Tale: Unarmed Man
  27. Almodovar Most Personal: Pain and Glory (Cannes 2019)
  28. Sundance Film Festival – in London!
  29. Martial Art: Zhang Yimou’s Shadow
  30. Dystopias in Disguise: Aniara
  1. Tony Williams: Thank you for publishing this interview. There may be hope for this “ugly society” if more...
  2. Matthew Sorrento: Reading about this “misfit” cowboy narrator, I can’t help wonder if the Coens...
  3. Matthew Sorrento: This sounds like an interesting mediation on the politics of gender and, more specifically, our...
  4. Melinda: Great interview, John! I enjoyed the specificity of your questions as well as the conversational style of...
  5. Matthew Sorrento: I agree with Tony, Daniel — thanks for commenting on the issues this film addresses. This...

Review

woodstock

Peace & Love, 50 Years On – Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation »

By Elias Savada. Fifty years ago (gulp!) I never made it to Woodstock. I didn’t even try, although I had a hallucinogenic blast four years later at the 1973 Summer…

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Fall-of-the-American-Empire

Giving by Stealing: Denys Arcand’s The Fall of the American Empire »

By Thomas Puhr. Denys Arcand’s The Fall of the American Empire (2018) asks a question that most never have the luxury to ponder: What does one do when they have…

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Return to Haifa (Kassem Hawal, 1981)

Film as Cultural Artifact: Palestinian Cinema in the Days of Revolution by Nadia Yaqub »

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. What does it mean to “document” a displaced people? Do humanitarian films, while helpful in raising awareness, inherently depict a people as helpless victims?…

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americanwoman

It’s a Hard Knock Life: American Woman »

By Elias Savada. Wanna watch a train wreck? Sienna Miller plays one in Jake Scott’s third feature. For the first half-hour of this blue-collar salute to misguided motherhood (and the…

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Halston - Still 1

A Device to Remember: Halston »

By Dana Weidman. Halston, the new documentary from director Frédéric Tcheng (Dior and I) starts with a credit stating that the “following film is documentary. However, the narrator is a…

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BrightBurn

Kal-El Spelled Badly Is Brightburn »

By Elias Savada. Here’s a twist on one of those what if comic book, sci-fi scenarios. What if an alien baby (conveniently human in form) crashes to Earth and becomes…

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domino-trailer-de-palma

The De Palma Basics: Domino »

By Ali Moosavi. I have been an ardent Brian De Palma fan ever since watching Phantom of the Paradise at the cinemas in 1974. That was 45 years ago; he…

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Beggars

“Brooksie” Revisited: Beggars of Life (1928) from Kino Lorber and Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film by Thomas Gladysz »

A Film/Book Review by Tony Williams. While we eagerly await the Criterion release of The Sound of Music with audio-commentary by Quentin Tarantino, joking aside, it is pleasurable to see…

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Spy 01

Scholar, Lawyer, Catcher, Spy: The Spy Behind Home Plate »

By Elias Savada. I can’t take credit for creating that tagline, but it is a perfect John Le Carré allusion. It’s from author Nicholas Dawidoff (who appears in this film), who…

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Marlina 02

Beyond the “Post-Western” – Marlina: A Murderer in Four Acts »

By Matthew Sorrento. Marlina begins with a scenario all too familiar: the title character, recently widowed, is now an object of desire (her body and fortune) for local men. One…

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Pondering the Ponderous: Malick’s A Hidden Life (Cannes 2019) »

By Ali Moosavi. My relationship with Terence Malick films has been love and hate. Watching Badlands (1973) back in the 70s was like a breath of fresh air; a film that,…

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Portrait 01

Look and Listen: Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Cannes 2019) »

By Ali Moosavi. Somehow I had not seen any of Celine Sciamma’s films until watching Portrait of a Lady on Fire at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it was…

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In The Face of Demolition (1953)

Screening Communities: Negotiating Narratives of Empire, Nation, and the Cold War in Hong Kong Cinema by Jing Jing Chang »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Hong Kong cinema studies has received detailed coverage over the decades in works written about specific periods and studios such as Shaw Bros and…

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Was this film made just so Liam Neeson could star in the inevitable American remake?

