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When Tay Garnett Met Frankie and Johnnie: Her Man (1930)

by John Andrew Gallagher. Tay Garnett and and writer Howard Higgin spent the months of February and March, 1930 on Catalina Island writing Her Man, sharing a house with Lewis Milestone, who was working on the script of All Quiet on the Western Front with George Cukor, George Abbott, Del Henderson, and Maxwell Anderson. The […]

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The Roots of Social Change: Ermanno Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs on Criterion

By Christopher Weedman. The Criterion Collection deserves to be commended for their continued efforts to bring greater attention to the underappreciated films of director Ermanno Olmi. It is regrettable that, over the past fifty years, this Italian filmmaker’s deeply humanist oeuvre has largely lived in the critical shadows of the country’s acknowledged art cinema maestros […]

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The Function of Film Criticism at Any Time

By Christopher Sharrett. Readers will note that my title derives from essays and certain phrases by Matthew Arnold, T. S. Eliot, F. R. Leavis, D. H. Lawrence, Robin Wood, and Andrew Britton. I in fact stole it from Leavis, and will risk pomposity. In no way would I claim that my slapdash work has much […]

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A Forgotten Country’s Forgotten Cinema: Searching for Hope in Post-Soviet Moldovan Cinema

By Brandon Konecny. It has been suggested, sometimes by Moldovan film professionals themselves, that cinema does not currently exist in the Republic of Moldova, Europe’s poorest and perhaps least known country. At first blush, we might feel inclined to accept this assertion. After all, Moldova’s cinema was virtually nonexistent in the 1990s, and some have […]

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Kentucky Fried Chicken in the Moonlight

By Orville Lloyd Douglas. Black people are still mentally enslaved; even in the 21st century there is a psychic need by some Black artists to seek white approval and acceptance. The universal acclaim of the independent film Moonlight is due to white film critics, most heterosexual. Black films are made for white people, not for […]

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The Aesthetic Majesty of King Hu: A Touch of Zen on Criterion

By Tony Williams. As I write, hours tick away for the latest unimportant event in film history – the Hollywood Academy Awards which will have millions glued to their television sets totally unware both of its worthless significance and the nauseating spectacle of a meritless institution narcissistically patting itself on the back to award prizes […]

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The Resurrection of Abel Gance’s J’accuse (1938) on Olive Films

By Christopher Weedman. The past couple of months have been full of rich rewards for admirers of the late Abel Gance. This brilliant and innovative French film director enriched the visual vocabulary of the early cinema with his silent spectacles J’accuse (1919), La Roue (1923), and Napoléon (1927), which were instrumental in the evolution of […]

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I Wake Up Screaming: Far from “Kansas”

By Anthony J. Steinbock. The Maltese Falcon is often considered to be the first film noir of the classical noir period (beginning in 1941 and ending in 1958 with Orson Wells, Touch of Evil).[1] Released only two weeks after The Maltese Falcon (Houston, October 18, 1941) is another noir included in the classical catalog, namely, […]

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The Lovers and the Despot: Forced Seduction, North Korean Style

By Johannes Schönherr. The Lovers and the Despot, a 2016 documentary by British directors Robert Cannan and Ross Adam, tackles an especially bizarre episode in Korean history playing out in the late 1970s / the first half of the 1980s. An episode that has been told countless times in magazine articles and newspaper texts as […]

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Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven: Loss of Grace

By Christopher Sharrett. I have always thought that John Sturges’s 1960 Western The Magnificent Seven has suffered too unfavorably in comparison to its source material, Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954). Kurosawa’s film, like all of his samurai films, was heavily influenced by Ford, Hawks, and Walsh, making him, to my mind, the most westernized, the […]

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