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A Love-Death Relationship: Obit.

By Elias Savada. This film is for me. I am a genealogist and death is a constant on my family tree. I read obituaries every day. I also peruse death notices, those announcements placed, and paid for, by the deceased’s family. Obituaries are a lot more interesting. My father, Morton, had a grand obituary in […]

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Toppling a God: Citizen Jane|Battle for the City

By Elias Savada. Making sense out of urban chaos was more than a dream for Jane Jacobs. It was a battle cry. Jacobs, a writer-journalist turned activist who passed away in 2006, took aim at New York City planning czar Robert Moses, who ruled the Big Apple skyline and parkway system with a concrete fist. His […]

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School’s Out, For Good: My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea

By Elias Savada. The film is brief (76 minutes), but the title isn’t – My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea. Not as long (word wise) as 1991’s mouthful Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the […]

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An Unsung Professional – The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez by Dan Van Neste

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Although countless books have appeared in past and present featuring stars, many who never achieved enduring fame are often unjustly neglected despite the fact that they survived and delivered professional performances throughout their careers. One example is Ricardo Cortez (1900-1977). Born in New York City as Jacob Krantz, the […]

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Truth and Fiction: Werner Herzog’s Salt and Fire and Queen of the Desert

By John Duncan Talbird. It’s hard to know why Werner Herzog still makes fiction films. He clearly loves to travel to strange and wonderful places as part of his work, to film these landscapes and interpret them. He has the loose, improv nature of the documentarian and his recent documentaries are varied and complex and beautiful […]

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Par for the Course: Tommy’s Honour

By Elias Savada. Both old school and old-fashioned come together in style and substance in Tommy’s Honour, Jason Connery’s passable historical look at golf. The drab (in a good, yet unexciting way) production design is definitely Scottish mid-19th century, and the acting could be called grand without being exceptional. Think a Lifetime movie on the Golf […]

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Hobart Bosworth – Silent Cinema’s Sea Wolf: Behind the Door (1919) from Flicker Alley

By Tony Williams. Ever since seeing that unforgettable still in Kevin Brownlow’s The War, the West, and the Wilderness (1979), the grim-visage of Hobart Bosworth (1867-1943) in Behind the Door (Irvin V. Willat, 1919), wielding a scalpel with the shadow of his victim in the background, has occupied an ineradicable part of my cinematic memory. Obviously influential […]

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Dividing Lives: Petar Valchanov and Kristina Grozeva’s Glory

By Devapriya Sanyal. At first glance it may seem that Glory, the new Bulgarian film directed by Petar Valchanov and Kristina Grozeva, belongs to Tzanko Petrov (Stefan Denolyubov), the honest but simple linesman who returns the cash he finds on a railway track he services. In the beginning nothing much happens – you meet Petrov who […]

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Tough Onscreen and Off: The Lives of Robert Ryan by J.R. Jones

A Book Review by Irv Slifkin. In The Lives of Robert Ryan (Wesleyen University Press, 2015), Chicago film critic J.R. Jones points out the many contradictions in the actors’ career and life as reflected in the title of the book. The actor did, in fact, lead many lives. Ryan was a tough Irishman with an […]

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If Only We Could Live for Today: After the Storm

By Elias Savada. The actual typhoon in After the Storm is more than a physical catastrophe. It’s a powerful metaphor for an acclimatized world of broken families. It takes more than half this modest, sensitive Japanese feature’s nearly two-hour running time for the gusts and driving rain to arrive, wherein the cleansing process begins. As […]

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