“Author Archive”
Stories written by Matthew

Shopping for Ghosts: Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper

By Elias Savada. As I watched Personal Shopper, I wondered if this new mostly English-language film from French filmmaker Olivier Assayas was a Euro thriller or not. I certainly wasn’t on the edge of my seat. The premise in this French-German production is that Maureen Cartwright (Kristen Stewart), a weary, despondent American in Paris, has a […]

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More Than Plays on Film: Marcel Pagnol’s “Marseille Trilogy” Restored by Janus Films

By Christopher Weedman. Janus Films’ stunning 4K restoration of the “Marseille Trilogy” by the esteemed Marcel Pagnol is one of the essential revivals of the year. Adapted from Pagnol’s stage plays set in the provincial port city of Marseille in southern France, the three installments – Marius (Alexander Korda, 1931), Fanny (Marc Allégret, 1932), and […]

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Film Scratches: History Seen Backwards – The Rubric Timestamped (2014)

Film Scratches focuses on the world of experimental and avant-garde film, especially as practiced by individual artists. It features a mixture of reviews, interviews, and essays. A Review by David Finkelstein. The Rubric Timestamped is a strange and richly poetic 9-minute film by Luke Szabados, a young American filmmaker. The first shot is of a piece of […]

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Film Scratches: Receiving a Face – Scrapbook (2015)

Film Scratches focuses on the world of experimental and avant-garde film, especially as practiced by individual artists. It features a mixture of reviews, interviews, and essays. A Review by David Finkelstein. Scrapbook is a haunting and fascinating 19-minute short by Mike Hoolboom, based on footage shot in 1967 at Broadview, an Ohio residential facility for developmentally disabled […]

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Hugs vs. Handshakes: Life’s Battles in Donald Cried

By Elias Savada. The indie movie Donald Cried joins a growing number of feature films based on a short subject (among my small-budget faves: 1995’s Sling Blade and 2004’s Napoleon Dynamite). It’s a fine feature debut for director (also co-writer, star) Kris Avedisian, based on his 22-minute oil-and-water bromance from 2012, in which he is also seen […]

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Keep Telling Yourself, It’s Not a Vacation – Kong: Skull Island

By Elias Savada. Kong: Skull Island, Hollywood’s latest outing for its furry Eighth Wonder of the World, has arrived in an energetic, well-mounted, 3-D, IMAX-sized package. King Kong (1933), the species’ black-and-white, ground-breaking original, still reigns as the best big ape/deity movie ever. The new reboot of the monster, despite a somewhat predictable good-bad freaks (of nature) […]

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Well-Wrought and Old-Fashioned: Robin Wood’s The Apu Trilogy (New Edition)

A Book Review by John Duncan Talbird. The film critic Robin Wood (1931-2009) was one of those writers who helped the general public to take cinema seriously as an art form and who, like many critics of the sixties – at least the ones who didn’t become filmmakers themselves – would become an academic in the […]

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Work Through All the Fun and Rubbish: An Interview with Cinematographer Chris Challis

By David A. Ellis. Christopher Challis was born in Kensington, London on the 18th March 1919. His father was a motorcar designer and Challis was privately educated at Kings College in London. His first taste of the movie business was working for Gaumont British in their newsreel department. He was a founding member of the British […]

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Protecting the Commons in 2017

Responding to Hate, Disenfranchisement, and the Loss of the Civil Sphere By Carol Vernallis. Many of us are terrified by the rise in Islamophobia and other racisms, misogyny and homophobia, threats to the environment and increased possibilities for nuclear war, the rise of surveillance and the limits on freedom of speech and movement, demagoguery and the production […]

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Rotterdam 2017: This Is How the Reconstruction Continues

By Martin Kudláč. International Film Festival Rotterdam that built its brand on investigating, gathering and curating the future of the world cinema through a long-term focus on emerging auteurs and discoveries possessing an innovative style and/or bold artistic vision started a new chapter in its fifth decade last year. The festival committee appointed Dutch independent film […]

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