Where Has the Film Gone?: My Son »

By Gary M. Kramer. My Son purports to be a taut thriller about a desperate father’s search for his missing seven-year-old son. However, while this efficient French film includes a…

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Once-2

A Traditional Period Piece: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Cannes 2019) »

By Ali Moosavi. Twenty-five years ago Pulp Fiction premiered at Cannes, won the Palm D’Or, and had an everlasting impact on the art of film making. Numerous films have been…

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Unarmed Man

A Disquieting Tale: Unarmed Man »

By Elias Savada. Harold Jackson III is a very focused, and quite talented, individual. He does just about everything in Unarmed Man, his latest feature: executive producer, producer, director, writer, director…

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Pain-and-Glory-2

Almodovar Most Personal: Pain and Glory (Cannes 2019) »

By Ali Moosavi. Pain and Glory is Pedro Almodovar at his most personal and confessional, in the same vein as Bad Education (2004). Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas) is a writer-director…

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Shadow 01

Martial Art: Zhang Yimou’s Shadow »

By Jeremy Carr. Zhang Yimou has had a remarkable career, one distinguished by its approximate division into two distinct phases. There were first his mostly regional dramas, intimate, relatively moderate…

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Aniara

Dystopias in Disguise: Aniara »

By John Duncan Talbird. In 1956, Swedish author Harry Martinson wrote an epic poem called Aniara. It tells the story of the eponymous transportation ship which, on the way to Mars,…

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Shame 03

Life During Wartime: Ingmar Bergman’s Shame (Criterion Collection) »

  By Jeremy Carr. Save for the broad categories of drama or comedy, Ingmar Bergman isn’t a name often associated with genre filmmaking. His 1968 feature, Hour of the Wolf, could…

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La Ciénaga (Lucrecia Martel, 2001)

Universalizing a Movement – The Berlin School and Its Global Contexts: A Transnational Art Cinema »

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. As its title of this collection makes clear, The Berlin School and Its Global Contexts: A Transnational Art Cinema (Wayne State University Press, 2018, edited…

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Hours of Artistry and Independence: Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Happy Hour »

Happy Hour 02

By Matthew Fullerton. In a 1981 essay, the film critic Alan Booth (1946-1993) recognized independent directors as the strength of Japanese cinema.…

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Long Walk to Freedom: The Silence of Others »

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By Michael Sandlin. Despite its low-budget workmanlike feel, this documentary from Emmy-winning directors Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar – and produced by…

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Taming a Wild Man: Matteo Garrone’s Dogman »

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By Thomas Puhr. He is a slight man: short and hunched, as if perpetually carrying a heavy load. His head and eyes…

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Trick and Treat: Penny Lane’s Hail Satan? »

Hail 01

By Elias Savada. Never has a Penny Lane film been this funny. An academic-now-turned-full-professional-documentary-filmmaker, she has provided a window into the weird…

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Super Heroes Matter – Avengers: Endgame »

Avengers 01

By Elias Savada. It has come to this, the emotional end of the Marvel Comic Universe as we know it. In our…

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Scared Stiff: Ghost of No Chance »

Scared 01

By Rod Lott. New on Blu-ray from Arrow Video, 1987’s Scared Stiff arrives with a stunningly inaccurate title – one that suggests a light…

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Dickinson Unbowdlerized: Wild Nights with Emily »

Wild 03

By Elizabeth Toohey. Biopics, especially literary ones, tend to gravitate towards the grandiose. Sweeping vistas and luxurious estates command center stage as a…

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Beyond the Distractions: The Brink »

Brink 03

By Michael Sandlin. Seeing populist political shyster Steve Bannon’s slow professional demise play out over the course of Alison Klayman’s documentary The…

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Knife+Heart: Of Felonies and Fellatio »

knifeheart_01_4web__large

By Rod Lott. Whereas several of Brian De Palma’s works famously suggested tools and utensils as phallic, Yann Gonzalez’s Knife+Heart removes all doubt.…

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All Fight, No Feeling – Master Z: Ip Man Legacy »

Mas Z

By Yun-hua Chen. Action itself is not enough to compose a good action film – we see yet another hard-earned lesson in…

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Little on the Syndrome: Stockholm »

stockholm-review

By Gary M. Kramer. Stockholm, written and directed by Robert Budreau, recounts the “absurd but true” 1973 Norrmalmstorg (Kreditbanken) robbery and hostage…

