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Fighting in America: Tim Sutton’s Donnybrook

By Thomas Puhr. It’s only fitting that writer-director Tim Sutton’s latest, Donnybrook (2018), opens with a voyage by boat. Like Odysseus, Jarhead Earl (Jamie Bell) undergoes a long journey that culminates in a bloody showdown. Waiting for him at the end of the river is the titular underground fight, which rewards its winner with $100,000. […]

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Handicapping the Oscars: 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts

By Elias Savada. Another year and another Academy Awards show looms large, filled with commentary about snubs and surprises and a program, the first in decades, without a host. While many of us wonder which film will take home the statuette (my personal favorite remains Green Book, but Roma seems to be gaining traction), you might […]

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“Lillie Plays Violet”: Exit Smiling (A San Francisco Silent Film Festival Review)

By Janine Gericke. On Saturday, December 1st, the SF Silent Film Festival held its annual Day of Silents winter program at the famed Castro Theatre. As I’ve previously covered, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival offers a year round celebration of early film. The festival pulls in thousands of silent film fanatics, many of whom […]

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They Shall Not Grow Old – But All Shall Perish

By Christopher Sharrett. I don’t feel especially generous toward Peter Jackson’s “new” (hardly the right word) film, and must call it stunt filmmaking. With the help of the BBC and the Imperial War Museum, Jackson and his large team of collaborators mark the centenary of World War I by assembling a film taken from hours […]

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The Impatient Actor – Gene Hackman, The Life and Work by Peter Shelley

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser.  It’s entirely possible you’ll come away from Peter Shelley’s biography of Gene Hackman knowing less about the actor than you thought you knew. Hackman is at once a perfectionist, cruel, gracious, ungrateful, humorless, a comedian, helpful to his fellow actors, and difficult to work with. The noted film […]

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Beyond QuatermassBrian Donlevy, the Good Bad Guy: A Bio-Filmography by Derek Sculthorpe

A Book Review by Tony Williams. It is early evening watching on UK’s ITV channel, the only one of two that existed in those pre-cable days in an era resembling former Prime Minister John Major’s definition of an England comprising village greens, little old ladies sipping tea, and warm beer! While BBC TV often confined […]

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Real-Life Whac-a-Mole: Rodents of Usual Size

By Elias Savada. First, I thought this might be another horror film with oversized critters due to 1) atomic radiation run amuck, 2) global waming (as Mr. Trump likes to call it), or 3) some crazed offspring of Minnie Mouse and Bucky the Beaver. The correct answer is 4) none of the above. Rodents of Unusual […]

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Redemption: Red Kimona (A San Francisco Silent Film Festival Review)

By Janine Gericke. During the silent film era, some of the most prolific and highest earning producers, writers, and filmmakers were women. Many of these films involved stories about issues such as prostitution, birth control, and abortion. Issues that continue to cause controversy today. Dorothy Davenport created a trilogy of films referred to as the […]

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Fifty Shades of Deep Red: Piercing

By Jeremy Carr. “You have to relax.” These words of advice come from Laia Costa’s Mona, near the beginning of Piercing, the second film from writer-director Nicholas Pesce. She is talking to her husband, Reed (Christopher Abbott), a man with a permanently perturbed disposition who will later echo the suggestion when speaking to a prostitute […]

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An Abdurdist, Black Comedy Mixer: Pig

By Ali Moosavi. To fans of Asghar Farhadi, Mani Haghighi may be known for co-writing the script of Fireworks Wednesday (Chaharshanbeh Soori) and acting in About Elly (Darbareye Elly). He is, however, a prominent writer-director in his own right. His style, as seen in his recent films Modest Reception (Paziraieh sadeh) and A Dragon Arrives! […]

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