Home » January 31st, 2015 Entries posted on “January, 2015”

Hans Helmut Prinzler’s Sirens & Sinners: A Visual History of Weimar Film 1918-1933 (2013)

A Book Review by Brandon Konecny. Having reviewed books on cinema, one of its main pleasures is discovering unexplored clefts in the art’s brief history. There’s always something new. Did you know, for instance, that in the early days of cinema, studios employed photographers to capture onset moments rather than extract stills from dailies? Did […]

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The Fault in Our Films: Hollywood and the Illness Narrative

By Sheana Ochoa. Anyone who has watched the scene in the trailer of The Theory of Everything when Stephen Hawking’s character pulls himself up a staircase knows the film is a heavy hitter. Atop the stairs a robust, healthy baby curiously stares down at his helpless father in a macabre exchange of roles. For millions […]

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The Babadook: Ghosts in the Bedroom

By Christopher Sharrett. Australian filmmaker Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook is last season’s fascinating, much-discussed contribution to the horror film, a genre that has fallen on hard times in the last quarter-century. I find the film engaging, although my enthusiasm is qualified. It is incoherent at the narrative and ideological levels, succeeding in terms perhaps not […]

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The Tedious Body Horror of Wetlands (2013)

By James Teitelbaum. “The vagina reeks of life and love and the infinite et cetera. O vagina! Your salty incense, your mushroom moon musk, your deep waves of clam honey breaking against the cold steel of civilization; vagina, draw our noses to the grindstone of ecstasy, and let us die smelling as we did when […]

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Iran of Today: An Interview with Reza Mirkarimi

By Amir Ganjavie. Reza Mirkarimi’s Today has been selected to represent Iran at the Oscars in 2015, after the film’s recent screening at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF). According to Jonathan Rosenbaum, “in some respects, the plot’s departure as well as the conclusion of Today may remind us the ‘first’ Iranian New Wave, Ebrahim Golestan’s powerful 1965 Brick and […]

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Still The Enemy Within (Owen Gower, 2014, UK)

By Anthony Killick. Owen Gower’s debut feature film offers a narrative of the 1984-85 miners strike, the loss of which has triggered three subsequent decades of neoliberal power consolidation. If history belongs to the winners, then this film proves that at certain points the winners will have to make concessions. Both the Evening Standard and […]

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The Women Behind the Ink: Filmmaker Marisa Stotter on She Makes Comics

By Anna Weinstein. There are few documentaries about comic books and even fewer about women in comics. In fact, according to Marisa Stotter, the director of the new documentary She Makes Comics, her film is the first to explore women behind the “ninth art.” Stotter is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University and is currently […]

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American Sniper: War’s Glories

By Christopher Sharrett. For a number of years there has been considerable critical palaver about the “ambiguities” of Clint Eastwood’s ideology, with monographs and essays on the topic published at a regular pace. Eastwood himself once said “I do the stuff John Wayne would never do,” meaning he, as Old Hollywood’s last macho superstar, was […]

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Appropriate Behavior: Not a Chick Flick

By John Duncan Talbird. Writer-Director Desiree Akhavan’s funny and touching first film, Appropriate Behavior, is one of a type of smart, simple dramas that have appeared over the past few years: Rachel Getting Married (2008), Your Sister’s Sister (2011),  Frances Ha, and Celeste and Jesse Forever (both 2012) to name just a few. They’re funny […]

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Bridging the Divides: The Fine Lines of Crime Across 110th Street

By Jeremy Carr.  The holdup that begins the 1972 film Across 110th Street pits a trio of low-level amateurs against an established, well organized and, up to this point, efficient group of professional criminals. The end game is a case full of money, but what is ultimately achieved, more than monetary gain, is a scandalous […]

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