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Not “Just Another Giallo”: The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire (Arrow Video) »

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By Rod Lott. If the first two minutes of Riccardo Freda’s The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire (1971) had failed to…

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Crimes and Pastimes: Screwball »

screwball

By Jake Rutkowski. It’s hard to view the discourse around baseball’s most recent and protracted steroid use scandal as anything other than…

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The Last Silent Hound: Der Hund von Baskerville (1929) »

Hund 01

By Tony Williams. Like the recently restored Behind the Door (1919), Der Hund von Baskerville was shown at the San Francisco Silent…

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Too Much and not Enough – 1968 and Global Cinema, Edited by Christina Gerhardt and Sara Saljoughi »

Battle of Algiers

A Book Review by Mads Larsen. The timing could hardly be better. Every month seems to throw more gasoline onto the political…

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Everywhere and Nowhere: Kent Jones’ Diane »

Diane 01

By Jeremy Carr. There is so much potential tragedy in the first twenty minutes of Diane that the film appears instantly in…

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For the Love of a Gangster: Ash is the Purest White »

ash-is-purest-white-cannes

By Yun-hua Chen. Jia Zhangke’s latest, Ash is the Purest White, three years after his previous film Mountains May Depart (2015) which…

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Filling a Gap: The Music of Charlie Chaplin by Jim Lochner »

Modern Times (1936)

A Book Review by John Fawell. I’ve always been somewhat surprised by the amount of critical attention paid to Charlie Chaplin’s sound…

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Fessenden Meets a Brooklyn Frankenstein: Depraved »

DEPRAVED

By Elias Savada. Larry Fessenden has plenty of fans. A versatile producer, director, writer, editor, cinematographer, and actor in dozens of low-budget flicks,…

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“Movies No Genre Wants to Own Up to” – Blood Hunger: The Films of José Larraz (Arrow Video) »

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By Rod Lott. Death aside, it’s a good time to be José Ramón Larraz. The Spanish director finally gets his due, a…

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Wildlife: Family in the Dark »

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  By Christopher Sharrett. Among the few films that impressed me last season was Paul Dano’s first film as director, Wildlife, based…

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A “Spinster’s” Last Stand: Woman at War »

Woman at War

By Michael Sandlin. Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson, in his sophomore directorial effort Woman at War, imagines the chaos that ensues when a…

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The Uncanny Invades: Jordan Peele’s Us »

Us

By Matthew Sorrento. The most unfortunate aspect of Jordan Peele’s Get Out was its creator’s attempt at self-criticism. Some months after the…

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Idris at the Helm: Yardie »

Yardie 01

By Ali Moosavi. The media have been so preoccupied with whether or not Idris Elba will become the next James Bond that…

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Welcome to the Universe: Captain Marvel »

Captain 02

By Elias Savada. Packing a $153 million weekend wallop here in her home country, and a huge $455 million on her native planet,…

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Tradition Against Trafficking: Birds of Passage »

Birds Main

By Ali Moosavi. Films about drug trafficking in Central and South America have been on our cinema and TV screens almost continuously,…

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What We’re Left with at the End: Jupiter’s Moon »

Jupiter 04

By John Duncan Talbird. In the opening seconds of Kornél Mundruczó’s White God (2014), we see a bird’s-eye view of Budapest, but…

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A Problem of Catharsis and Urban Space: Ondi Timoner’s Mapplethorpe »

mapplethorpe

By Mina Radovic. Robert Mapplethorpe is one of New York’s famous black-and-white photographers of the 1970s: coming out after the Warhol generation…

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Deliberate Relief: Visconti’s Death in Venice (Criterion Collection) »

Death 01

By Gary M. Kramer. Death in Venice, Luchino Visconti’s sumptuous adaptation of the 1912 Thomas Mann novella, has been released on DVD…

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A Cinephile’s Cinephile – Mysteries of Cinema: Reflections on Film Theory, History and Culture 1982-2016 by Adrian Martin »

Immortal One

A Book Review by Jeremy Carr. At the very least, Adrian Martin’s Mysteries of Cinema: Reflections on Film Theory, History and Culture…

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A Career Cut Short – Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy by Gregory William Mank »

The Lodger (1944)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. “It was not only his desire to play heroic roles that made him diet, but the…

