Festival Reports

Viennale and Thessaloniki Film Festival 2016 »

Park

By Yun-hua Chen. Viennale and Thessaloniki Film Festival are two of the finest film festivals in Europe. Viennale curates the best arthouse films of the year from all major film festivals and is…

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Doku.Art Essaybox and Around The World in 14 Films 2016 Report »

Call Her Applebroog

By Yun-hua Chen.  Doku.Arts Essaybox and Around The World in 14 Films are embellishing Berlin’s autumn cinemascape for sure, each in its own way. The former prides itself on the curation of documentaries…

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The 2017 AFI DOCS Short Films »

Life, Death, and Cheerleading

By Gary M. Kramer. The short documentary films at this year’s AFI DOCS ranged from the political to the personal. The political shorts were part of the festival’s “World Views” program. One of…

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The 3rd Annual Ecuadorian Film Festival »

Territorio

By Gary M. Kramer. Ecuadorian cinema has been booming in recent years, and the 3rd Ecuadorian Film Festival in New York, June 9-17, showcases films by some of the most intriguing directors from…

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Cannes 2017 Wrap-up: Four from the Official Competition and Un Certain Regard »

April's Daughters

By Ali Moosavi. In A Gentle Creature, by the Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa which played at the Cannes Official Competition, a woman in a Russian village receives a parcel, which she had sent to…

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The 36th Istanbul Film Festival: Golden Tulip Scents in Istanbul »

Yellow Heat (Sarı Sıcak)

By N. Buket Cengiz.  No matter how much face Turkey loses on the international stage particularly with its friction with European countries, Istanbul Film Festival is a phenomenon in Turkey that has always…

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Tribeca Talks: Alejandro González Iñárritu and Marina Abramović »

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series - Alejandro González Iñárritu. Photo by B Lacombe.

By Gary M. Kramer. This year, at the Tribeca Film Festival, one of the Tribeca Talks programs featured Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu being interviewed by Yugoslavia-born artist, Marina Abramović. “She is the…

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Rotterdam 2017: This Is How the Reconstruction Continues »

Sexy Durga (Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, 2017)

By Martin Kudláč. International Film Festival Rotterdam that built its brand on investigating, gathering and curating the future of the world cinema through a long-term focus on emerging auteurs and discoveries possessing an innovative…

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Interview

From Chile to High Concept: Marko Zaror on Savage Dog »

Savage 02

By Martin Kudláč. Marko Zaror, Chilean-born martial artist known from the films of Robert Rodriguez, stars as the nemesis, Rastingac, to…

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Visions of Invasion: An Interview with Mathieu Ratthe on The Gracefield Incident »

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By Jeremy Carr. Before ever beginning his debut feature film, director Mathieu Ratthe had proven himself adept at two critical…

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Andrew Sherburne and John Richard on Saving Brinton: An AFI DOCS Interview »

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By Gary M. Kramer The lovingly made documentary Saving Brinton, which received its World Premiere at the recent AFI…

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Acceptable Taboos: Craig Anderson on Red Christmas »

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By Jake Rutkowski. Anxiety over parenthood has long been fertile ground for the horror film tradition. Frankenstein (1931), one of…

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From Drawn Till Dusk: Milan Erceg on 24 Hour Comic »

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By Constantine Frangos. When renowned cartoonist, author, and comics theorist Scott McCloud first suggested the idea of creating a…

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Trust and the System: Andrew Cohn on Night School »

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By Matthew Fullerton. Night School, which premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, is the latest documentary from Emmy…

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Enter the Cousin: Filmmaker James Fanizza on Sebastian »

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By Tom Ue. Actor, writer, and filmmaker James Fanizza graduated from York University before making his television debut in a commercial…

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Surviving An Infectious Trend: Filmmaker Brandon E. Brooks on Sickness »

SICKNESS TOP

By Melissa Webb. In David Cronenberg’s Shivers (1975), a parasite gets loose in an apartment complex and begins infecting the…

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When We Last Saw Her: An Interview with George Pappy on The Green Girl »

Oliver 01

By Irv Slifkin. Star Trek fans thought they knew Susan Oliver, as “Vina” the green alien woman in the abandoned…

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The Purification of Rupture: A Conversation with Steven Shainberg »

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By John Duncan Talbird. In 2002, director Steven Shainberg won a special jury prize at the Sundance film festival for…

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Amit Masurkar on Newton: A Tribeca Film Festival Interview »

A film still from NEWTON. Photo credit: Swapnil S. Sonawane.

