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Utopia Achieved: Call Me by Your Name

By Christopher Sharrett. I’ve kept in mind Luca Guadagnino since his 2009 film I Am Love, which made such good use of both Visconti and Renoir while creating a work wholly Guadagnino’s own. I was less impressed with A Bigger Splash (2015), which seemed to me a work poorly thought-through (Tilda Swinton as a stadium-style […]

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Beuys: Fame and the Pithy Statement

By John Duncan Talbird. “Everything under the sun is art,” Joseph Beuys famously – or fatuously, depending on your point of view – asserted. He also said “Everyone is an artist.” And: “I nourish myself by wasting energy” and “There’s no such thing as weekends” and “Nothing needs to remain the way it is.” He was […]

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Far From Complete – Ingrid Pitt, Queen of Horror: The Complete Career by Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Upon reviewing Ingrid Pitt, Queen of Horror: The Complete Career (McFarland, 2018, revised from a 2010 edition), I recalled my one and only meeting with Ingrid Pitt (1937-2001) was for an interview at a theatre in a location more aptly qualifies for the Apocalypse Now description “the asshole of […]

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Not Much Fun: Crazy Famous

By Elias Savada. Little did Elton John realize that the filmmakers behind Crazy Famous, a lame adventure comedy set in an Upstate New York asylum, might actually try to build a script reversing his quote, “Fame Attracts Lunatics,” into a torpid feature about to hit the VOD, Digital HD, and DVD markets where it might achieve […]

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Misapprehension of the Mainstream: Darkest Hour

By Dean Goldberg. Like many a baby-boomer it was television that brought the movies into my life and introduced me to the world of visual storytelling. If I had to pick a film that set the spark that became a full-fledged fire as I got older, it would have to be The Magnificent Seven (1961), directed […]

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Viva Jodorowsky!: The Holy Mountain by Allesandra Santos

A Book Review by Tony Williams. “I hate Spielberg, because none of his movies are honest…He is fascist, because America is the centre of his world. If I can kill Spielberg, I will kill Spielberg…I think Spielberg is the son from whom Walt Disney fucked Minnie Mouse.” (1) Despite denials to the contrary, the condemnation […]

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The Question of Intelligence: Mother!

By Christopher Sharrett. The release last season of Darren Aronovsky’s Mother! was the unfortunate occasion for another assessment of the American mind. The reviewer chatter at the film’s release was on the order of “What’s he trying to say?” At the theater where I saw the film, angry patrons made remarks like “What was that all about?” […]

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The Dialectic of Historical Dictionaries: Peter Rollberg’s Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Cinema (Second Edition)

A Book Review by Brandon Konecny. A history of soviet cinema, encompassing the films of Russia as well as the non-Russian former Soviet satellites, is an endeavor as large as the former empire itself, whose territory once covered approximately one sixth of the Earth’s surface. A project of that scale would demand countless hours of […]

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The Kids Are Alright: Miss Kiet’s Children

By Jeremy Carr. Young Haya is having a rough time. At the beginning of the documentary Miss Kiet’s Children, this precocious primary school student is terribly upset. She fell on her way to school and her pants are dirty. She is sad and shameful. Her teacher, Kiet Engels, offers to give her a new pair, but […]

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Swimming in Poetry: The Shape of Water

By Elias Savada. When Guillermo del Toro makes a film, people take notice. For me, these are delicious, often unsettling – and sensitive – events. Critics adore his unique skill and have grown accustomed to his stylish shadings; audiences may be put off by his films’ strangeness, a tendency to excite with explicit sexuality and violence, […]

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