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The Compulsive Writer-Director’s Guide – Making Your First Feature Film by Dominick Bagnato »

Dominick Bagnato's A Convenient Truth (2015)

A Book Review by Mads Larsen. If you have a few hundred thousand dollars to burn, and although you have no experience,…

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Fighting in America: Tim Sutton’s Donnybrook »

Donnybrook 02

By Thomas Puhr. It’s only fitting that writer-director Tim Sutton’s latest, Donnybrook (2018), opens with a voyage by boat. Like Odysseus, Jarhead…

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Handicapping the Oscars: 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts »

Bao

By Elias Savada. Another year and another Academy Awards show looms large, filled with commentary about snubs and surprises and a program, the…

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“Lillie Plays Violet”: Exit Smiling (A San Francisco Silent Film Festival Review) »

Exit 01

By Janine Gericke. On Saturday, December 1st, the SF Silent Film Festival held its annual Day of Silents winter program at the…

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They Shall Not Grow Old – But All Shall Perish »

They Shall 01

By Christopher Sharrett. I don’t feel especially generous toward Peter Jackson’s “new” (hardly the right word) film, and must call it stunt…

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The Impatient Actor – Gene Hackman, The Life and Work by Peter Shelley »

The French Connection (1971)

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser.  It’s entirely possible you’ll come away from Peter Shelley’s biography of Gene Hackman knowing less…

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Beyond QuatermassBrian Donlevy, the Good Bad Guy: A Bio-Filmography by Derek Sculthorpe »

Quatermass II (1957)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. It is early evening watching on UK’s ITV channel, the only one of two that existed…

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Real-Life Whac-a-Mole: Rodents of Usual Size »

Rodents 01

By Elias Savada. First, I thought this might be another horror film with oversized critters due to 1) atomic radiation run amuck, 2)…

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Redemption: Red Kimona (A San Francisco Silent Film Festival Review) »

Red 01

By Janine Gericke. During the silent film era, some of the most prolific and highest earning producers, writers, and filmmakers were women.…

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Fifty Shades of Deep Red: Piercing »

Piercing 01

By Jeremy Carr. “You have to relax.” These words of advice come from Laia Costa’s Mona, near the beginning of Piercing, the…

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An Abdurdist, Black Comedy Mixer: Pig »

PIG

By Ali Moosavi. To fans of Asghar Farhadi, Mani Haghighi may be known for co-writing the script of Fireworks Wednesday (Chaharshanbeh Soori)…

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Watering the Money Tree: Eugen Damaschin’s Beautiful Corruption (2018) »

Beau 01

By Brandon Konecny. In 2014, Moldova experienced what many observers called the “theft of the century.” One billion dollars disappeared from the…

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Art and Healing – The 5 Browns: Digging Through the Darkness »

Digging 01

By Elizabeth Toohey. R. Kelly; the backlash against Gillette; the abduction of 13-year-old Jayme Closs, held captive for three months; Larry Nassar’s abuse…

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Journeywoman – Claire Trevor: The Life and Films of the Queen of Noir by Derek Sculthorpe »

Dead End (1937)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Yorkshire resident Derek Sculthorpe is an archivist who has also written plays, short stories, and articles…

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Beyond a Horror Anthology: Spirits of the Dead by Tim Lucas »

Spirits Main

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Initiated last year with the appearance of monograph studies of Theatre of Blood and Martin, this…

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The Other Tounge(s) of Iran: Hendi and Hormoz (Iranian Film Festival of New York) »

Hendi-Hormoz

By Arash Azizi. Hendi and Hormoz, which screened at the first-ever Iranian Film Festival of New York on January 11, has many…

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Choosing Sides: The Standoff at Sparrow Creek »

Standoff 01

By Jeremy Carr. The men of The Standoff at Sparrow Creek exist in a world of violence. It can be a basic…

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When a Documentary Isn’t: Inside Slovenian Non-Fiction Films »

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By Noah Charney. Slovenian documentary films are at their best when they do not appear to be documentaries. When we imagine documentaries,…

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Hail Mary! – Fanchon The Cricket (1915) and Little Annie Rooney (1925) from Flicker Alley »

Fanchon the Cricket

By Tony Williams. These DVD restorations represent another important collaborative venture on the part of The Mary Pickford Foundation and Flicker Alley,…