By Gary M. Kramer. Newton is co-writer/director Amit Masurkar’s nifty film about title character (a charismatic Rajkummar Rao), an…

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MOST RECENT

  1. Laid to Rest: Frederic Mermoud’s Moka
  2. Beatriz at Dinner: Necessary Cinema
  3. Nothing’s Changed: Lost in America (Criterion Collection)
  4. Film Scratches: Tutorials for the Apocalypse – La Fuga (2014)
  5. Film Scratches: Dark Comedy of Dangerous Rhetoric – Stenography (2016)
  6. From Chile to High Concept: Marko Zaror on Savage Dog
  7. Film Scratches: Meditations on the Ordinary – The Short Trilogy of Peace (2016)
  8. L’argent: Bresson Ends
  9. A Stumble in the Woods: First Kill
  10. Diversity and Unity – Global Cinematic Cities: New Landscapes of Film and Media Edited by Johan Andersson and Lawrence Webb
  11. Out of the Dark(room) and Into the Light – The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography
  12. Facts are Not Stupid Things: Lessons from The Reagan Show
  13. Eleven Heroines Does a Feminist Film Make: Reading Srijit Mukherjee’s Rajkahini
  14. A Most Assured First Feature: One Penny
  15. Maurice Revisited: A Timely Return to Theaters
  16. A Feisty Wizard of Cinema: Mickey Rooney, a Show Business Life by James A. MacEachern
  17. Visions of Invasion: An Interview with Mathieu Ratthe on The Gracefield Incident
  18. Call for Submissions: The Trail of the Zodiac Killer – Essays on Popular Culture (Edited Collection)
  19. The Good Bones of Lady Macbeth
  20. A Road Movie at “Elephant Speed”: Pop Aye
  21. Bla(h)sphemy to the Nunth Degree: The Little Hours
  22. Authorship, History, and Reception: The Cinema of Hal Hartley edited by Steven Rybin
  23. The Unhappiness of Growing Up: Sami Blood
  24. Andrew Sherburne and John Richard on Saving Brinton: An AFI DOCS Interview
  25. Still More to the Story: I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang! by Scott Allen Nollen and Paul Muni by Michael B. Druxman
  26. Viennale and Thessaloniki Film Festival 2016
  27. Doku.Art Essaybox and Around The World in 14 Films 2016 Report
  28. Master of Italian Gothic – Riccardo Freda: The Life and Works of a Born Filmmaker by Roberto Curti
  29. Film Scratches: Conjuring with Cameras – Savage Witches (2012)
  30. Baby Driver: With Films Like This, Who Needs Drugs?
  1. Christopher Sharrett: Yeah, I read this somewhere. No surprise really. Lacan as a form of torture–you just have...
  2. Tony Williams: Another critical and acutely intelligent reading. As to post-68 film theory, I guess you are familiar...
  3. Tony Williams: Well done, Michael, and thanks for this response Rob. I have VARIETY on VHS and noted with interest...
  4. Rob Hayes: Dear Michael, This is a much-belated thank you from the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra. It was responses...
  5. Christopher Sharrett: I found this film to be very poorly conceived. It would have served itself much better to look...

Review

MOKA 1

Laid to Rest: Frederic Mermoud’s Moka »

By Devapriya Sanyal and Melissa Webb. Frederic Mermoud’s French-thriller Moka (2016) centers on a grieving woman who is on the hunt for the killers of her young son, fatally wounded in…

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Beatriz at Dinner

Beatriz at Dinner: Necessary Cinema »

By Christopher Sharrett. There are certainly films more perceptive about class and race than Beatriz at Dinner, a film I put off seeing since its basic idea (a lower-class woman stuck in…

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Lost Feat

Nothing’s Changed: Lost in America (Criterion Collection) »

By Jessica Baxter. It’s been over 30 years since Albert Brooks unleashed his on-point satire about the mental unraveling of dissatisfied yuppies in Regan-era America. And while Easy Rider (1969) the film…

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Largent 01

L’argent: Bresson Ends »

By Christopher Sharrett. The terms “ascetic” and “austere” are too-common adjectives applied to the films of Robert Bresson. It is reasonable to apply them, but for me “constricted,” “severe,” and…

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First

A Stumble in the Woods: First Kill »

By Elias Savada. Bruce Willis still tracks 243 on the IMDB.com STARmeter scale (I’m at 1,325,678). All kind of entertainment folk are part of the ratings, and Willis has been…

