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Fiercely Unpredictable: First Reformed

By Thomas Puhr. Paul Schrader takes Christianity seriously: no small feat, given that many “Christian” movies today are of the schmaltzy, Sunday School variety (i.e. God’s Not Dead, Heaven Is for Real). The writer-director’s latest offering, First Reformed (2017), reconfirms his status as one of America’s most unpredictable filmmakers (his last feature was 2016’s hyperviolent, […]

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Hereditary: The Mother Again

By Christopher Sharrett. As the end credits roll for Ari Aster’s horror film Hereditary, we hear Judy Collins sing her hit song from the 60s, “Both Sides Now,” appropriate for the kind of film that wants to keep us guessing as it tries to walk a fine line between supernatural and psychological horror, accomplished with […]

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Beyond the “Jacksplosion” – Quintessential Jack: The Art of Jack Nicholson on Screen by Scott Edwards

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser. Scott Edwards’s new book (McFarland, 2018) is anything but a garden variety biography of an American A-list actor. There’s no story here of a film actor’s breaking loose from a difficult childhood. There’s no straight-up chronological filmography for a discerning reader to trace that actor’s development. Nor is […]

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Gore Down South: Two Thousand Maniacs! (Arrow Video)

By Jeremy Carr. As noted by no less an authority than Mr. MonsterVision himself, Joe Bob Briggs, to distinguish a good Herschell Gordon Lewis film from one that is of lesser quality is something of a futile effort. It’s hard to really say one title is better than another, just as it’s hard to declare […]

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A Treat Grows in Brooklyn: Hearts Beat Loud

By Elias Savada. One way or another, I always seem to get a plastic high when watching a film with an old fashioned record store. High Fidelity (2000), Empire Records (1995), Ghost World (2001), and even Last Shop Standing, Pip Piper 2012’s documentary about the rise and fall of about two dozen independent mom-and-pop outlets in […]

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In Awe of Everything: The Gospel According to André

By Janine Gericke. ​I’ll start by saying that The Gospel According to André is a delightful film about a delightful human. The film is enthralling and made me laugh out loud at many points, which I wasn’t exactly expecting. One particular scene involving Isabella Rossellini’s two pigs, Boris and Pepe, made me chuckle. This is […]

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The Feminist Battle for Respect – The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist by Michelle Morgan

A Book Review by Anthony Uzarowski. Whenever one sets out to write a book about a real-life person, be it a traditional biography or any other kind of study or retrospective, the question of ethics inevitably comes to the forefront. How does one do justice to a life and work of another human being? When […]

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Arthouse Redux: Claire’s Camera

By Elias Savada. I’m a latecomer to the work of South Korean filmmaker Hong Sangsoo, but I recently caught Night and Day (2004) and Right Now, Wrong Then (2015), which reveal this Seoul-born and Korean-then-American-trained filmmaker’s unconventional, character-driven films as interesting and sometimes forceful human studies (as well as being festival favorites). He’s also, apparently, a […]

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Mountain: Epic to the Extreme

By Elias Savada. The word “breathtaking” doesn’t do justice to Australian documentarian Jennifer Peedom’s Mountain. It’s so far beyond that. The manner of the imposing photography, which often suggests someone climbing upside down, is just one of the remarkable things about this emotionally driven exploration of the majesty of rock. What makes this film tick are […]

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Mungiu’s Deceptive Simplicity: Beyond the Hills (Criterion Collection)

By Christopher Sharrett. I have commented on this site at length on Cristian Mungiu’s masterpiece Beyond the Hills (2012), and while it deserves thorough revaluation, I will note merely its importance by way of a remark on its Blu-ray release by Criterion. It is worth saying that this is the film’s first Region 1 release […]

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