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Orson Ascending: The Stranger (1946) from Kino Classics and Othello (1951) from the Criterion Collection

By Tony Williams. Following the release of several new remastered DVDs after the 2015 Orson Welles Centenary and the expected completion of his last unedited feature The Other Side of the Wind sometime in the future, this year sees two more additions continuing Welles’s legacy. Rather than “Orpheus Descending,” it is more a case of […]

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Truth and Consequences: Conversations with Buñuel by Max Aub, translated and edited by Julie Jones

A Book Review Essay by Jeremy Carr. “Even today, I’ve no idea what the truth is, or what I did with it.” – Luis Buñuel, My Last Sigh Compiling biographical information about Luis Buñuel is no easy task, and the contrived predisposition of the iconoclastic filmmaker doesn’t usually help. Fond of filling his anecdotes with […]

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The “Complete Italianization” of the Western: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Kino Lorber

By Tony Williams. This is the moment when the Italianization of the Western was complete. –Alberto Moravia, quoted by Christopher Frayling As most film departments merge into Media conglomerates and student knowledge of past films diminishes due to increasing time constraints, it is all the more important that the world outside continues promoting past traditions […]

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Mark Felt: History as Mysticism

By Christopher Sharrett. One of the characteristics of our militarized society, aside from the constant deluge of cop shows, superhero movies, and inane affirmations of family life, is the erasure of history. We may think we get the past in reliable form via the PBS channels and other “respected” media outlets, in solemn documentaries like […]

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The Charming “Lithuanian Cary Grant”: Walter Matthau in Hopscotch on Criterion

By Christopher Weedman. Walter Matthau (1920-2000) was among Hollywood’s most charismatic stars of the late 1960s and 1970s. During this fascinating period where New Hollywood favorites such as Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, and even Woody Allen were becoming sex symbols despite possessing unconventional looks, Matthau parlayed his “Best Supporting Actor” Oscar as the […]

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A Haneke Masterpiece: The Piano Teacher (Criterion Collection)

By Christopher Sharrett. I count Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (2001) among his supreme masterpieces, along with Code Unknown (2000), Cache (2005), and The White Ribbon (2009). His “glaciation trilogy” (so named for its examination of the death of affect in the West, and the emotional freezing-over and fading of the humanist sensibility that once […]

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The Brethren of GG (i.e., Jesus Christ) Allin: The Allins

By Johannes Schönherr. New York City, June 27th 1993: Notorious punk rocker GG Allin had finally served out a lengthy prison sentence in Michigan and was set to play his first concert after his release. The venue was a club called the Gas Station on the corner of East 2nd Street and Avenue B. A converted former […]

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Working for the Police, Working for the City, or Selling Drugs: Stanley Corkin’s Connecting The Wire

A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. David Simon’s television series The Wire ran on HBO from 2002-2008, five seasons of a prestige show that, in the less than ten years since its last episode, has reached iconic status and is on most critics’ top-ten shows of all time lists. It is the Citizen Kane […]

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The Indian Film Critics Have Done It Again!: Reading Gender in Ki & Ka Through the Cinematic Lens of R. Balki

By Devapriya Sanyal and Melissa Webb. The Indian film critics have done it again! As Glover and Kaplan state in their book Genders, the term “gender” itself is rather slippery. Such complicated issues regarding gender and performance are explored by Indian film director R. Balki, who attempts a gender role-reversal of sorts in his film Ki & Ka (2016), […]

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The Year of the Kneale Olympics – Into the Unknown: the Fantastic Life of Nigel Kneale by Andy Murray and We Are the Martians edited by Neil Snowdon

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. It is as if in movies, TV and books, genre progresses through a series of metaphorical prison walls. Inferior and derivative work merely scratches the surface, some not even that. But the giants – the geniuses and serious innovators – smash the walls down before our eyes, allowing […]

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