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Bron Broen (2011- )

Diversity and Unity – Global Cinematic Cities: New Landscapes of Film and Media Edited by Johan Andersson and Lawrence Webb »

A Book Review by Margaret C. Flinn. Johan Andersson and Lawrence Webb’s Global Cinema Cities (Columbia UP, 2016) poses as its task to explore “the evolving, mutually constitutive relations between moving…

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B-Side 02

Out of the Dark(room) and Into the Light – The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography »

By Elias Savada. There is an elegant, simple beauty in documentarian Errol Morris’s affectionate portrait of his friend, soft-spoken, 80-year-old Elsa Dorfman, in his new film. In a career that spanned…

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Eleven Heroines Does a Feminist Film Make: Reading Srijit Mukherjee’s Rajkahini »

By Devapriva Sanyal and Melissa Webb. Srijit Mukherji’s Rajkahini (2015) is the Bengali version of 2017’s much feted Begum Jaan, the film which served as the director’s first foray into Bollywood. The…

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One 01

A Most Assured First Feature: One Penny »

By Elias Savada. Part I: The Buildup So, how many teenagers have you met who say they want to make movies when they grow up? Fame and fortune is just around…

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Maurice Revisited: A Timely Return to Theaters »

By Anthony Uzarowski. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexual acts in the UK. There could be no better time to revisit one of the country’s greatest cinematic…

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Rooney 02

A Feisty Wizard of Cinema: Mickey Rooney, a Show Business Life by James A. MacEachern »

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser. If the glimpses we catch on screen of an actor’s body of work ultimately amount to autobiography, the late Mickey Rooney (1920-2014) told…

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Lady 02

The Good Bones of Lady Macbeth »

By John Duncan Talbird. Although not well known today, Nikolai Leskov was a famous Russian writer in the 19th century admired by such contemporaries as Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov. A…

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Pop Aye 01

A Road Movie at “Elephant Speed”: Pop Aye »

By Jeremy Carr. The first shot of Pop Aye (2017), Kirsten Tan’s feature film debut, shows the story’s two protagonists – the world-weary architect Thana, played by Thaneth Warakulnukroh, and…

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Little 02

Bla(h)sphemy to the Nunth Degree: The Little Hours »

By Elias Savada. The hip medieval stew being served up in Jeff Baena’s The Little Hours is overcooked with naughty nuns sexually rampaging through the Tuscan countryside. Their simmering pelvic…

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Henry Fool (1997)

Authorship, History, and Reception: The Cinema of Hal Hartley edited by Steven Rybin »

A Book Review by John Duncan Talbird. Ideas, for Deleuze, do not exist above life as ideal forms but come from life as a flow of forces and desires…All of Deleuze’s…

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The Unhappiness of Growing Up: Sami Blood »

By Elias Savada. The sad fate and cruel savagery hoisted on many indigenous people have been part of an angst-filled sidebar on the world stage for centuries. Explore/invade/plunder/kill/assimilate. In the history…

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Baby 01

Baby Driver: With Films Like This, Who Needs Drugs? »

By Elias Savada. With an omp pa pa, everybody sing! “Music Makes the Wheels Go Round, the Wheels Go Round, the Wheels Go Round!” And when you’re finished, check out the…

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Mutating War Traumas: Monsters in the Machine by Steffen Hantke »

A Book Review by Christopher Weedman. Steffen Hantke’s welcome new book Monsters in the Machine: Science Fiction Film and the Militarization of America after World War II (University Press of…

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Lodger 04

Ivor and Hitch: the Criterion 2017 DVD Versions of The Lodger and Downhill »

By Tony Williams. Although currently promoted mainly as a restoration of The Lodger (1927), a film that its director regarded as his first real film, this two-disc DVD also includes…

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Kill-Switch

Power Off: Kill Switch »

By Elias Savada. There’s a lot of technical wizardry afoot in Dutch filmmaker Tim Smit’s feature directorial debut Kill Switch, an indie sci fi race-to-save-the-planet flick set in the depressing, dystopian…

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Taking Stock – The Second Edition of the Criterion Collection’s Straw Dogs »

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By Tony Williams. In 2003 Criterion issued a two-disk DVD version of Sam Peckinpah’s controversial Straw Dogs (1971) when the issue of…

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Eternal Fugitives: Nicholas Ray’s They Live by Night from Criterion »

