Home » January 31st, 2014 Entries posted on “January, 2014”

American Hustle (2013)

By Jacob Mertens. David O. Russell’s American Hustle begins with a title card stating “Some of this actually happened,” and for once a Hollywood film makes an honest claim to real events. Upon closer examination though, Russell had little choice but to say so. His film features well-developed characters, but they are characters drawn up […]

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From Gangster to Master: the Forgotten Edward G. Robinson

By Matthew Sorrento. I. The Look Robinson’s legion of fans grew after the actor delivered an intense desperation as Rico Bandello in Mervyn LeRoy’s Little Caesar (1931). A hood who embraces a Macbethian drive to kill and consume, Rico soon witnesses the betrayal of his sideman, then ponders his own death, muttering “Mother of Mercy, […]

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The Cinematic Palette from Feudal Japan – Gate of Hell

By Giuseppe Sedia.  Beyond any artistic value or aesthetic significance, the critical response to Gate of Hell (1953) provides a rare glimpse into the evolution of cinematic taste in the Fifties. According to Jean Cocteau, who served as jury president at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival, Kinugasa’s visually flamboyant jidai-geki displayed “the most wonderful colors in the world.” It’s […]

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Rocky Balboa and the Politics of Urban Renewal

By Jon Kraszewski. Coming at the end of a film series that had degenerated into useless portraits of cartoonish characters and simplified visions of social issues, the 2006 film Rocky Balboa probably attracted very little attention from progressive film critics. I, admittedly, decided to watch it to indulge my fondness for bad taste. I wondered […]

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The Conformists: Creativity and Decadence in the Bulgarian Cinema 1945-89 (2011)

A Book Review by Brandon Konecny.  A full historical account of Bulgaria’s cinema under Communism—given the topic’s obscurity and the lack of translated resources in the West, such a venture seems to smack of futility. To even have hopes of pulling off a project of this sort, one would have to spend enormous amounts of […]

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November Film Festivals in Berlin: Afrikamera, Interfilm, and Around the World in 14 Films

By Yun-Hua Chen.  November in Berlin is a busy month for film buffs in the capital, as there are three major independent film festivals: Afrikamera, Interfilm, and Around the World in 14 Films. Among these, Afrikamera is organised by the nonprofit cultural association, Toucouleur e.V. It brings rarely screened African movies to Berlin in an […]

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The Mother’s Role in Bergman’s Persona

By Terence Diggory. CONTENTS The Critical Audience Dramatis Personae Child’s Play Alma Mater Sons and Lovers Fear of Lying Fear of Dying The Primary Audience The Critical Audience Ingmar Bergman saw the first hints of a new film as “a brightly colored thread sticking out of the dark sack of the unconscious” (1960: xv). Having […]

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Diva Directors Around the Globe: Spotlight on Caroline Link

By Anna Weinstein. Due to an error during printing one page of this interview was replaced by an ad when it was originally published in Film International 66, vol. 11, no. 6/2013. Therefore we have chosen to republish it here in its entirety. German director Caroline Link has written and directed for both television and film. Her first feature […]

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Editorial issue 66: The Bechdel Test and the Biases of Cinema

By Daniel Lindvall. Recently four Swedish cinemas, all run by Folkets Hus och Parker (‘The People’s Houses and Parks’, an organization with roots in the labour movement), decided to start rating the gender balance of their films according to the so-called Bechdel test. The test, named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel and introduced via […]

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Kiss the Water (2013)

By Cleaver Patterson. When someone is the subject matter of a film memoir, they must have a magical quality if they are never physically seen—either in person or in the form of archive footage—yet leave the viewer with the impression that they have met them and that their presence permeates every aspect of the work […]

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