Festival Reports

Ultimate Moments: NYFF Shorts 2018 »

The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin

By Gary M. Kramer. Two shorts programs at this year’s New York Film Festival feature new and exciting works by debut, established, and returning filmmakers. The International Shorts Program II opens with the…

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States of Independence: the 8th Transatlantyk Festival, Łódź, Poland (July 2018) »

Becoming Astrid

By Alex Ramon. “You need an independent spirit if you’re going to go into film or music: so many people will tell you that you can’t do it,” said Diane Warren, on stage…

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Groundbreaking and Dated: TriBeCa 2018 »

Blowin' Up

By Michael Miller.  The 17th Tribeca Film Festival unspooled April 18 – 29, 2018 across seven venues in Manhattan. The festival celebrates storytelling whether in the form of narrative features, documentary, virtual reality and…

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When War or Love Come: Berlinale 2018 »

When the War Comes

By Martin Kudláč. For some time, Berlinale has been grooming its image as a political film festival. Its 2018 edition, which is its current director’s penultimate edition in charge as Dieter Kosslick is to…

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Art Film Fest 2018: The Time of Its Time »

Budapest Noir

By Robert Buckeye. The centenary of the formation of Czechoslovakia and the half century commemoration of the Prague Spring transformed Art Film Fest in Košice, Slovakia (15-23 June) this year into a seminar…

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Glory of the Silents Reborn: the 23rd San Francisco Silent Film Festival »

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By Janine Gericke. I’ve been going to the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (SFSFF) for ten years. My first introduction to the festival and the Castro Theatre was Buster Keaton’s 1923 film Our…

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Observation and Immersion: 2018 AFI Docs »

Crisanto Street

By Gary M. Kramer. The 2018 AFI Docs Film Festival screened over 90 features and shorts in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, MD. The films tackled topical issues such as the plight of…

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Nightmares from LA and von Trier: 2018 Cannes, Week Two »

The House That Jack Built

By Ali Moosavi. It is very unusual for Cannes, or indeed any film festival that I care to remember, to provide a warning in the festival program for a particular film. In Cannes…

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Interview

Ghostly Souls: Soudade Kaadan on The Day I Lost My Shadow »

Day Feat

By Roberto Cavallini. Yom Adaatou Zouli (The Day I Lost my Shadow) by Syrian director Soudade Kaadan, was presented…

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Cinema of Cascades: Victor Kossakovsky on Aquarela »

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By Yun-hua Chen. Watching Aquarela, a documentary under the section of Out of Competition in Venice International Film Festival, is…

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A Woman Pioneer Speaks: Lisa D’Apolito on Love, Gilda »

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By Janine Gericke. What makes Lisa D’Apolito’s new film Love, Gilda so special is that, like the 2015 documentaries Listen to…

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Finding South Korean Found-Footage Horror: Bum-shik Jung on Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum »

"People posting on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter... are experiencing things to the fullest"

By Areum Jeong. Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum, South Korea’s first found-footage horror film, directed by Bum-shik Jung, is a low-budget film that scored…

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Ending the War in Perpetrator’s Clothes: Robert Shwentke on The Captain »

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By Sergey Toymentsev. German-born director Robert Shwentke is mostly known for his glossy, action-packed Hollywood blockbusters, including RED, R.I.P.D, and…

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“We Cannot Live Without Ford”: An Interview with Tag Gallagher »

The Quiet Man (1952)

By Jake Rutkowski. I confess I was intimidated by the prospect of interviewing Tag Gallagher regarding John Ford: Himself and…

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A Life of Contradictions: Trine Dyrholm on Nico, 1988 »

Nico 1988

By Travis Merchant. A biopic usually comes with a load of questions for a viewer: How much of the…

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Crossing Over with a Light Touch: Mauricio Ochmann on Ya Veremos »

(2) Rodrigo (Mauricio Ochmann) and Alejandra (Fernanda Castillo) in YA VEREMOS. Photo Credit Pantelion Films

By Gary M. Kramer. Actor Mauricio Ochmann has become a popular leading man in Mexican cinema. He worked steadily…

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Casey Wilder Mott on Revis(it)ing A Midsummer Night’s Dream »

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By Tom Ue. Casey Wilder Mott served as Director of Development for Flashlight Films, a boutique film finance company…

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Connecting Posthumously: Ofir Raul Graizer on The Cakemaker »

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By Tom Ue. Israeli-born film director and video artist Ofir Raul Graizer lives and works in nexus of Berlin,…

