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Various Industries Post-Independence: New African Cinema by Valérie K. Orlando

A Book Review by Cecilia A. Zoppelletto. Charting the recent film industry of an entire continent is an unimaginable task and, even if that could be done, the result would be an encyclopaedic creation of hundreds of pages satisfying merely the need for lists and facts. But is it actually possible to quickly understand the […]

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A Stilted, Flat Wonder Wheel

By Elias Savada. Woody Allen has gone dumpster diving. His new film, Wonder Wheel, is anything but wondrous. In fact, it stinks. The aging auteur may open his movie with a cloud-specked blue sky framing the aquamarine beach umbrellas and masses of New Yawkers absorbing the sun across every inch of available sand adjoining the Coney […]

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Melville at 100: Le samouraï from Criterion

By Tony Williams. Initially released in 2005, this new edition of Jean-Pierre Melville’s outstanding film has only one new feature to complement those that appeared earlier. They include the 2005 interviews with Rui Nogueira, editor of the classic interview book Melville on Melville (1971), and Ginette Vincendeau, author of the indispensable critical study Jean-Pierre Melville: […]

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Early Programming in the Midwest: Saving Brinton

By Jeremy Owen. Documentaries about cinema are today so numerous that they are close to a genre in their own right and, with a very definite cinema-centric subject matter Saving Brinton puts itself firmly into that canon. Co-directed by Iowa based film-makers Tommy Haines and Andrew Sherburne along with fellow local resident, cinematographer John Richard, […]

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Double Vision: The Breadwinner

By Jeremy Carr. The power and purpose of storytelling is essential to The Breadwinner, the newly released animated adaptation of Deborah Ellis’ 2000 young-adult novel of the same name, directed by Nora Twomey and scripted by Anita Doron. For Kabul father Nurullah (voiced by Ali Badshah), stories are a way to instill in his 11-year-old daughter, […]

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From Novel to Transformation – The Making and Remaking of China’s “Red Classics”: Politics, Aesthetics, and Mass Culture, Edited by Rosemary Roberts and Li Li

A Book Review by Tony Williams. On the surface, most of this edited collection of essays from Hong Kong University Press (2017) appears to have little to do with media save for the last section. But today, Film (and by implication Media) Studies has long passed the time when it had to be defined as a unique […]

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In Defiance of Hollywood – Trying to Get Over: African American Directors after Blaxpoitation, 1977-1986 by Keith Corson

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser. The film director’s traditional conflict between making an artistic statement and making a film that earns money is especially challenging if the director is black. Like any, these filmmakers have to cover significant costs and work within a budget. And because film is a collaborative enterprise, the black […]

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Verity Less Lively: Flesh and Blood

By Dean Goldberg. There’s an often quoted line attributed to director Alfred Hitchcock that goes like this: “Drama is life with the boring parts cut out.” Flesh and Blood, a new film that turned heads at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, bounces Hitch’s statement on its end. Indeed, actor/director Mark Webber has served up a […]

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Novitiate: Life Entombed

By Christopher Sharrett. I have always been curious about the lives of nuns, mainly because I suffered under their twisted physical and psychological ministrations for eight years of parochial grammar school in the Fifties. The topic of a nun’s origins are dealt with in a not particularly distinguished film entitled Novitiate by Maggie Betts; the […]

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A Bloody (Laugh) Riot: Mayhem

By Elias Savada. The tongue-in-check, over-the-top aspect of Mayhem, a looney tune of a film from director Joe Lynch, offers a steroid-infused day in the life of a really toxic office environment. And I do mean toxic, as in a nasty, infectious virus nicknamed ID-7, which first appears, appropriately, as a cartoonish drawing. Heck, why not […]

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