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Culture, Style, Voice, Motion: The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien by Christopher Lupke

A Book Review by Yun-hua Chen. Christopher Lupke’s The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice, and Motion (Cambria, 2016) is a well-informed book straddling between the disciplines of Chinese Studies and Film Studies and is highly relevant to film buffs, sinophiles, film researchers, and students. By contextualising Hou Hsiao-hsien’s oeuvres within the historical, […]

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All That’s Lost: Rebecca from the Criterion Collection

By Tony Williams. Criterion initially offered Rebecca (1940) on a 2-disc DVD edition in 2001 but following loss of copyright a few years later it became an expensive collector’s item, according to my colleague Chris Weedman. Now they have reissued this version in a new format retaining some of the earlier features but adding some […]

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Love Kills: Sid & Nancy from the Criterion Collection

By Jeremy Carr. Sid & Nancy, Alex Cox’s 1986 biopic about raucous Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) and his equally rowdy girlfriend Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb), begins in the aftermath of days, weeks, months, and years spent under a range of influences. Pasty white and dazed, Sid sits limply on a hotel bed. The […]

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Stephen King’s IT: Unneeded Horrors

By Christopher Sharrett. I have never much admired the horror fiction of Stephen King, which I’ve called the “hoagie sandwich” approach to the genre, with numerous conventions, images, and devices of horror packed into each novel. Salem’s Lot has the Terrible House with its monstrous history, the serial killer/pedophile, the Cursed Town, and finally a […]

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The Sublime Beauty of Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg on Criterion

By Christopher Weedman. When celebrated French film director Jacques Demy and composer Michel Legrand were experiencing difficulty securing financing for Les parapluies de Cherbourg/The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), Italian producer Carlo Ponti remarked to Demy, “I really like your story. But you should shoot it in black and white, since color’s too expensive. You should change […]

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Cultivating Young Minds: School Life

By Elias Savada. In the quaint, historic town of Kells in County Meath, home to Ireland’s only independent documentary film festival, it seems rather fitting that this is also the locale of School Life, a year-in-the-life exploration of Headfort School, a unique, unconventional primary-age boarding school. This 18th-century estate is where Neil Jordan filmed The Butcher […]

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Catharsis, Backstage and Beyond: Spettacolo

By Jeremy Carr. There was no plan to launch an annual undertaking where the residents of Monticchiello, a small Tuscan village, would enact theatrical renderings of their own lives in an open-air piazza performance. According to the neighborly troupe’s director, Andrea Cresti, it happened purely by chance. In any event, here they are, and in Spettacolo […]

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Anti Matter: Alice Tumbles Down the Wormhole

By Elias Savada. Memory loss and Queen of Hearts madness team up against a you-shouldn’t-play-with-Mother-Nature anti-hero in Anti Matter, an ambitious and entertaining sci-fi effort from director-writer Keir Burrows. He’s a South African-born, U.K.-based filmmaker who has decided that a his feature debut would journey to (Alice in) Wonderland. Burrows has been making well-received short films […]

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Updating the Debate – The Elusive Auteur: The Question of Film Authorship Throughout the Age of Cinema by Barrett Hodsdon

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Barrett Hodsdon is an unfamiliar name to me, chiefly because I do not reside in Australia. However, like Victor Perkins, he seems to have written few works but when he has they are characterized by rigorous observations, well-thought-out arguments, and distinguished research. He has been involved with Australian film […]

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A World of One’s Own: The Endearing Humanity of Pavel Cuzuioc’s Secondo Me

By Brandon Konecny.  Pavel Cuzuioc is a filmmaker with a flair for creating thoughtful meditations on working-class people, and he doesn’t diverge from this course in his recent documentary Secondo Me (2016), which concerns three employees at different European opera houses. Given its settings and Italian title (which means “in my opinion”), we’d perhaps be […]

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