Home » October 31st, 2013 Entries posted on “October, 2013”

The Archaeology of Abjection in The Exorcist

By Will Dodson. Warner Home Video released a new Blu-ray set of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist on October 8, coinciding with the film’s 40th anniversary. The occasion warrants, I think, a brief revisiting. The set repackages an earlier Blu-ray edition with some new, inconsequential documentary features. Like the earlier release, the package pairs both the […]

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Captain Phillips (2013)

By Jacob Mertens.  A few months ago I was listening to NPR’s This American Life podcast, and I caught an episode that was devoted entirely to a hostage situation in Egypt’s Sinai desert. The story involved journalist Meron Estefanos stumbling onto a den of hostages all seeking rescue, unable to receive any help save from […]

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Light From the Screen: Cinema, Painting and Spectatorship

By Wheeler Winston Dixon. Noël Coward once observed that “television is for appearing on – not for looking at,” but as the twenty-first century takes firm hold of our collective consciousness, it seems that everyone has become, in one form or another, a spectator of the events of everyday existence, whether at home or in […]

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The Counselor

By Christopher Sharrett. This overly promoted film had little to recommend it to me, certainly not the presence of Ridley Scott, whose last compelling film was Blade Runner (1982), made over a generation ago. I was interested in the screenplay by Cormac McCarthy, a novelist whose work I view with not much more than contempt, […]

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Oswald Morris: Legendary Cinematographer

David A. Ellis talked to the 97-year-old about his work on Moulin Rouge (1952), directed by John Huston, who often referred to Morris as “Kid.” David A. Ellis: How did you get the smoky atmospheric look in the picture? Oswald Morris: We used vaporised oil. I was piling this into the studio and at one […]

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Theodor Adorno and Film Theory: The Fingerprint of Spirit (2013)

Book Review by Brandon Konecny.  Theodor W. Adorno, one of the most recognized members of the Frankfurt School, is a figure seldom mentioned in film studies—and his scarcity is, admittedly, understandable. For anyone who’s read “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment of Mass Deception,” Adorno firmly establishes himself as a scathing critic of cinema, berating everything from its […]

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Miguel Gomes’ Tabu & F. W. Murnau’s Tabu

By Perle Petit. Miguel Gomes’ third feature film takes its name from F. W. Murnau’s 1931 Polynesian epic Tabu, a Story of the South Seas (1931). Released in 2012, Gomes’ sumptuously filmed black and white drama takes reference from the silent film genre to create a unique variation on Murnau’s classic, which has recently been re-released […]

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Yayoi Kusama: The Orgy of Self Obliteration

By Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. As an internationally acclaimed Japanese/American artist, Yayoi Kusama rejects any Orientalist assumptions about her work or her self. Yet her playful performances and challenging happenings of the 1960s at times featured images of her wearing the traditional Japanese kimono. Kusama seemingly catered to the audiences of the West in evoking the […]

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The Aesthetic of Shadow: Lighting in Japanese Cinema (2013)

Book Review by Brandon Konecny.  Historically, the skillful manipulation of light and shadow has contributed to the distinctiveness of a number of canonical cinemas. From Weimar “street films” to the golden age of horror in the 30s, German Expressionism to detective noirs, lighting has provided filmmakers various ways with which to convey the surface manifestations […]

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Conspirators: A San Francisco Film Society Hong Kong Cinema Review

By Janine Gericke. Conspirators is the third film in Oxide Pang’s Detective trilogy, beginning with The Detective (2007) and The Detective 2 (2011). All three films star Aaron Kwok as detective Chan Tam. Pang should be somewhat familiar to American audiences, having given us a remake of his own film Bangkok Dangerous (2008), starring Nicolas […]

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