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

By Johannes Schönherr. Kim Jong Il, the son of North Korea’s founder and Great Leader Kim Il Sung, went early in his youth in the direction of eventually inheriting his father’s position as leader of the country. At the same time, Kim Jong Il was an ardent cineaste with a fine-tuned understanding of the power […]

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

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 is often a welcome relief to read something outstanding by publishing companies that deserve to be much better known than their “illustrious” peers. Granted that not everything by these publishers is 100% good […]

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Hefting the Masterpieces: Filmworker

By Elizabeth Toohey. Do we really need another Stanley Kubrick documentary? There’s the comprehensive Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001), with its reverent celebrity talking-heads – Tom Cruise and Woody Allen! Spielberg and Scorsese! – praising Kubrick’s technical genius, and Kubrick’s adoring wife pooh-poohing rumors that he was controlling or hard on women. Then […]

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

By Richmond B. Adams. During “The Reaping” sequence from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) “volunteer[s] as tribute” to save her younger sister Primrose (Willow Shields) from almost inevitable “death in the upcoming arena” (22). While exceptional for District 12 of Panem, Katniss’ interposition is quite familiar to Collins’ readers and viewers […]

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Consistent Passion, Little Fanfare: RBG

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 a sculpture garden where she is being given a tour. Of a figure of a woman clad in armor standing at the ready, the guide explains, “It’s called the Woman Warrior. Any kind […]

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