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Maryland, Oy Maryland: Sickies Making Films

By Elias Savada. Baltimore filmmaker Joe Tropea tackles a not very pressing subject with his new film. It’s an admirable history lesson and enjoyable examination of Maryland’s long-deceased era of film censorship, a period that extended from 1916 to 1981. Most people don’t remember the state’s control over all film content that would play on […]

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Uma: Invoking Love, Death and an Elsewhere

By Devapriya Sanyal. Uma is Srijit Mukherji’s twelfth film in seven years. It is based on a real story, which by the director’s own admission he found on Facebook. He then set about writing a story based on the Bengali festival of Durga Puja, with an eponymous heroine, for Uma is the other name by […]

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Fair and Balanced, for Real – Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes

By Michael Sandlin. Alexis Bloom’s Divide and Conquer could have easily been conceived as a shameless liberal hit job on an easy target: far-right fake news guru and prolific sexual harasser Roger Ailes, founder of Fox News and the head bully-boy behind the modern Trumpian Republican political class. Yet this documentary actually turns out to be […]

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Choosing Your Own Family: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters

By Matthew Fullerton. Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest drama, the Palme-d’Or-winning Shoplifters (Manbiki Kazoku), is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary family: Osamu Shibata (Lily Franky) is a middle-aged man who, though physically able to work, prefers supporting his family through petty crime. He plies his trade with the boy Shota (Kairi Jō), whom he has […]

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The Man Who Would Be Scar – Henry Brandon: King of the Bogeymen by Bill Cassara and Richard S. Greene

A Book Review by Tony Williams. In one way, my title is misleading. Despite the impressive appearance of Henry Brandon’s Scar appearing as an appropriate “monster from the id” with blue eyes and European presence to John Wayne’s Ethan Edwards in The Searchers (1956), this impressive labor of love, that could only be published by Bear […]

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More than Rippin’ or Rascality: Jonah Hill’s Mid90s

By Brandon Konecny. “My visceral reaction when I hear someone is making a movie about skateboarding is…I wish they [sic] wouldn’t,” says professional skateboarder Rodney Mullen. And his remarks are understandable. Aside from maybe Larry Clark’s Kids (1995), skateboarding has never fared well in narrative cinema, usually serving as an exotic object for middle-class audience’s […]

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Rebirth: Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria

By Janine Gericke. In 1977, Italian horror legend Dario Argento released Suspiria – a seminal classic among horror fans and cinephiles. Luca Guadagnino, whose Call Me by Your Name won raves last year, has made a compelling albeit head-scratching homage to the original film. Taking place in 1977 Berlin, a young woman joins a prestigious academy and quickly […]

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Struggling Adrift: The Raft (Flotten)

By Daniel Lindvall. In May 1973 six women and five men set out from the Canary Islands to cross the Atlantic to Mexico in a twelve by seven metres large raft, the Acali. The ungainly vessel was made of wood, steel and glass, and equipped with a sail but no engine. Only one of the […]

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The Sweet, Swedish Smell of Fear: Border

By Elias Savada. Scandinavian folklore is home to dozens of curious creatures. Trolls, dwarves, and elves might be the ones most of us on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean recall on a regular basis. It’s a natural progression that movies and television have appropriated these supernatural beings, particularly in their homelands. I suspect the […]

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Art Loving Criminals: Ruben Brandt, Collector

By Martin Kudláč. The Locarno International Film Festival has a notorious sweet spot, Piazza Grande, one of the biggest squares in Switzerland where it is hosting open-air night screenings for over 8000 viewers. It is not just tourists´ landmark empillared with traditional arcades but also a programming one where a carefully curated selection of films receives […]

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