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Illuminating the Bipartisan Problem: Kimberly Reed on Dark Money »

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By Travis Merchant. In today’s age of fake news, constant debates, and online videos that depict two sides arguing…

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MOST RECENT

  1. Pork Pie Hats Off to The Great Buster: A Celebration
  2. Screwball/Great Depression Denial Syndrome: My Man Godfrey (Criterion Collection)
  3. Lensing a Colonial Past – Parameters of Disavowal: Colonial Representation in South Korean Cinema by Jinsoo An
  4. Homages, Attack!: Killer Kate!
  5. Animal Kingdom: Cornel Wilde’s The Naked Prey (Criterion Collection)
  6. Where’s Daddy?: Megan Griffiths’ Sadie
  7. From a Longtime Insider/Outsider – Two Cheers for Hollywood: Joseph McBride on Movies
  8. A Great Profile Piece – Murray Pomerance and Steven Rybin’s Hamlet Lives in Hollywood: John Barrymore and the Acting Tradition Onscreen
  9. Colette in the #MeToo Era
  10. Ghostly Souls: Soudade Kaadan on The Day I Lost My Shadow
  11. Charm in Spades: Tea with Dames
  12. White Boy Rick: The Father and the City
  13. Film Scratches: Queen of the Nile Digest – Cleopatra Burst (2016)
  14. Film Scratches: Moving Between the Worlds – Trapped Between Frames (2014)
  15. Film Scratches: Seduced by Spectacle – Where the Night is Going (2015)
  16. Cinema of Cascades: Victor Kossakovsky on Aquarela
  17. “Good Sausage”: Felix Feist’s The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950) from Flicker Alley
  18. Abdolreza Kahani’s Free Like Air to Be Produced in Toronto
  19. Assault of Independence: Lizzie
  20. Pushing Life to the Edge: Free Solo
  21. Yakuza’s Angry Young Man: Street Mobster (Arrow Video)
  22. Ultimate Moments: NYFF Shorts 2018
  23. Sleep No More: Or, If It Hadn’t Been for Those Meddling Kids….
  24. The Sublime Art of Ashby: Hal
  25. A Woman Pioneer Speaks: Lisa D’Apolito on Love, Gilda
  26. Finding South Korean Found-Footage Horror: Bum-shik Jung on Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum
  27. The Science of Experimental Film – Lessons in Perception: The Avant-Garde Filmmaker as Practical Psychologist by Paul Taberham
  28. The Films of Jess Franco: Cinema on the Fringes
  29. Mommy Noir: A Simple Favor
  30. Cinema Thinks: Film as Philosophy Edited by Bernd Herzogenrath
  1. Peter Russo: Looking for the film: Hoover v. The Kennedy’s The Second Civil War.
  2. O Constantine: Fascinating post. When I researched the actual screening dates, it became clear from the patchy...
  3. Tony Williams: I’d like to second Chris here and also mention how much I enjoy reading your intelligent and...
  4. Tony Williams: Significantly, the anonymous European scholar was always pushing the latest torture porn or Coen Bros....
  5. Matthew Sorrento: Thanks, Lou — he did develop a literary/populist blend of writing for Hollywood, especially...

Review

Great 01

Pork Pie Hats Off to The Great Buster: A Celebration »

By Elias Savada. The breakneck parade of Hollywood celebrities seems endless in Peter Bogdonavich’s love letter to silent film comedian Buster Keaton. It feels like Friends, Romans, and Countrymen are…

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Man 01

Screwball/Great Depression Denial Syndrome: My Man Godfrey (Criterion Collection) »

By Tony Williams. Gregory La Cava’s My Man Godfrey (1936) is admittedly one of the best screwball comedies of the 1930s that provided witty dialogue, entertainment, and “acceptable” references to…

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The Housemaid (1960)

Lensing a Colonial Past – Parameters of Disavowal: Colonial Representation in South Korean Cinema by Jinsoo An »

A Book Review by Madeline Hawk. Using prolific Korean New Wave director Im Kwon-Taek to introduce Korean cinema’s preoccupation with its colonial past, Jinsoo An’s Parameters of Disavowal: Colonial Representations…

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Kate 01

Homages, Attack!: Killer Kate! »

By Janine Gericke. I really wanted to like Killer Kate! It’s clear that director Elliot Feld loves horror movies and has grown up watching the classics. But, the film is…