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Features

Larry Cohen, 1936-2019 »

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By Christopher Sharrett. Death is ruthless, but it seems to have been especially vicious lately. We have received word that Larry Cohen,…

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The Uncanny Invades: Jordan Peele’s Us »

Us

By Matthew Sorrento. The most unfortunate aspect of Jordan Peele’s Get Out was its creator’s attempt at self-criticism. Some months after the…

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“What Might Have Been”: The Magnificent Ambersons (Criterion Collection) »

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By Tony Williams. “Anybody who does things their own way while they’re working with a corporation is going to be problematic.” –…

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Twilight of the Idol: Eastwood’s The Mule »

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By James Slaymaker. Like many late-period Eastwood films, The Mule is a revisionist genre piece with a pronounced self-reflexive streak. It only…

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His Own Man – George Raft: The Man Who Would be Bogart by Stone Wallace »

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A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Enter George Raft groom cum chauffeur – He lurked hand and collar and hands in…

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The Eternal Dilemma: Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev (The Criterion Collection) »

AR

By Tony Williams. After reviewing the disappointing Criterion Von Sternberg/Dietrich DVD Collection and noting the company’s inexplicable emphasis on popular films available…

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Watering the Money Tree: Eugen Damaschin’s Beautiful Corruption (2018) »

Beau 01

By Brandon Konecny. In 2014, Moldova experienced what many observers called the “theft of the century.” One billion dollars disappeared from the…

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First Man and Last Things »

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By Christopher Sharrett. I have just recently seen Damien Chazelle’s First Man after putting it off during its initial release. The film…

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Just Slightly Off: True Stories »

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By John Duncan Talbird. My friends and I loved the Talking Heads when we were in college. You could not go a week…

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There’s No Place Like Home: Revisiting Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day (Criterion Collection) »

Eight Hours 01

By Jeremy Carr. In her essay for the Criterion Collection release of Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day, Moira Weigel opens with a…

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Re-Working Hitchcock: Brian De Palma’s Sisters (Criterion Collection) »

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By Tony Williams. De Palma’s Sisters has long been overdue for a new 4K digital restoration that Criterion now supplies along with…

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Notes on Pablo Larraín »

Natalie Portman and Pablo Larrain on the set of Jackie

By Christopher Sharrett. Some months ago I published in this location brief remarks on Pablo Larraín’s remarkable film Jackie (2016), one of…

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Screwball/Great Depression Denial Syndrome: My Man Godfrey (Criterion Collection) »

Man 01

By Tony Williams. Gregory La Cava’s My Man Godfrey (1936) is admittedly one of the best screwball comedies of the 1930s that…

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From a Longtime Insider/Outsider – Two Cheers for Hollywood: Joseph McBride on Movies »

McBride

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Joseph McBride, currently Professor of Film Studies at San Francisco State University, has had a…

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Colette in the #MeToo Era »

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By Elizabeth Toohey. If ever a movie was ripe for release, it’s the new bio-pic Colette. The life and career of one…

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“Good Sausage”: Felix Feist’s The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950) from Flicker Alley »

Cheated 01

By Tony Williams. Imagine Lee J. Cobb (1911-1976) playing a star role as an honest cop turned bad played for a sucker…

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Cinema Thinks: Film as Philosophy Edited by Bernd Herzogenrath »

Lost Highway (1997)

A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. The multi-authored book is a misnomer. Although out in the world there is no…

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Far from Paradise: Dietrich and Von Sternberg in Hollywood (Criterion Collection) »

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By Tony Williams. A box set containing the Josef Von Sternberg (1894-1969) and Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) collaboration, even if copyright reasons exclude…

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For and Against the Grand Narrative: The Hollywood War Film by Daniel Binns »

The Steel Helmet (1951)

A Book Review Essay by Matthew Sorrento. Genre studies, whether treating film genre history as evolutionary or as cycles, always has to…

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Rediscovering a “Lost Art”: How Did Lubitsch Do It? by Joseph McBride »

Ninotchka (1939)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Any book or article by Joseph McBride is worth reading, especially in this era of…

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The Epitome of Cool: The Films of Ray Danton by Joseph Fusco »

The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. I initially saw this 2010 book as a main feature on this company’s web site and requested…

