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“What Might Have Been”: The Magnificent Ambersons (Criterion Collection)

By Tony Williams. “Anybody who does things their own way while they’re working with a corporation is going to be problematic.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, audio-commentary, The Magnificent Ambersons Criterion Collection DVD When Criterion rises to the appropriate occasion of combining the best type of digital restoration with the most appropriate supplementary features, the results are always worth […]

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Twilight of the Idol: Eastwood’s The Mule

By James Slaymaker. Like many late-period Eastwood films, The Mule is a revisionist genre piece with a pronounced self-reflexive streak. It only takes a glimpse at the poster to deduce that the figure of Eastwood – as a cinematic persona, as an actor, as an ailing body – will be at the forefront of the […]

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His Own Man – George Raft: The Man Who Would be Bogart by Stone Wallace

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Enter George Raft groom cum chauffeur – He lurked hand and collar and hands in his pockets – Heavy with menace he takes the job of looking after someone who was sure to reach the film – Sticky end abroad – George Raft went home talking – Smoothest […]

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The Eternal Dilemma: Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev (The Criterion Collection)

By Tony Williams. After reviewing the disappointing Criterion Von Sternberg/Dietrich DVD Collection and noting the company’s inexplicable emphasis on popular films available elsewhere, it is a pleasure to see Criterion return to form with this three-disc version of Tarkovsky’s masterpiece. Subject of many fine critical books and articles, the film’s importance lies in its relevance […]

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Watering the Money Tree: Eugen Damaschin’s Beautiful Corruption (2018)

By Brandon Konecny. In 2014, Moldova experienced what many observers called the “theft of the century.” One billion dollars disappeared from the country’s banking system. That’s nearly an eighth of its gross domestic product. Because some worried that the country’s already fragile economy would collapse, the government intervened. The banks got a bail out, while […]

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First Man and Last Things

By Christopher Sharrett. I have just recently seen Damien Chazelle’s First Man after putting it off during its initial release. The film holds some interest for me, unlike his previous two films, Whiplash (2015) and La La Land (2016), the first a throwback, I think, to films of the 1970s and the Reagan era, that […]

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Just Slightly Off: True Stories

By John Duncan Talbird. My friends and I loved the Talking Heads when we were in college. You could not go a week in our house without hearing at least one of their most recent albums: Speaking in Tongues (1983), Stop Making Sense (1984), Little Creatures (1985). (Even today, I don’t let much time pass between […]

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There’s No Place Like Home: Revisiting Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day (Criterion Collection)

By Jeremy Carr. In her essay for the Criterion Collection release of Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day, Moira Weigel opens with a roll call of the assorted characters who have appeared in the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder: There is the cruel friend from Berlin Alexanderplatz, carrying himself like a German Mick Jagger, all lankness […]

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Re-Working Hitchcock: Brian De Palma’s Sisters (Criterion Collection)

By Tony Williams. De Palma’s Sisters has long been overdue for a new 4K digital restoration that Criterion now supplies along with some significant supplementary material on the disk. The days have long gone when the director’s post-satirical films were dismissed by critics as mere Hitchcock copies in a manner more applicable to Quentin Tarantino’s […]

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Notes on Pablo Larraín

By Christopher Sharrett. Some months ago I published in this location brief remarks on Pablo Larraín’s remarkable film Jackie (2016), one of the most compelling works of its season. The film had me going back, revisiting Larraín’s other work, which resulted in my present view that he is in the front rank of current filmmakers. […]

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