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Naked 01

Animal Kingdom: Cornel Wilde’s The Naked Prey (Criterion Collection) »

By Jeremy Carr. The opening narration of The Naked Prey (1965) sets the scene in the African wilderness and the nature of humanity in this volatile land, where white men besiege the…

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Sadie 01

Where’s Daddy?: Megan Griffiths’ Sadie »

By Janine Gericke. Director Megan Griffiths has made a captivating film about how one parent’s absence can have immense complications on the family. While her military father is serving multiple…

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Svengali (1931)

A Great Profile Piece – Murray Pomerance and Steven Rybin’s Hamlet Lives in Hollywood: John Barrymore and the Acting Tradition Onscreen »

A Book Review by Brandon Konecny. For many today, the name John Barrymore means little – except, perhaps, that it shares the same surname with Drew Barrymore (yes, there’s a…

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Colette 02

Colette in the #MeToo Era »

By Elizabeth Toohey. If ever a movie was ripe for release, it’s the new bio-pic Colette. The life and career of one of France’s most celebrated novelists hits in rapid…

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Dames

Charm in Spades: Tea with Dames »

By Gary M. Kramer. The gentle, charming documentary, Tea with the Dames eavesdrops on the gossip, memories, and laughs shared by four grand British actresses: Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith, Judi…

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White Boy 03

White Boy Rick: The Father and the City »

By Christopher Sharrett. Yann Demange’s White Boy Rick is a smaller-budget film of the season almost buried by franchise movies like The Nun (of “the Conjuring Universe”), Predator (another franchise…

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Cheated 01

“Good Sausage”: Felix Feist’s The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950) from Flicker Alley »

By Tony Williams. Imagine Lee J. Cobb (1911-1976) playing a star role as an honest cop turned bad played for a sucker by femme fatale Jane Wyatt (1910-2006), an actress…

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download

Assault of Independence: Lizzie »

By Janine Gericke. Lizzie Borden’s infamous story is horrifying. On August 4, 1892, Borden’s father and stepmother were found bludgeoned to death in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lizzie…

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Free 01

Pushing Life to the Edge: Free Solo »

By Elias Savada. Alex Honnold dreams the impossible dream, and he climbs where the brave dare not go. Unlike Don Quixote, he defies death by climbing mountains of sheer granite. Without…

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Mobster

Yakuza’s Angry Young Man: Street Mobster (Arrow Video) »

By Jeremy Carr. Street Mobster found director Kinji Fukasaku at a pivotal point in his career, a situation reflected in the evolution of a genre he had so effectively worked to…

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Sleep 01

Sleep No More: Or, If It Hadn’t Been for Those Meddling Kids…. »

By Alex Brannan. If one were to just slightly retool Phillip Guzman’s Sleep No More (aka 200 Hours) – eliminate the gore and profanity, shift the characters’ ages, move the…

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Hal-01

The Sublime Art of Ashby: Hal »

By Elias Savada. Hal (no relation to the sentient computer in Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey), is a reflective meditation on the (high) life and (best) films of Hal…

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Life and Death

The Science of Experimental Film – Lessons in Perception: The Avant-Garde Filmmaker as Practical Psychologist by Paul Taberham »

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. For many, the term “avant-garde” is synonymous with pretension: a sub-subgenre that revels in its impenetrability and niche appeal. One of Paul Taberham’s overarching…

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The Films of Jess Franco: Cinema on the Fringes »

A Book Review by Alex Brannan. For those experiencing a Jess Franco film for the first time, the response is unlikely to be an academic one. Known predominantly for horror…

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Mommy Noir: A Simple Favor »

By Elias Savada. The crazy wait-who-did-what? mystery that is A Simple Favor offers up a pair of smooth, subversive, suburban housewives that spin some sparkling dialogue off each other and their…

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Angel and Phoenix: Two Rising at the Toronto International Film Festival »

By Ali Moosavi. Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has had a rapid rise in the last few years to become one of the A-List festivals alongside Cannes, Venice and Berlin.…

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SF

Beyond Geekdom: Science Fair »

By Elias Savada. Science Fair, the new National Geographic documentary, follows the audience-pleasing formula easily recognizable in its predecessors. There are many fans of Spellbound (2002), an enlightening race to the…

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Praising the New Flesh: The Modern British Horror Film by Steven Gerrard »

Outpost

A Book Review by Alex Brannan. Steven Gerrard’s The Modern British Horror Film (Rutgers University Press, 2017) is a slim, pocketbook-sized volume.…

