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Cinema Thinks: Film as Philosophy Edited by Bernd Herzogenrath

A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. The multi-authored book is a misnomer. Although out in the world there is no taint to the word “anthology,” it seems that in academe, readers (or publishers?) want something more cohesive. And so we have introductions wherein an editor will mightily attempt to frame the various essays […]

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

By Tony Williams. A box set containing the Josef Von Sternberg (1894-1969) and Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) collaboration, even if copyright reasons exclude The Blue Angel (1930), would appear the fulfillment of any film collector’s dreams. This recent release of the Paramount Studio films should have been the most heralded event of the year and, to […]

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

A Book Review Essay by Matthew Sorrento. Genre studies, whether treating film genre history as evolutionary or as cycles, always has to fight the charge that genre films are conservative by nature. In Judith Hess Wright’s rather compelling estimation (if limiting), the films always look back to the past to endorse the ideas and social […]

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

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Any book or article by Joseph McBride is worth reading, especially in this era of mostly dismal films and an unqualified plethora of ignorant internet film reviewers. The author’s latest book (Columbia UP, 2018) on a director who should be more well-known represents a challenging task especially in […]

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

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 a review copy, thinking it was a new release. Though mistaken, I not only think this book is still worth reviewing but write this in the hope that the author might consider a […]

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

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Deliberately described as a “provocative film scholar,” this prolific, self-educated expert in film, who has written more than 250 books in the area of popular culture, now turns his attention to a specific species of an audience he knows very well that he will offend by this very […]

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

By Tony Williams. For those really interested in the art of cinema, the achievements of King Hu (1932-1997) are comparable to others such as Bela Tarr and Andrei Tarkovsky – to name but a few. Yet, the achievements of this great Chinese-born director who left us far too early are generally not as well-known as […]

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

By John W. Fawell. The following is an excerpt from Ernst Lubitsch’s The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg: the Art of Classic Hollywood, now available from Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield (all rights reserved). A reassessment of The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927), it seems to me, has to begin with some reflection on why this film, which […]

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The Cinematic Form of the Football Match

By Declan Cochran. Introduction (Pre-Match Warm-Up) Cinematically speaking, the filmed football match is a curious phenomenon, one that seems to integrate a number of cinematic techniques whilst, obviously, by definition not being actual cinema. The football match is pure documentary, divorced from the traditional narrative associations that one might have with the genre. It is, […]

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Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice: Against All Doctrine

By Christopher Sharrett. I have been meaning for some time to put pen to paper about Andrei Tarkovsky, about whom I’ve been hesitant for decades. A few remarks on the occasion of Kino Lorber’s new Blu-ray of the director’s final film might be a good starting place for a consideration. But I need to include […]

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