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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 influenced by its structure, and the term “Tarantinoesque” has become commonplace. This year, Tarantino was back in Cannes to unveil his latest work, Once Upon […]

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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 titles like his 1987 debut, Red Sorghum, 1990’s Ju Dou, and 1999’s The Road Home, still perhaps his best film. Then there was a shift […]

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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 viewers. Although he beat Hitchcock in obtaining the rights for the fourth film, “The Master” gained his victory in purchasing Des Entre des Mortes for […]

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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 be one of the most socio-historically significant European documentaries of recent years. Although it may not have the depth and artistry of other notable post-military-junta […]

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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 think of another director who has done so much for both the narrative and documentary film, in fact, who has worked to blur and break […]

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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. He walks a bit, hesitantly but with a slight smile. The camera is close on Franz, tracking this emphatically prolonged discharge. Finally free, he is […]

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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 to remark on it until a Region 1 Blu-ray arrived, which apparently won’t happen until the fall, so I purchased a superb Region 2 German […]

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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 Knoop. Hence, I was asked to write a review of the new biopic JT LeRoy by director Justin Kelly. I have followed closely the personal […]

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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 summer the 16-year-old Louise Brooks (Haley Lu Richardson) – four years before she found fame as a film star – left her Wichita, Kansas home […]

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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 face – the head of the great Yellow movement, and the man who fought on behalf of the entire white race.[1]  –Sax Rohmer, The Mystery of […]

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