Home » February 26th, 2014 Entries posted on “February, 2014”

Preliminary Notes on the Monochrome Universe

By Wheeler Winston Dixon. Lately I’ve been thinking about black and white movies, and how they’ve almost completely disappeared from the current cinematic landscape.[1] There are occasional projects shot in black and white, but with cinema rapidly becoming an all-digital medium, and black and white film stock almost impossible to purchase, color has taken over […]

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Gravity (2013)

By Jacob Mertens. Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) drifts in zero gravity, curled into a fetal pose with eyes closed, as if the decompression chamber was a womb. She has withstood an onslaught of space debris that wiped out her fellow astronauts and as she hovers above the ground, sunlight pours through the window and […]

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The forced Real of (in)humanity: A brief Lacanian critique of The Act of Killing

By Mats Carlsson. Like all great documentaries, The Act of Killing demands another way of looking at reality. It starts as a dreamscape, an attempt to allow the perpetrators to reenact what they did, and then something truly amazing happens. The dream dissolves into nightmare and then into bitter reality. An amazing and impressive film. […]

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Les Cousins (1959)

By Christopher Neilan.  In 1958, twenty-seven year old cahiers du cinema critic Claude Chabrol spent his wife’s inheritance money shooting his debut feature Le beau Serge, a Hitchcock influenced morality piece starring Gérard Blain and Jean-Claude Brialy. The film, which earned the best director prize from the Locarno film festival, was Chabrol’s first directorial effort […]

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“Illusion and Reality” Films: Genre and Apotheosis

By Brian Russell Graham. A great many of the most popular films of recent decades are characterized by a character’s struggle to separate illusory worlds from ordinary reality. Examples range from the Wachowskis’ The Matrix (1999) to Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). I […]

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America’s Acts of Killing: Robert Greenwald on Drone Wars

By Matthew Sorrento. Bizarre, shocking, yet filled with truth, Joshua Oppenheimer‘s The Act of Killing continues to gather acclaim. This Oscar-nominated record of routine killings of Communists in Indonesia during 1965-66 haunts viewers. As a filmed document about memory – the paramilitary gangsters (“free men”) discuss on camera how they kidnapped and murdered – and […]

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Autumn Sonata (1978)

By Jeremy Carr. “A mother and a daughter. What a terrible combination of feelings and confusion and destruction.” So says Eva (Liv Ullmann) toward the end of Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata (1978). More than any other line of dialogue, in what is a remarkably written film, this gets to the crux of the picture’s thematic […]

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Shackled (Belenggu): A Well-Mounted Disappointment

By Wheeler Winston Dixon. I wish I could say kinder things about this film, especially since it’s clear that this was a labor of love on the part of its director, Upi Avianto, an Indonesian genre filmmaker with numerous other films to her credit, such as Looking For Love in 30 Days (30 hari mencari […]

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The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

By William Repass.  Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street begins with a simple equation: money is a drug. “Enough of this shit will make you invincible,” enthuses Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), as he leans in to snort a line of coke in extreme close-up, “you’ll be able to conquer the world and eviscerate your enemies.” […]

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Hollywood Exiles in Europe

A Book Review by Wheeler Winston Dixon. Let’s just start by saying that this is an excellent book. I get stacks of new titles every day from publishers, and it takes a lot for a book to really jump out of the pile and interest me, particularly on a topic that has been researched as […]

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