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The First Purge: State of the Nation

By Christopher Sharrett. One would think that the fascination with apocalypse in cinema peaked, perhaps, in the late 70s-early 80s, with the disaster films of the era, or the Mad Max cycle, and Blade Runner and its knock-offs. Alternately, Robin Wood remarked that genre cinema reached its “apocalypse phase” in the late 60s with Rosemary’s Baby, The […]

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The Lodgers: The Specter of History

By Alex Brannan. “Be in bed by midnight’s bell. Never let a stranger through your door. Never leave each other all alone.” These are the rules that define the lives of twin siblings Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) in Brian O’Malley’s period horror The Lodgers. Orphaned after the tragic deaths of their parents, they […]

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Wake Up at the Back There! It’s Jimmy Edwards by Anthony Slide

A Book Review by Tony Williams. The name of Jimmy Edwards (1920-1988) may not be familiar to American audiences, let alone contemporary British ones, except for those tuning in to the “Talking Pictures” cable stations and others running archive film and television series that put many contemporary examples on broadcast television to shame. I have […]

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Follow That Dream: Eugene Jarecki’s The King

By Jeremy Carr. Embracing a road trip structure, which is always conducive to a film concerning self-reflective journeys of the soul, Eugene Jarecki’s The King takes as its meditative subject not just the meteoritic rise and catastrophic fall of Elvis Presley, but also the corresponding character of the United States, through 70-some years of its own […]

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They Feud (Again): Under the Tree

By Thomas Puhr. One may argue that the “feuding neighbors” subgenre is overdone, having been explored in films like John G. Avildsen’s Neighbors (1981), Danny DeVito’s Duplex (2003), and Nicholas Stoller’s Neighbors (2014) and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016). This trend is not limited to movie theaters, either; nearly every television sitcom has used it […]

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Between Fantasy and Reality: A Matter of Life and Death (1946) from the Criterion Collection

By Tony Williams. One can never have too much of a good thing and the successful works of The Archers defines this cinematically. After the long overdue recognition delivered to Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger while they were still around to receive it, acclaim by a later generation of directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, […]

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Conflict, Dissension, and Collaboration – Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The Making of Cujo, Written and Edited by Lee Gambin

A Book Review by Tony Williams. This book is an excellent addition to the Bear Manor Media repertoire. Written by an independent film historian as a tribute to a film he finds of exceptional value, the book’s subtitle could also be renamed “Everything You Need to Know about Cujo – and more besides!” This 486-page […]

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Weird Science: Three Identical Strangers

By Elias Savada. I’ve been told, at rare moments throughout my life, that I look just like someone else, other than my dad or a close cousin, of course. Usually, if shown a photograph of the other person, I would not see a resemblance at all. For Robert Shafran, Edward Galland, and David Kellman, there was […]

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John Waters, Respectably Vile Again: Female Trouble (Criterion Collection)

By Gary M. Kramer. John Waters has achieved respectability (again). After 2016’s successful Criterion Collection release of Multiple Maniacs, the premier film snob’s publisher of classics on Blu-ray/DVD has now issued a new 4K digital restoration of his 16mm masterpiece, Female Trouble, from 1974. The original film’s grainy quality gains benefits from the high definition Blu-ray […]

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The Paradox of Vivienne Westwood – Westwood: Punk, Activist, Icon

By Elizabeth Toohey. Is the designer Vivienne Westwood anti-establishment or is she the establishment? Is she iconoclast or icon? More to the point, has her fashion been subversive, a form of resistance to English politics and culture, or has it been merely a commodification of the youthful punk rebellion of the 1970s through which, as […]

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