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By Tony Williams. Again Criterion have provided us with a welcome reissue of a classic film noir now in a new 2k digital…

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Cinematic Archeology and the Portrayal of a “Wonder Woman”: Letters from Baghdad »

Letters 01

By Martin Kudláč. In the 1996 film The English Patient directed by Anthony Minghella is a scene with British soldiers examining a…

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An Appreciation of Call Me By Your Name »

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By Zhuo-Ning Su.  Films are lives imagined, projected, simulated. When the play-pretend is effective and the make-believe works, we can hope to…

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Documenting Post-Millennial Teens: All This Panic »

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By Kate Hearst. With an artful lens, All This Panic captures the awkward and fleeting stage of teenagers on the cusp of…

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You Can’t Keep Quiet Anymore: Atomic Homefront »

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By Elias Savada. If you’re not screaming mad by the end of Atomic Homefront, you obviously believe the system works. As a study…

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No Future: Ghost World (Criterion Collection) »

Ghost 01

By Christopher Sharrett. I should say at the outset that my thoughts about the social-political vision (or failure thereof) of Terry Zwigoff’s…

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Auteur as Raconteur: Director’s Cut by Ted Kotcheff, with Josh Young »

Ted Kotcheff 01

A Book Review by Irv Slifkin. Who would have figured the Canadian director of such diverse films as The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974),…

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Marlon Rides Again!: One Eyed Jacks from Criterion »

One Eyed 04

By Tony Williams. In his 2015 detailed and definitive study The Authentic Death and Contentious Afterlife of Pat Garrett and Billy the…

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No Pity for Emily Dickinson: A Quiet Passion »

Quiet 01

By John Duncan Talbird. Terrance Davies’ most recent film, A Quiet Passion, is a strange drama. It is a biopic and a period…

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Phoenix Sans Gimmicks: You Were Never Really Here (Cannes 2017 Review) »

You-Were-Never-Really-Here-1

By Ali Moosavi. Lynn Ramsey’s violent film noir was the last film to be shown at the Cannes Official Competition. It is based…

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The Lights Are On, But Is Anybody Home?: House & House II on Arrow/MVD »

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By Jeremy Carr. The 1980s was a pivotal period for horror films. As low-budget “Video Nasty” provocations steadily faded from America’s grindhouse…

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Home Is Where the Hermit Is: Wakefield »

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By Elias Savada. There is a hidden recluse swirling around our theaters (and video on demand), and his name is Wakefield. Please…

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Not Your Grandfather’s Raging Bull: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki »

Maki 01

By Elias Savada. Aki Kaurismäki may have to scooch over a bit to make room in the upper tier of Finnish cinema for…

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24 Frames: A Sad Goodbye to Kiarostami (Cannes 2017 Review) »

24 Frames

By Ali Moosavi. The late Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s last film, 24 Frames, was shown as a special event of the 70th Cannes Film…

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Moody and Improved: Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled (Cannes 2017 Review) »

The Beguiled2

By Ali Moosavi. Sofia Coppola’s decision to remake Don Siegel’s 1971 film The Beguiled (in Official Competition at this year’s Cannes), seems on…

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Bright and Bleak: Wind River (Cannes 2017 Review) »

Wind River

By Ali Moosavi. Taylor Sheridan has written the script for a couple of terrific thrillers recently: Sicario and Hell or High Water.…

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Super Troopers, or Super Dupers? Superheroes on World Screens, Edited by Rayna Denison and Rachel Mizsei-Ward »

Krrish (2006)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Before you can say “Meryl Streep”, “Mamma Mia”, “Shazam”, in addition to the many superheroes and…

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Haneke Does Happy: Happy End (Cannes 2017 Review) »

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By Ali Moosavi. Michael Haneke’s new film Happy End played at the Official Competition section at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Haneke…

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A Caricature of Godard: Michel Hazanavicius’s Redoubtable (2017 Cannes Review) »

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By Ali Moosavi. Michel Hazanavicius became a cinema celebrity six years ago at Cannes where The Artist became the sensation of the festival…

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Be There Demons? A Dark Song Looks for the Answer »

Dark Song

By Elias Savada. Grief changes you. It can drive you to do dark and drastic things outside your normal routine. Such aberrations are…

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The Splendid “Zone”: Tarkovsky’s Stalker Restoration by Mosfilm »

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By Anthony Uzarowski. Whenever a film gets digitally restored and reissued after a considerable amount of time passes from its initial release, the…

