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Fifty Shades of Deep Red: Piercing

By Jeremy Carr. “You have to relax.” These words of advice come from Laia Costa’s Mona, near the beginning of Piercing, the second film from writer-director Nicholas Pesce. She is talking to her husband, Reed (Christopher Abbott), a man with a permanently perturbed disposition who will later echo the suggestion when speaking to a prostitute […]

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An Abdurdist, Black Comedy Mixer: Pig

By Ali Moosavi. To fans of Asghar Farhadi, Mani Haghighi may be known for co-writing the script of Fireworks Wednesday (Chaharshanbeh Soori) and acting in About Elly (Darbareye Elly). He is, however, a prominent writer-director in his own right. His style, as seen in his recent films Modest Reception (Paziraieh sadeh) and A Dragon Arrives! […]

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Watering the Money Tree: Eugen Damaschin’s Beautiful Corruption (2018)

By Brandon Konecny. In 2014, Moldova experienced what many observers called the “theft of the century.” One billion dollars disappeared from the country’s banking system. That’s nearly an eighth of its gross domestic product. Because some worried that the country’s already fragile economy would collapse, the government intervened. The banks got a bail out, while […]

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Art and Healing – The 5 Browns: Digging Through the Darkness

By Elizabeth Toohey. R. Kelly; the backlash against Gillette; the abduction of 13-year-old Jayme Closs, held captive for three months; Larry Nassar’s abuse of upwards of 300 gymnasts entrusted to his care; the president of Michigan State’s claim that Nassar’s victims were enjoying the attention. And that’s just this week. Never has the culture of sexual […]

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Journeywoman – Claire Trevor: The Life and Films of the Queen of Noir by Derek Sculthorpe

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Yorkshire resident Derek Sculthorpe is an archivist who has also written plays, short stories, and articles as well as other books on Hollywood stars, such as Brian Donlevy and Van Heflin. This well-researched book reveals how important the contributions of independent critics are as various books published by Bear […]

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Beyond a Horror Anthology: Spirits of the Dead by Tim Lucas

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Initiated last year with the appearance of monograph studies of Theatre of Blood and Martin, this enterprising series now includes this study of a trilogy of European Edgar Allan Poe adaptations by Roger Vadim, Louis Malle, and Federico Fellini, written by that well-known Video Watchdog editor and prolific audio-commentator […]

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The Other Tounge(s) of Iran: Hendi and Hormoz (Iranian Film Festival of New York)

By Arash Azizi. Hendi and Hormoz, which screened at the first-ever Iranian Film Festival of New York on January 11, has many alarming elements: A child marriage, an early-teen pregnancy, poverty-stricken locals who don’t benefit from their island’s mineral wealth and a cast of non-actors mostly speaking in a local language of southern Iran. It […]

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Choosing Sides: The Standoff at Sparrow Creek

By Jeremy Carr. The men of The Standoff at Sparrow Creek exist in a world of violence. It can be a basic violence, natural even, as when Gannon (James Badge Dale) hunts a deer at the start of the film, dresses his kill, then has the game as his evening meal. Or it can be […]

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When a Documentary Isn’t: Inside Slovenian Non-Fiction Films

By Noah Charney. Slovenian documentary films are at their best when they do not appear to be documentaries. When we imagine documentaries, we tend to think of the History or Travel Channel variety. That’s the type that I occasionally appear in and have also helped to write and produce, so I have a sense of […]

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Hail Mary! – Fanchon The Cricket (1915) and Little Annie Rooney (1925) from Flicker Alley

By Tony Williams. These DVD restorations represent another important collaborative venture on the part of The Mary Pickford Foundation and Flicker Alley, a company specializing in promoting often forgotten achievements of the past. The occasion offers cause to rejoice for previous cultural heritage in contrast to the ignominious productions of the present. While Little Annie Rooney had been […]

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