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“May Well Offend” – Magnificent Obsession: The Outrageous History of Film Buffs, Collectors, Scholars, and Fanatics by Anthony Slide »

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A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Deliberately described as a “provocative film scholar,” this prolific, self-educated expert in film, who has…

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Beyond Genre to the Other Arts: King Hu’s Dragon Inn (1967) from the Criterion Collection »

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By Tony Williams. For those really interested in the art of cinema, the achievements of King Hu (1932-1997) are comparable to others…

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Why the Neglect?: Lubitsch’s The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927) »

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By John W. Fawell. The following is an excerpt from Ernst Lubitsch’s The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg: the Art of Classic Hollywood,…

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The Cinematic Form of the Football Match »

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By Declan Cochran. Introduction (Pre-Match Warm-Up) Cinematically speaking, the filmed football match is a curious phenomenon, one that seems to integrate a…

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Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice: Against All Doctrine »

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By Christopher Sharrett. I have been meaning for some time to put pen to paper about Andrei Tarkovsky, about whom I’ve been…

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North Korea’s International Movie Co-Productions, 1985-2012 »

Kim

By Johannes Schönherr. Kim Jong Il, the son of North Korea’s founder and Great Leader Kim Il Sung, went early in his…

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Defying Ideology (and the Academy) – Mr. Novak: An Acclaimed Television Series by Chuck Harter »

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A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. When recovering from reviewing lesser works by well-established publishers, whether direct-to-library or university presses, it…

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Hefting the Masterpieces: Filmworker »

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By Elizabeth Toohey. Do we really need another Stanley Kubrick documentary? There’s the comprehensive Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001), with…

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“As Usual, Ladies First”: Manners, Manuals, and The Hunger Games »

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By Richmond B. Adams. During “The Reaping” sequence from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) “volunteer[s] as tribute” to…

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Consistent Passion, Little Fanfare: RBG »

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By Elizabeth Toohey. Towards the end of the powerful new documentary RBG, we follow the 85-year-old Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg into…

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Genius in Collaboration: The Outer Limits, Season One from Kino Lorber »

"The Galaxy Being"

By Tony Williams. I saw my first episode of The Outer Limits on a regional independent television station in the mid-60s. Opening…

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Beauty and the Dogs: Women’s Revolution in Tunisian Cinema »

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By Matthew Fullerton. As Hollywood grapples with diversity issues, it is interesting to note how Tunisia, an emergent democracy since its 2011…

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Family Values and Civic Duties: Fassbinder’s Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day »

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By Jeremy Carr. Rainer Werner Fassbinder was particularly adept at transitioning between the cinema and television (and theater, for that matter), starting the…

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Unlovely Spectacle: D.A. Miller on Call Me By Your Name »

Call Me Feat

By David Greven. An exchange I had with an older, straight, white academic in Film Studies serves as an instructive example of…

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Marcel Pagnol’s “Marseille Trilogy”: An Essential Reemerges on Criterion »

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By Christopher Weedman. Among the most impressive film restorations of 2017 was Marcel Pagnol’s Marseille Trilogy (1931-36), which I reviewed last March…

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The Form and Function of a Cult Film: Deep Red by Alexia Kannas »

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A Book Review Essay by Jeremy Carr. Alexia Kannas’ Deep Red (Columbia University Press, 2017), her contribution to the Wallflower Press Cultographies series,…

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White Micro-aggression Against Black Film: Awards and Why They Matter »

Get Out

By André Seewood. Every weekend numerous websites inform us of the short term box office grosses of various films like Star Wars: The…

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“America First” or Second? – America Through a British Lens: Cinematic Portrayals 1930-2010 by James D. Stone »

As Long As They're Happy (1955)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Captain Hornsby: “What an extraordinary fellow!” Colonel Thompson: “Well, he’s an American.”  – Too Late the…

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Beyond Wishes: Bronson’s Loose Again!: On the Set with Charles Bronson by Paul Talbot »

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A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. If Dr. Johnson had James Bosworth as his chronicler in the inimitable The Life of…

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DocuChronicles: Barbara Rubin and the Exploding NY Underground »

DocuChronicles is a blog dedicated to independent documentary cinema by filmmaker Marjorie Sturm. It includes a mix of reviews, interviews, and longer pieces.  By Marjorie Sturm. Barbara Rubin was an experimental filmmaker most…

