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Beatriz at Dinner: Necessary Cinema

By Christopher Sharrett. There are certainly films more perceptive about class and race than Beatriz at Dinner, a film I put off seeing since its basic idea (a lower-class woman stuck in an upper-class dinner) seemed too familiar. The film is indeed based on an old concept most of us would recognize, but what it accomplishes is […]

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Nothing’s Changed: Lost in America (Criterion Collection)

By Jessica Baxter. It’s been over 30 years since Albert Brooks unleashed his on-point satire about the mental unraveling of dissatisfied yuppies in Regan-era America. And while Easy Rider (1969) the film that inspires them, is even further in the rearview today than it was in 1985, the sentiments of ignorance, delusion, and privilege remain tragically relevant […]

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L’argent: Bresson Ends

By Christopher Sharrett. The terms “ascetic” and “austere” are too-common adjectives applied to the films of Robert Bresson. It is reasonable to apply them, but for me “constricted,” “severe,” and “repressed” serve better. Many of Bresson’s films, especially in his late phase, are utterly drained of eroticism; critics have debated whether or not Bresson’s Catholic […]

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A Stumble in the Woods: First Kill

By Elias Savada. Bruce Willis still tracks 243 on the IMDB.com STARmeter scale (I’m at 1,325,678). All kind of entertainment folk are part of the ratings, and Willis has been moving downward lately after decades in the top 100. His gradual tumble down the rankings rabbit hole began with the release of A Good Day […]

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Diversity and Unity – Global Cinematic Cities: New Landscapes of Film and Media Edited by Johan Andersson and Lawrence Webb

A Book Review by Margaret C. Flinn. Johan Andersson and Lawrence Webb’s Global Cinema Cities (Columbia UP, 2016) poses as its task to explore “the evolving, mutually constitutive relations between moving image media and the global city, [but to do] so at a time when profound questions are being asked about the ontological and experiential nature […]

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Out of the Dark(room) and Into the Light – The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography

By Elias Savada. There is an elegant, simple beauty in documentarian Errol Morris’s affectionate portrait of his friend, soft-spoken, 80-year-old Elsa Dorfman, in his new film. In a career that spanned the majority of her adult life, Dorfman has found the fun in photography, and it’s probably best to spell it as FUN, because for more […]

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Eleven Heroines Does a Feminist Film Make: Reading Srijit Mukherjee’s Rajkahini

By Devapriva Sanyal and Melissa Webb. Srijit Mukherji’s Rajkahini (2015) is the Bengali version of 2017’s much feted Begum Jaan, the film which served as the director’s first foray into Bollywood. The film is centred on India’s Partition and is uniquely seen through the eyes of women: a group of prostitutes in a brothel who are, one […]

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A Most Assured First Feature: One Penny

By Elias Savada. Part I: The Buildup So, how many teenagers have you met who say they want to make movies when they grow up? Fame and fortune is just around the corner, right? Well, I’ve seen too many homegrown filmmaker dreams turn into muddled nightmares on the road to stardom, and a first feature misstep […]

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Maurice Revisited: A Timely Return to Theaters

By Anthony Uzarowski. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexual acts in the UK. There could be no better time to revisit one of the country’s greatest cinematic gay love stories, filmed thirty years ago, and now returning to the screens in all its digitally restored glory. Based on a novel by E. […]

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A Feisty Wizard of Cinema: Mickey Rooney, a Show Business Life by James A. MacEachern

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser. If the glimpses we catch on screen of an actor’s body of work ultimately amount to autobiography, the late Mickey Rooney (1920-2014) told us his life story through a distinguished, albeit frequently checkered, career in film and entertainment. In his recent biography, Mickey Rooney, a Show Business Life (McFarland, […]

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