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The “Fourth Face” of Silent Comedy – Harry Langdon: King of Silent Comedy by Gabriella Oldham and Mabel Langdon »

The Strong Man (1926)

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser. Silent film great Harry Langdon died at sixty of a cerebral hemorrhage three years before…

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Marketable Polish Melancholy: Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War »

Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig in Cold War

By Alex Ramon. Without a doubt, the biggest Polish cinematic success of the past decade has been Paweł Pawlikowski’s 2013 film Ida. Feted…

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Unfulfilled Desire: The Bookshop »

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By Janine Gericke. Based on the novel by Penelope Fitzgerald, Isabel Coixet’s The Bookshop takes place in a conservative coastal village in…

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Scattershot Disorder(s) in Rene Daalder’s Hysteria »

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By Alex Brannan. A quick search into the work of Rene Daalder yields an interesting array of artistic pieces varied in concept, medium,…

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The New Delicate Balance: Support the Girls »

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By Janine Gericke. How do we balance work, family, friends, everything in our lives without breaking? This relatable film is a study…

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Smash Palace, A Wreck in Slow Motion »

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By John Duncan Talbird. New Zealand’s short-lived new wave came quite a bit after most other national cinemas’ new waves. Kick-started by the…

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Rewarding Curiosity: Skate Kitchen »

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By Janine Gericke. Skate Kitchen is director Crystal Moselle’s first narrative feature following her 2015 documentary The Wolfpack. I knew in the first five minutes…

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Broken, Yet Living: Memoir of War (La Douleur) »

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By Elizabeth Toohey. Sometimes, on my weirder, darker days, I fantasize about being the architect of a purgatory. There, I would place…

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The Cinematic Poetry of Cielo »

Cielo 03

By John Duncan Talbird. Since 1982’s Koyaanisqatsi (dir. Godfrey Reggio), time-lapse photography has become a convention, sometimes to the point of cliché. Still,…

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Telling Tales: The Company of Wolves by James Gracey »

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A Book Review by Jeremy Carr. James Gracey’s Devil’s Advocates entry on The Company of Wolves (Auteur Publishing, 2017) does everything a…

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Shifty Business: Pound of Flesh »

Pound 01

By Alex Brannan. After gaining attention in Lindsay Anderson’s if… (1968), legendary character actor Malcolm McDowell­ jump-started his career with a pair of films…

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Gothic Grotesque: Aristide Massaccesi’s Death Smiles on a Murderer (Arrow Video) »

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By Jeremy Carr. Highlighting the Arrow Video Blu-ray of Death Smiles on a Murderer (also known as Death Smiled at Murder) is a…

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A Child Custody Thriller »

Custody feat

By Janine Gericke. Xavier Legrand’s Custody (Jusqu’à La Garde) is a child-custody thriller. And, the word “thriller” doesn’t usually come to mind when thinking…

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A True Beauty: Chained for Life »

Chained Feat

By Elias Savada. A piece of the infamous “Gooble Gobble” carnival communal wedding chant from Tod Browning’s Freaks (1932) isn’t the only ditty…

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Political and Literary Exile: Nicolas Pariser’s The Great Game »

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By Thomas Puhr. Is the pen indeed mightier than the sword, as Bulwer-Lytton’s adage would have us believe? This ever-prescient question drives…

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Forgotten “Final Girls”: The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle by Alexandra West »

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A Book Review by Alex Brannan. In Men, Women, and Chainsaws (1992), Carol J. Clover takes a critical look at horror and exploitation…

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The First Purge: State of the Nation »

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By Christopher Sharrett. One would think that the fascination with apocalypse in cinema peaked, perhaps, in the late 70s-early 80s, with the…

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The Lodgers: The Specter of History »

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By Alex Brannan. “Be in bed by midnight’s bell. Never let a stranger through your door. Never leave each other all alone.”…

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Wake Up at the Back There! It’s Jimmy Edwards by Anthony Slide »

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A Book Review by Tony Williams. The name of Jimmy Edwards (1920-1988) may not be familiar to American audiences, let alone contemporary…

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Follow That Dream: Eugene Jarecki’s The King »

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By Jeremy Carr. Embracing a road trip structure, which is always conducive to a film concerning self-reflective journeys of the soul, Eugene Jarecki’s…

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They Feud (Again): Under the Tree »

