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Critique with Some Scopophilia: Gestures of Love by Steven Rybin

A Book Review by Anthony Uzarowski. “Anybody got a match?” Who doesn’t remember the first time they heard Lauren Bacall utter these words; the first time they, along with Humphrey Bogart, laid their eyes on her in To Have and Have Not. Did we fall under her spell in the very same moment he did? It’s […]

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Blade of the Immortal: Where Jidaigeki and Manga Collide

By Matthew Fullerton. Takashi Miike isn’t one to shy away from pushing the boundaries of existing genres and teasing his audiences while promoting and screening his films. Take his horror masterpiece Audition (1999). Its narrative meanders along with a gentle story of loss, loneliness, and a search for love before plummeting into creepiness and then […]

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The Florida Project: Childhood in Time of War

By Christopher Sharrett. Occasionally, the Hollywood industry produces a film that notes the poverty flowing from the neoliberal order, as a “permanent underclass” becomes no more than journalistic jargon taken for granted with a shrug by those sectors of the public who need to pay attention. I think of Kelly Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy, and […]

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Amplified Isolation: It Takes from Within

By Gary M. Kramer. The wordless pre-credit sequence of It Takes from Within sets the tone for this stark, atmospheric drama: three couples crawl, stand, and lie in a bed on an illuminated patch of grass. Gorgeously filmed in luminous black and white, the sequences does not make much sense, but its point may become […]

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Flight to Salvation: The King’s Choice

By Jake Rutkowski. About twenty minutes into The King’s Choice, it hits me: I know absolutely nothing about Norway’s political history. Nor its governmental structure. Nor its involvement in World War II. Nothing. While there are some informational title cards at the start of the film, I found myself bereft of any sense of dramatic irony, […]

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Oneiric Noir: The Chase (1946) from Kino Lorber

By Tony Williams. Based on Cornell Woolrich’s 1944 novel The Black Path of Fear, The Chase (1946) has long required a remastered DVD version though bootleg versions previously available may have added to its reputation as a darker shade of noir appropriately associated with its creative source. It was directed by Arthur Ripley (1897-1961) who […]

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Prison of the Mind: The Big Knife (1955) from Arrow Academy

By Jake Rutkowski. There are few time capsules more compelling to me than works in which Golden Age Hollywood peels back the curtain on its own sordid affairs. What normally proceeds is melodrama in the throes of self-aggrandizement, tempered by winking metatext that points to the absurdity of it all. It’s a familiar if narrow […]

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Dying To Live Another Day: Realive

By Elias Savada. The general belief that there is seemingly civil attitude toward one another in our planet’s clean, sterile looking future reflects the sci-fi genre’s long-standing notion that there is no clutter in our lives down the road. As seen in Realive, an existential look into life after death from Spanish-born director-writer Mateo Gil, […]

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Early Black Cinema Recovered: Lost Boundaries (1949)

By Louis J. Wasser. In the late 1940s, a man from New Hampshire named Albert Johnston, Jr. wrote a letter to film documentarian Louis de Rochemont. Johnston, in his early 20s, alluded to the book Lost Boundaries written by William L. White about his father, the elder Albert Johnston, a physician. He suggested his father’s […]

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Enjoyable Traces: After The Fox (1966) from Kino Lorber

By Tony Williams. Back in 1965 BBC TV screened a documentary introduced by Dirk Bogarde, The Epic that Never Was, an informative analysis of a 1937 failed film version of I, Claudius that would have been directed by Josef von Sternberg starring Charles Laughton in a role that would later be performed by Freddie Jones and […]

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