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The Young Girls of Rochefort: Nearly Utopia »

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By Christopher Sharrett. I somehow conflate in my mind’s eye images of Les Parapluies de Cherbourg/The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and Les…

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More Stupid Human Space Tricks – Alien: Covenant »

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By Elias Savada. Thirty-eight years ago this month, the world experienced a horror like no other. Ridley Scott’s Alien intensely attacked worldwide audiences.…

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Eldritch Ecstasy!: Everything You Need to Know about Caltiki The Immortal Monster »

Caltiki 03

By Tony Williams. With one exception, this new release does live up to the second part of the above caption. Long revered…

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A Tradition All Its Own – Forgotten British Film: Value and the Ephemeral in Postwar Cinema by Philip Gillett »

Daybreak (1948)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Despite appearing in an independent press publication, this study deserves neither to be forgotten nor regarded…

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It’s a Family Affair: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 »

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By Elias Savada. Yeah, a lot of folks have been waiting for this one. Three years ago, the creative and marketing folks behind…

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Solidarity Against Oppression: Andrzej Wajda’s Afterimage »

Afterimage

By Alex Ramon. Two new films about iconic Polish artists screened at the Gdynia Film Festival, Poland’s primary showcase for its national cinema,…

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A Love-Death Relationship: Obit. »

OBIT 01

By Elias Savada. This film is for me. I am a genealogist and death is a constant on my family tree. I…

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Toppling a God: Citizen Jane|Battle for the City »

Citizen 01

By Elias Savada. Making sense out of urban chaos was more than a dream for Jane Jacobs. It was a battle cry. Jacobs,…

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School’s Out, For Good: My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea »

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By Elias Savada. The film is brief (76 minutes), but the title isn’t – My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea. Not as…

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An Unsung Professional – The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez by Dan Van Neste »

Ricardo Cortez The Maltese Falcon (1931)

Directed by Roy Del Ruth

Shown: Bebe Daniels, Ricardo Cortez

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Although countless books have appeared in past and present featuring stars, many who never achieved enduring…

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Truth and Fiction: Werner Herzog’s Salt and Fire and Queen of the Desert »

Herzog 01

By John Duncan Talbird. It’s hard to know why Werner Herzog still makes fiction films. He clearly loves to travel to strange and…

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Par for the Course: Tommy’s Honour »

Tommy 01

By Elias Savada. Both old school and old-fashioned come together in style and substance in Tommy’s Honour, Jason Connery’s passable historical look at…

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Hobart Bosworth – Silent Cinema’s Sea Wolf: Behind the Door (1919) from Flicker Alley »

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By Tony Williams. Ever since seeing that unforgettable still in Kevin Brownlow’s The War, the West, and the Wilderness (1979), the grim-visage…

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Dividing Lives: Petar Valchanov and Kristina Grozeva’s Glory »

Stefan Denolyubov as Tzanko Petrov in Petar Valchanov & Kristina

By Devapriya Sanyal. At first glance it may seem that Glory, the new Bulgarian film directed by Petar Valchanov and Kristina Grozeva, belongs…

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Tough Onscreen and Off: The Lives of Robert Ryan by J.R. Jones »

The Set-Up (1949)

A Book Review by Irv Slifkin. In The Lives of Robert Ryan (Wesleyen University Press, 2015), Chicago film critic J.R. Jones points…

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If Only We Could Live for Today: After the Storm »

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By Elias Savada. The actual typhoon in After the Storm is more than a physical catastrophe. It’s a powerful metaphor for an…

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“The Road Leads to Nowhere” – Utopian Television: Rossellini, Watkins, and Godard Beyond Cinema by Michael Cramer »

Jean-Luc Godard, Numero Deux (1975)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Last week, a friend and fellow reviewer Chris Sharrett told me about his experiences at the…

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De Palma’s Raising Cain: Re-cut and Revisited »

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By Jeremy Carr. Since the release of Noah Baumbach’s 2015 documentary on Brian De Palma, the legendary filmmaker, who has for decades…

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Performing Gender and Self: Anup Singh’s Qissa »

Qissa 01

By Devapriya Sanyal. Qissa (“fable”), Anup Singh’s second directorial venture (2013; released in India in 2015), deals with many issues at the same time, with…

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Frantz and the Gentle Art of Forgiveness »

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By Elias Savada. Let’s refresh: the films of French writer-director François Ozon tend to be sly, unsettling, and daring observations of the human…

