Home » December 28th, 2015 Entries posted on “December, 2015”

A Debut in the Wastelands: John Maclean on Slow West

By Paul Risker. Slow West (2015) finds a young filmmaker stepping onto the landscape of an established genre: America’s own, the Western. It is a journey onto an old and familiar stage that offsets Scottish writer/director John Maclean’s youthful career. Slow West is his feature directorial debut, preceded only by couple of short films and a background […]

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Nordic Noir to the British Isles: Richard Laxton on River

By Paul Risker. There is a certain air of excitement, or rather, anticipation that comes with the arrival of a new detective walking the trail of mystery in the crime genre. This can be attributed to the recent success the genre has found in the Nordic Noir phenomenon and which has been supported by the French […]

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“I Gotta Be Me”: Thoughts on Hitchcock/Truffaut

By Elias Savada. I still remember buying the paperback book Hitchcock/Truffaut. I found the English version, originally published in 1967 by Simon & Schuster, a few years after college, probably in the stacks at the Strand Book Store in New York City. It was an easy, enjoyable read with lots of photos, many providing the seminal […]

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Music in Bits (and Debris): Hot Sugar’s Cold World

By Elias Savada. “Anything can be turned into anything.” So says scruffy, droopy-eyed musician/music producer Nick Koenig, the eponymous subject of writer-producer-director Adam Bhala Lough’s documentary Hot Sugar’s Cold World. Grammy-nominated Koenig, a.k.a. Hot Sugar, and composing as Nick Koenig-Dzialowski likes to think outside the box, pushing his digital recording devices into the faces of many […]

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The Big Short: The Funny Side of Financial Collapse

By Elias Savada. Mention the words “subprime mortgage” and people start dozing, or leave the room. Hey, you! Yes, you! Wake up. And your friend, get him back in here! Because both of you, my favorite readers, really want to learn about the fine new educational and entertaining film from Adam MacKay. The Big Short is […]

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Expressive Noise: An Interview with Naoki Kato on Carnival Folklore 2045

By David Novak. Carnival Folklore 2045 is perhaps the first true Noise film; its development is driven by the Noise that bursts out of the narrative, dominating the landscape of the film and binding the characters together in a mysterious world of sound. Combining the audacious absurdity of B-movie science-fiction kitsch with the swirling rage and confusion of […]

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The 2015 European Union Film Showcase

By Gary M. Kramer. The American Film Institute’s annual European Union Film Showcase screened December 1-20 at the AFI Theater in Silver Spring, Maryland. This year’s program, the festival’s 28th, opened with Spanish filmmaker Fernando León de Aranoa’s comedy-drama A Perfect Day, set in the Balkans, and closed with Radu Muntean’s provocative Romanian character study, […]

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Awakening the Legacy from Here?: Star Wars: the Force Awakens

By Paul Risker. Stories as in life have no true beginning, middle or end. Rather they are just a series of events running together like a never-ending piece of string that creates the linear structure of time. It is perhaps within the individual chapters that a beginning, a middle and an end exist, of which […]

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The Real Bad Santas: Monstrous St. Nicks from Around the Globe

By Sotiris Petridis. When we hear “Christmas films” we usually think of family-themed movies, comedies or even rom-coms, but the last thing that comes in mind is horror. Many horror films are based on holiday themes to attract audience members that are cranky about this jolly season. Black Christmas (1974 and 2006), Gremlins (1984), Silent Night, […]

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Expression/Supression: Gabe Polsky on Red Army

By Paul Risker. If the world is a stage in its own right then one of the enduring and timeless dramas is that of the division between East and West. It is a division that extends from political and communal ideas of otherness to employ sport, art and culture as agents in this conflict. The […]

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