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Charm in Spades: Tea with Dames

By Gary M. Kramer. The gentle, charming documentary, Tea with the Dames eavesdrops on the gossip, memories, and laughs shared by four grand British actresses: Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, and Eileen Atkins. Director Roger Michell films these longtime friends together, or in pairs, at Plowright’s “cottage,” asking questions about their work and their […]

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White Boy Rick: The Father and the City

By Christopher Sharrett. Yann Demange’s White Boy Rick is a smaller-budget film of the season almost buried by franchise movies like The Nun (of “the Conjuring Universe”), Predator (another franchise reboot), and the usual cascade of juvenilia. The film deserves notice. I want first to take note of one of the film’s stars, Matthew McConaughey, […]

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“Good Sausage”: Felix Feist’s The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950) from Flicker Alley

By Tony Williams. Imagine Lee J. Cobb (1911-1976) playing a star role as an honest cop turned bad played for a sucker by femme fatale Jane Wyatt (1910-2006), an actress not usually associated with such parts but more as the contented spouse of Robert Young (1907-1998) in Father Knows Best (1954-1960) and Spock’s mother in […]

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Assault of Independence: Lizzie

By Janine Gericke. Lizzie Borden’s infamous story is horrifying. On August 4, 1892, Borden’s father and stepmother were found bludgeoned to death in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lizzie was arrested for the crime, but ultimately acquitted. According to the end credits of Craig William Macneill’s  Lizzie, the all-male jury determined that a woman […]

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Pushing Life to the Edge: Free Solo

By Elias Savada. Alex Honnold dreams the impossible dream, and he climbs where the brave dare not go. Unlike Don Quixote, he defies death by climbing mountains of sheer granite. Without a rope. Free solo climbing is a solitary affair that is exhilarating to the extreme. A single misstep generally proves fatal. Like the annual award […]

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Yakuza’s Angry Young Man: Street Mobster (Arrow Video)

By Jeremy Carr. Street Mobster found director Kinji Fukasaku at a pivotal point in his career, a situation reflected in the evolution of a genre he had so effectively worked to fashion. Fukasaku made his directorial debut in 1961, with the Sonny Chiba-starring Fûraibô tantei: Akai tani no sangeki, and from 1964 to 1977, he turned […]

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Sleep No More: Or, If It Hadn’t Been for Those Meddling Kids….

By Alex Brannan. If one were to just slightly retool Phillip Guzman’s Sleep No More (aka 200 Hours) – eliminate the gore and profanity, shift the characters’ ages, move the time period back a couple decades, and make the least consequential character a canine – the film could easily pass as a Scooby-Doo adaptation. One […]

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The Sublime Art of Ashby: Hal

By Elias Savada. Hal (no relation to the sentient computer in Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey), is a reflective meditation on the (high) life and (best) films of Hal Ashby, a director of note during the 1970s, when he churned out award-worthy films that now shape this debut documentary from Los Angeles-based editor Amy […]

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The Science of Experimental Film – Lessons in Perception: The Avant-Garde Filmmaker as Practical Psychologist by Paul Taberham

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. For many, the term “avant-garde” is synonymous with pretension: a sub-subgenre that revels in its impenetrability and niche appeal. One of Paul Taberham’s overarching goals in Lessons in Perception: The Avant-Garde Filmmaker as Practical Psychologist (Berghan Books, 2018) is to negate this misconception; experimental filmmakers are not going out of […]

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The Films of Jess Franco: Cinema on the Fringes

A Book Review by Alex Brannan. For those experiencing a Jess Franco film for the first time, the response is unlikely to be an academic one. Known predominantly for horror and erotica films, Franco’s filmography is often relegated under the umbrella of trash cinema. His preoccupations with the female form, erotic lesbianism, sadomasochism, the Marquis […]

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