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Shopping for Ghosts: Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper

By Elias Savada. As I watched Personal Shopper, I wondered if this new mostly English-language film from French filmmaker Olivier Assayas was a Euro thriller or not. I certainly wasn’t on the edge of my seat. The premise in this French-German production is that Maureen Cartwright (Kristen Stewart), a weary, despondent American in Paris, has a […]

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More Than Plays on Film: Marcel Pagnol’s “Marseille Trilogy” Restored by Janus Films

By Christopher Weedman. Janus Films’ stunning 4K restoration of the “Marseille Trilogy” by the esteemed Marcel Pagnol is one of the essential revivals of the year. Adapted from Pagnol’s stage plays set in the provincial port city of Marseille in southern France, the three installments – Marius (Alexander Korda, 1931), Fanny (Marc Allégret, 1932), and […]

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The Controversy of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Nasser’s Republic, The Making of Modern Egypt

By Neila Driss. Michal Goldman’s documentary, Nasser’s Republic, The Making of Modern Egypt (2016), was screened on November 20th during the 38th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF).  Criticized by some viewers for historical inaccuracies, it got a stormy reception, and Goldman herself was in attendance to field questions from an animated, and […]

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Hugs vs. Handshakes: Life’s Battles in Donald Cried

By Elias Savada. The indie movie Donald Cried joins a growing number of feature films based on a short subject (among my small-budget faves: 1995’s Sling Blade and 2004’s Napoleon Dynamite). It’s a fine feature debut for director (also co-writer, star) Kris Avedisian, based on his 22-minute oil-and-water bromance from 2012, in which he is also seen […]

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Keep Telling Yourself, It’s Not a Vacation – Kong: Skull Island

By Elias Savada. Kong: Skull Island, Hollywood’s latest outing for its furry Eighth Wonder of the World, has arrived in an energetic, well-mounted, 3-D, IMAX-sized package. King Kong (1933), the species’ black-and-white, ground-breaking original, still reigns as the best big ape/deity movie ever. The new reboot of the monster, despite a somewhat predictable good-bad freaks (of nature) […]

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Well-Wrought and Old-Fashioned: Robin Wood’s The Apu Trilogy (New Edition)

A Book Review by John Duncan Talbird. The film critic Robin Wood (1931-2009) was one of those writers who helped the general public to take cinema seriously as an art form and who, like many critics of the sixties – at least the ones who didn’t become filmmakers themselves – would become an academic in the […]

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Ready, Ink, Go!: 24 Hour Comic

By Elias Savada. Ever wonder what it’s like to spend a long day in the life with a comic book artist? Or maybe eight of them? Dream no more, as 24 Hour Comic offers an interesting look inside the creative minds of some of the disposable/collectible medium’s brightest architects, when they have gathered together and […]

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Get Out: Belated Misjudgments

By Christopher Sharrett. I was curious about Jordan Peele’s film Get Out. I heard rumors that it was a riposte to Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), that bizarre mistake by the good-hearted Stanley Kramer, where a young white woman (Katharine Houghton) takes her black fiancé (Sidney Poitier) home to meet her upper-class parents (Katharine […]

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Just Do It!: Get Out

By Elias Savada. You don’t need to be creative when making a low budget horror film. They can suck, yet are usually profitable with just a video-on-demand deal. Getting an on-the-cheap scary picture to register positively in the public’s mind is another story. I definitely get the feeling that Blumhouse, the production house which put Jordan […]

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A Big Crumble: The Great Wall

By Elias Savada. So, let’s get to the big question you’re asking your mirror. Is Matt Damon’s new fantasy action movie the greatest wall of them all? Well, for big screen entertainment, including those of you who like this sort of FX-driven, over-stylized, popcorn munching diversion, The Great Wall is indeed a big budget ($150 […]

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