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ASSASSIN

Transcending the Chains of Illusion – The Assassin: Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s World of Tang China, Edited by Peng Hsiao-yen »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. In Mostly About Lindsay Anderson, his long-time friend Gavin Lambert speaks about the in-flight movie seen by his colleague that drove him to…

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Researcher Beware! – Frankly: Unmasking Frank Capra by Joseph McBride »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Joseph McBride’s latest mammoth book, well-written and copiously documented as usual, is an unusual production in the field of cinema studies. It is…

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blue-velvet

Reassessing Blue Velvet: a Criterion Collection Release »

By Christopher Sharrett. I have had a difficult history with David Lynch’s breakthrough film Blue Velvet (1986), and for that matter, much of the director’s work. At first, I thought…

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Pondering the Ponderous: Malick’s A Hidden Life (Cannes 2019) »

By Ali Moosavi. My relationship with Terence Malick films has been love and hate. Watching Badlands (1973) back in the 70s was like a breath of fresh air; a film that,…

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La vérité: the French Woman’s Prison (Criterion Collection) »

By Tony Williams. Henri-Georges Clouzot (1907-1977) is best known as the director of Le Corbeau (1943), Quai des Orfevres (1947), The Wages of Fear (1953), Diabolique (1955) for the majority of…

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Long Walk to Freedom: The Silence of Others »

By Michael Sandlin. Despite its low-budget workmanlike feel, this documentary from Emmy-winning directors Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar – and produced by Spanish directorial titan Pedro Almodovar – just may…

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Even Dwarfs Started Small

Planning and Execution: Werner Herzog’s Scenarios II and Meeting Gorbachev »

By John Duncan Talbird. Werner Herzog should win the Nobel Prize in Literature. If Bob Dylan can win it, I don’t see why a filmmaker can’t and it’s hard to…

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The Struggle for a City’s Soul: Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz (Criterion Collection) »

By Jeremy Carr. Newly released from Tegal Prison, Franz Biberkopf cautiously looks over a custodial stretch of land just inside the wall that separates the penitentiary from the city streets.…

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Film Review - Never Look Away

Never Look Away: Art Against Death »

By Christopher Sharrett. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Never Look Away is a good – but not great – film of this past season that deserves recognition; I wanted to wait…

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JT LeRoy

I Made the Documentary The Cult of JT LeRoy, and I Must Discuss Savannah Knoop’s New Film »

By Marjorie Sturm. I am the director and producer of the The Cult of JT LeRoy, the documentary that explores the elaborate literary hoax perpetrated by Laura Albert and Savannah…

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“Louise Brooks? What’s all this talk about Louise Brooks? She was nobody. She was a nothing in films." George Cukor

Never the Victim: Louise Brooks and The Chaperone »

By Thomas Gladysz. The Chaperone, the first theatrical release from PBS Masterpiece, is a story of beginnings as well as a kind of origin story. Its plot revolves around the…

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Drums of Fu Manchu (1940)

Daredevils of the Red Circle and Other Cliffhangers: Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu and Republic’s Drums of Fu Manchu (1940) »

“Daredevils of the Red Circle and Other Cliffhangers” is a blog on serials by Geoffrey Mayer, the author of Encyclopedia of American Film Serials (McFarland, 2017). At last they truly were face to…

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Larry-Cohen

Larry Cohen in Conversation with Tony Williams: on Bone (1972) »

To celebrate the life of Larry Cohen (1936-2019), Film International will excerpt portions of Tony Williams’s interviews with the filmmaker from Larry Cohen: Radical Allegories of an Independent Filmmaker, rev ed. (© 2015 Tony…

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Man With a Movie Camera (1929)

Hope from the Past: Dziga Vertov: Life and Work (Volume 1: 1896-1921) by John MacKay »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. In 1904, Lenin once wrote a monograph, “One Step Forward, two Steps Back” (1) that later appeared in Volume 7 of his Collected…

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Set of the movie "Sans toit ni loi" by Agnes Varda

Agnes Varda, 1928-2019 »

By Christopher Sharrett. I commented early this week on the ruthlessness of death. The occasion was my remembrance of Larry Cohen, a crucial figure of the American independent cinema. And…

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