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Shopping for Ghosts: Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper »

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By Elias Savada. As I watched Personal Shopper, I wondered if this new, mostly English-language film from French filmmaker Olivier Assayas was a…

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More Than Plays on Film: Marcel Pagnol’s “Marseille Trilogy” Restored by Janus Films »

César (1936)

By Christopher Weedman. Janus Films’ stunning 4K restoration of the “Marseille Trilogy” by the esteemed Marcel Pagnol is one of the essential…

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The Controversy of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Nasser’s Republic, The Making of Modern Egypt »

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By Neila Driss. Michal Goldman’s documentary, Nasser’s Republic, The Making of Modern Egypt (2016), was screened on November 20th during the 38th…

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Hugs vs. Handshakes: Life’s Battles in Donald Cried »

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By Elias Savada. The indie movie Donald Cried joins a growing number of feature films based on a short subject (among my…

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Keep Telling Yourself, It’s Not a Vacation – Kong: Skull Island »

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By Elias Savada. Kong: Skull Island, Hollywood’s latest outing for its furry Eighth Wonder of the World, has arrived in an energetic, well-mounted,…

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Features

Once There Were Bawdy Tales: Nosrat Karimi’s Matrimonial Comedies »

The Triple Bed

By Ramin S. Khanjani. Of all directors associated with the pre-1979 “Iranian New Wave,” Nosratallah Karimi probably presents one odd case for…

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Son of Saul: Versions of the Irrational »

Son Featured

By Christopher Sharrett. I have been meaning for some time to put pen to paper about last year’s superb achievement by Laszlo…

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Michael Morris’ Hermeneutics: Visual Music, Expanded Cinema, New Aesthetic »

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By Michael Betancourt. Michael Morris’ expanded cinema performances, Second Hermeneutic (2013) lasting approximately nine minutes, and Third Hermeneutic (2014) lasting approximately eleven minutes,…

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In Praise of Susan Oliver: The Green Girl (2014) »

Oliver 01

By Tony Williams. “She was so much more than the Green woman in Star Trek” (George Pappy DVD audio-commentary). “What I knew I…

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United 93: A Social Conscience and the Ease of Historicism (A 10th Anniversary Retrospective) »

Director Paul Greengrass prepares for a take.

By David Ryan. Before United 93 opened ten years ago, the film’s previews were greeted with varying degrees of stress and grief.…

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All the Fire: The use of sexual imagery as a way for attracting cinema audiences in 1950s America »

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By Anthony Uzarowski. The 1950s are often seen as the time of Hollywood’s greatest splendour, yet the reality of the time was…

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Star Wars Episode VII: Feminism from “Far, Far Away” »

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By Sotiris Petridis. Introduction The Star Wars saga is an internal and important part of popular culture since its first filmic text…

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Cannibalized Chaos: Iago, The Joker and the “Good Sport” of Postmodernism »

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By Richmond B. Adams. During a conversation approximately one-third of the way through The Dark Knight (2008), Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) expresses…

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The Sentinel Excavated »

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By Christopher Sharrett. I use the word “excavated” in my title not because the 1977 horror film The Sentinel , directed by…

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The Best and the Most Overrated of 2015 »

The Assassin: Frustrating or rewarding?

By Film International. The editors’ Top 10 and Overrated 10 include films that were released in the editors’ respective regions during 2015.…

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CGI and the Audience: Things Better Left Unsaid »

The Show of Shows

By Fred Wagner. The Show of Shows (2015), a recently released documentary made out of archive footage shows the lost world of…

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The Battle for Fair Remuneration: A Slovenian Drama with International Consequences »

Odklop

By Edgar Tijhuis. Sometimes it seems like time stood still in Slovenia. In 2009 Variety magazine reported about a “royalty battle” in…

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“All My Treasures”: On Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words (2015) »

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By Tony Williams. Critic-director Stig Bjorkman, well known for his studies on directors such as Woody Allen and Ingmar Bergman, has made…

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I, Shakespeare by Anonymous and Last Will. & Testament »

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By David Ryan. Rewriting history is a common academic enterprise, and crafting Elizabethan history – particularly Shakespearean biography – is composed recursively. Though…

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(((1973)))

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Kurt Vonnegut Hunter Thompson Norman Mailer Tom Wolfe William Burroughs Jonathan Miller William Burroughs Jr Jacob Bronowski Robert Hughes Bob Woodward Carl…