Tree

By Thomas Puhr. One may argue that the “feuding neighbors” subgenre is overdone, having been explored in films like John G. Avildsen’s…

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Between Fantasy and Reality: A Matter of Life and Death (1946) from the Criterion Collection »

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By Tony Williams. One can never have too much of a good thing and the successful works of The Archers defines this…

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Conflict, Dissension, and Collaboration – Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The Making of Cujo, Written and Edited by Lee Gambin »

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A Book Review by Tony Williams. This book is an excellent addition to the Bear Manor Media repertoire. Written by an independent…

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Weird Science: Three Identical Strangers »

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By Elias Savada. I’ve been told, at rare moments throughout my life, that I look just like someone else, other than my dad…

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John Waters, Respectably Vile Again: Female Trouble (Criterion Collection) »

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By Gary M. Kramer. John Waters has achieved respectability (again). After 2016’s successful Criterion Collection release of Multiple Maniacs, the premier film…

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The Paradox of Vivienne Westwood – Westwood: Punk, Activist, Icon »

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By Elizabeth Toohey. Is the designer Vivienne Westwood anti-establishment or is she the establishment? Is she iconoclast or icon? More to the…

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Perfectly Partial: Víctor Erice’s El Sur (Criterion Collection) »

El Sur

By Jeremy Carr. Writer-director Víctor Erice can be forgiven if he speaks of El Sur (newly released by the Criterion Collection) with more…

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New Directions Emerging: Orson Welles in Focus, Edited by James R. Gilmore and Sidney Gottlieb »

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A Book Review by Tony Williams. During and since the time of Welles’s Centenary, many fine books and articles have appeared re-evaluating…

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Not Playing Smart: The Catcher Was a Spy »

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By Elias Savada. There’s an unsettling blandness flowing through The Catcher Was a Spy, a well photographed and impressively designed film about a…

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Fiercely Unpredictable: First Reformed »

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By Thomas Puhr. Paul Schrader takes Christianity seriously: no small feat, given that many “Christian” movies today are of the schmaltzy, Sunday…

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Hereditary: The Mother Again »

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By Christopher Sharrett. As the end credits roll for Ari Aster’s horror film Hereditary, we hear Judy Collins sing her hit song…

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Beyond the “Jacksplosion” – Quintessential Jack: The Art of Jack Nicholson on Screen by Scott Edwards »

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser. Scott Edwards’s new book (McFarland, 2018) is anything but a garden variety biography of an…

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Gore Down South: Two Thousand Maniacs! (Arrow Video) »

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By Jeremy Carr. As noted by no less an authority than Mr. MonsterVision himself, Joe Bob Briggs, to distinguish a good Herschell…

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A Treat Grows in Brooklyn: Hearts Beat Loud »

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By Elias Savada. One way or another, I always seem to get a plastic high when watching a film with an old…

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In Awe of Everything: The Gospel According to André »

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By Janine Gericke. ​I’ll start by saying that The Gospel According to André is a delightful film about a delightful human. The…

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The Feminist Battle for Respect – The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist by Michelle Morgan »

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A Book Review by Anthony Uzarowski. Whenever one sets out to write a book about a real-life person, be it a traditional…

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Arthouse Redux: Claire’s Camera »

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By Elias Savada. I’m a latecomer to the work of South Korean filmmaker Hong Sangsoo, but I recently caught Night and Day (2004)…

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Mountain: Epic to the Extreme »

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By Elias Savada. The word “breathtaking” doesn’t do justice to Australian documentarian Jennifer Peedom’s Mountain. It’s so far beyond that. The manner of…

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Mungiu’s Deceptive Simplicity: Beyond the Hills (Criterion Collection) »

Beyond Top

By Christopher Sharrett. I have commented on this site at length on Cristian Mungiu’s masterpiece Beyond the Hills (2012), and while it…

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Bumpy Origins – Solo: A Star Wars Story »

"Sorry, pal – he was a little taller."

