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Art and Healing – The 5 Browns: Digging Through the Darkness

By Elizabeth Toohey. Kelly; the backlash against Gillette; the abduction of 13-year-old Jayme Closs, held captive for three months; Larry Nassar’s abuse of upwards of 300 gymnasts entrusted to his care; the president of Michigan State’s claim that Nassar’s victims were enjoying the attention. And that’s just this week. Never has the culture of sexual abuse […]

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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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Screwball/Great Depression Denial Syndrome: My Man Godfrey (Criterion Collection)

By Tony Williams. Gregory La Cava’s My Man Godfrey (1936) is admittedly one of the best screwball comedies of the 1930s that provided witty dialogue, entertainment, and “acceptable” references to the Great Depression in the limited manner Hollywood allowed at this time. Far removed from the more gritty Warner Bros’ type of productions such as […]

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From a Longtime Insider/Outsider – Two Cheers for Hollywood: Joseph McBride on Movies

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Joseph McBride, currently Professor of Film Studies at San Francisco State University, has had a long and varied career both in the film industry and as an independent critic for many decades. Soon we will finally get to see his long-awaited role as Mr. Pister in Orson Welles’s […]

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Colette in the #MeToo Era

By Elizabeth Toohey. If ever a movie was ripe for release, it’s the new bio-pic Colette. The life and career of one of France’s most celebrated novelists hits in rapid succession all the major notes of the MeToo movement, which shows no signs of slowing down, now with the recent Supreme Court appointment of Brett […]

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“Good Sausage”: Felix Feist’s The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950) from Flicker Alley

By Tony Williams. Imagine Lee J. Cobb (1911-1976) playing a star role as an honest cop turned bad played for a sucker by femme fatale Jane Wyatt (1910-2006), an actress not usually associated with such parts but more as the contented spouse of Robert Young (1907-1998) in Father Knows Best (1954-1960) and Spock’s mother in […]

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