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Traces of Postindian Survivance: Two Short Films by Jeff Barnaby »

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By John Garland Winn. Jeff Barnaby, a Mi’kmaq First Nations director, was four years old when the Quebec Provincial Police raided his…

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Rereading The Wire: police procedural, social games and the magic of blood »

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By Rajko Radović. Blood has been shed on the asphalt at night. We see it in close-up as thin red lines spreading…

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Madam Secretary: The Happy Family in Time of War »

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By Christopher Sharrett. When I first took note of the television series Madam Secretary (2014-), I assumed it was a sort of…

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Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and the Politics of Escapism »

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By Richard Grigg. Director Guy Ritchie’s 2015 film The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is of course inspired by the U.S. television series of…

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An Ogre’s Hide: Samad and Foolad Zereh, the Ogre »

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By Ramin S. Khanjani. For many avid followers of Iranian cinema across the world, the experience of this national cinema justifiably doesn’t…

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Monstrous Gaze: The Quandary of Spectatorship in La dolce vita »

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By William Repass. In the thematic arc formed by Fellini’s body of work, La dolce vita  (1960) can be said to represent…

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The Way, Way Back: An Appreciation »

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By Christopher Sharrett. Some months ago I saw The Way, Way Back (2013) and was taken by it enough to buy the…

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Peter Bogdanovich: The Comedy Smuggler »

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By James Knight. This August will see the US theatrical release of She’s Funny That Way, the latest feature from Peter Bogdanovich.…

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Mise-en-scène and the Rebirth of Film »

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By Tom Silva. Film is a living thing and so it faces an unending series of deaths. Like the mythic hero in…

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Fair Game: Democratic Principle in Hollywood Romances, from Tracy and Hepburn to the Present »

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By Robert K. Lightning. Lovers that demonstrate both spiritual affinity and spiritual equality have long been popular in middle-class entertainment. Repartee has…

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End of a Saga: Andrzej Wajda’s Wałęsa: Man of Hope »

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By Geoffrey Fox. The credits roll over a black-and-white newsreel of missiles and men parading before an austere Leonid Brezhnev in Moscow…

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Discovering Mary Pickford »

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By Tony Williams. The title of this article has a double meaning. It is primarily a reworking of that lavishly illustrated and…

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“Thinking as Negation”: Adorno, Vertigo, and the Paradoxical Promise of Popular Cinema »

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By Benjamin Bergholtz. “Each single manifestation of the culture industry inescapably reproduces human beings as what the whole has made them.” (Adorno…

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The Agony of Woman in Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem »

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By Christopher Sharrett. Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz’s Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem is a work of such staggering importance that its…

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The Pictures of a Lady: In Praise of Grace Kelly »

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By Daniel Garrett. Some old films have a special appeal. They might not be excellent or particularly beloved objects, and yet they…

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Motherhood and Mourning in Giuseppe Tornatore’s The Unknown Woman »

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By Francesco Pascuzzi. Already with the film’s title, Giuseppe Tornatore’s The Unknown Woman (La Sconosciuta, 2005) sets out to toy with the…

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Un Flic: Melville and the Ambiguities »

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By Tony Williams. On initial release, Jean-Pierre Melville’s Un Flic (1972) disappointed many and has remained in critical limbo to the present…

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Stand, Men of the West! The Battle for Middle-earth (and Britain) »

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By Laura Crossley. “You’ve enjoyed the film, so now what are you going to do about the message? Tolkien didn’t just write…

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Radical Film-Making and Digital Paradox: the case of The Fourth Estate »

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By Elizabeth Mizon and Lee Salter. Digital media technologies are full of paradoxes. On one hand they are said to open up…

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The Trials of Love, Justice, and Prejudice: Tom Hanks and Jonathan Demme’s film Philadelphia »

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By Daniel Garrett. In the film Philadelphia (1993), written by Ron Nyswaner and directed by Jonathan Demme, the actor Tom Hanks is…

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On the Trail of Missing Millions in Emerging Europe: What Happened to a Fortune in Slovenian A/V Rights Due to Artists and Producers? »

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By Noah Charney. Branko Djuric, who goes by the nickname Djuro, is one the biggest film and television stars of the former…

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The Site of Nature: Exteriority and Overexposure in The Thin Red Line »

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By Trevor Mowchun. “Have mountains, and waves, and skies, no significance but what we consciously give them, when we employ them as…

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In Defense of Hitchcock and Serious Criticism »

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By Robert K. Lightning. “It follows that the critic should read without inappropriate bias. We cannot properly object to The Pilgrim’s Progress,…

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Humanities in the Digital Era »

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By Wheeler Winston Dixon. We live in the age of the visible invisible; everything is supposedly available to us online, but in…

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The Fault in Our Films: Hollywood and the Illness Narrative »

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By Sheana Ochoa. Anyone who has watched the scene in the trailer of The Theory of Everything when Stephen Hawking’s character pulls…

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The Babadook: Ghosts in the Bedroom »

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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…

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Revulsion and Derision: Antichrist, The Human Centipede II and the British Press »

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By Martin Smith. Despite increased transparency and liberalisation at the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) in recent decades, Britain remains one…

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Facts are Not Stupid Things: Lessons from The Reagan Show »

By Heather Hendershot. One week after Donald Trump’s inauguration, Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here reached the #9 position in book sales on Amazon. Brave New World held the #15 slot. Sales also…

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Still More to the Story: I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang! by Scott Allen Nollen and Paul Muni by Michael B. Druxman »

A Book Review Essay by Matthew Sorrento. It may be tempting to recommend Scarface (1932) or Little Caesar (1930) as a first viewing to newcomers of pre-Code. However, Mervyn LeRoy’s…

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Master of Italian Gothic – Riccardo Freda: The Life and Works of a Born Filmmaker by Roberto Curti »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Many decades ago I heard a comment made by a respected scholar, and affirmed by a graduate student whom he later hailed as…

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When Tay Garnett Met Frankie and Johnnie: Her Man (1930) »

by John Andrew Gallagher. Tay Garnett and and writer Howard Higgin spent the months of February and March, 1930 on Catalina Island writing Her Man, sharing a house with Lewis…

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The Roots of Social Change: Ermanno Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs on Criterion »

By Christopher Weedman. The Criterion Collection deserves to be commended for their continued efforts to bring greater attention to the underappreciated films of director Ermanno Olmi. It is regrettable that,…

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The Function of Film Criticism at Any Time »

By Christopher Sharrett. Readers will note that my title derives from essays and certain phrases by Matthew Arnold, T. S. Eliot, F. R. Leavis, D. H. Lawrence, Robin Wood, and…

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A Forgotten Country’s Forgotten Cinema: Searching for Hope in Post-Soviet Moldovan Cinema »

By Brandon Konecny. It has been suggested, sometimes by Moldovan film professionals themselves, that cinema does not currently exist in the Republic of Moldova, Europe’s poorest and perhaps least known…

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Kentucky Fried Chicken in the Moonlight »

By Orville Lloyd Douglas. Black people are still mentally enslaved; even in the 21st century there is a psychic need by some Black artists to seek white approval and acceptance.…

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The Aesthetic Majesty of King Hu: A Touch of Zen on Criterion »

By Tony Williams. As I write, hours tick away for the latest unimportant event in film history – the Hollywood Academy Awards which will have millions glued to their television…

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The Resurrection of Abel Gance’s J’accuse (1938) on Olive Films »

By Christopher Weedman. The past couple of months have been full of rich rewards for admirers of the late Abel Gance. This brilliant and innovative French film director enriched the…

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I Wake Up Screaming: Far from “Kansas” »

By Anthony J. Steinbock. The Maltese Falcon is often considered to be the first film noir of the classical noir period (beginning in 1941 and ending in 1958 with Orson…

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The Lovers and the Despot: Forced Seduction, North Korean Style »

By Johannes Schönherr. The Lovers and the Despot, a 2016 documentary by British directors Robert Cannan and Ross Adam, tackles an especially bizarre episode in Korean history playing out in…

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Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven: Loss of Grace »

By Christopher Sharrett. I have always thought that John Sturges’s 1960 Western The Magnificent Seven has suffered too unfavorably in comparison to its source material, Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954).…

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Entertaining Mr. Klein: Eclipse Series 9 – The Delirious Fictions of William Klein »

By Tony Williams. Although this special Criterion three film DVD set has been available since 2008, it is only recently that I have discovered the work of William Klein. I…

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Rare Welles No Longer Unseen: Chimes at Midnight and The Immortal Story on Criterion »

By Tony Williams. Long awaited by many, following either unavailability or dubious accessibility via duped 16mm copies, unwatchable VHS copies, and bootlegged DVDS, two of Welles’s most accomplished achievements are…

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