By Elias Savada, In a galaxy far, far away, veteran multi-hyphenate filmmaker Ron Howard has directed Solo with a sure, reliable hand, cobbling…

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Frustratingly Real: Disobedience »

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By Janine Gericke. Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience is a frustrating film. Not because of poor performances or a meandering story, but because it’s…

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Beyond the Surface: Cinema’s Baroque Flesh by Saige Walton »

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A Book Review by Jeremy Carr. Through the course of Cinema’s Baroque Flesh: Film, Phenomenology and the Art of Entanglement (Amsterdam University…

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A Beautiful Crash Course – Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat »

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By Janine Gericke. Clocking in at a cool 78 minutes, Sara Driver’s documentary Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel…

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Deadpool 2: Shtick Happens. Again. »

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By Elias Savada. So, as numerous superhero universes collide in worldwide multiplexes, you might wonder if there is an escalating case of…

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Comic Discoveries – The Marcel Perez Collection: Vol. 2 »

A Scrambled Honeymoon

By Jeremy Carr. Marcel Perez certainly isn’t the most renowned name in silent screen comedy. He’s likely not even among its top…

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Times Remembered – Junior Bonner: The Making of a Classic with Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpah in the Summer of 1971 by Jeb Rosebrook with Stuart Rosebrook »

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A Book Review by Tony Williams. It is frequently true that publishers like Bear Manor Media not only offer the possibility of…

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Beautiful Hopelessness: Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here »

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By Thomas Puhr. On paper, Lynne Ramsay’s breathtaking You Were Never Really Here (2017) sounds like one of Luc Besson’s off-the-cuff side…

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An Insufficient Measure of Novelty: Jim Loach’s Measure of a Man (2018) »

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By Brandon Konecny. There’s a scene in Measure of a Man where Bobby (Blake Cooper) bickers with his sister Michelle (Liana Liberato) after…

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Market Values – Screening Stephen King: Adaptation and the Horror Genre in Film and Television by Simon Brown »

The Shining (1980)

The Shining (1980) A Book Review by Tony Williams. During my final year in what was soon becoming Thatcher’s “green and septic…

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Features

Hefting the Masterpieces: Filmworker »

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By Elizabeth Toohey. Do we really need another Stanley Kubrick documentary? There’s the comprehensive Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001), with…

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“As Usual, Ladies First”: Manners, Manuals, and The Hunger Games »

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By Richmond B. Adams. During “The Reaping” sequence from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) “volunteer[s] as tribute” to…

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Consistent Passion, Little Fanfare: RBG »

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By Elizabeth Toohey. Towards the end of the powerful new documentary RBG, we follow the 85-year-old Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg into…

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Genius in Collaboration: The Outer Limits, Season One from Kino Lorber »

"The Galaxy Being"

By Tony Williams. I saw my first episode of The Outer Limits on a regional independent television station in the mid-60s. Opening…

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Beauty and the Dogs: Women’s Revolution in Tunisian Cinema »

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By Matthew Fullerton. As Hollywood grapples with diversity issues, it is interesting to note how Tunisia, an emergent democracy since its 2011…

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Family Values and Civic Duties: Fassbinder’s Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day »

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By Jeremy Carr. Rainer Werner Fassbinder was particularly adept at transitioning between the cinema and television (and theater, for that matter), starting the…

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Unlovely Spectacle: D.A. Miller on Call Me By Your Name »

Call Me Feat

By David Greven. An exchange I had with an older, straight, white academic in Film Studies serves as an instructive example of…

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Marcel Pagnol’s “Marseille Trilogy”: An Essential Reemerges on Criterion »

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By Christopher Weedman. Among the most impressive film restorations of 2017 was Marcel Pagnol’s Marseille Trilogy (1931-36), which I reviewed last March…

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The Form and Function of a Cult Film: Deep Red by Alexia Kannas »

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A Book Review Essay by Jeremy Carr. Alexia Kannas’ Deep Red (Columbia University Press, 2017), her contribution to the Wallflower Press Cultographies series,…

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White Micro-aggression Against Black Film: Awards and Why They Matter »

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By André Seewood. Every weekend numerous websites inform us of the short term box office grosses of various films like Star Wars: The…

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“America First” or Second? – America Through a British Lens: Cinematic Portrayals 1930-2010 by James D. Stone »

As Long As They're Happy (1955)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Captain Hornsby: “What an extraordinary fellow!” Colonel Thompson: “Well, he’s an American.”  – Too Late the…

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Beyond Wishes: Bronson’s Loose Again!: On the Set with Charles Bronson by Paul Talbot »

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A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. If Dr. Johnson had James Bosworth as his chronicler in the inimitable The Life of…

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The Enormous Gap Between Dream and Realization: Scenarios by Werner Herzog »

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. There are snowy peaks all around, majestic crests, and the mountains tower like Holy Cathedrals.…

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More Than a Headrush: Frank Henenlotter’s Brain Damage (1988) »

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By Matthew Sorrento. After the release of his horror-comedy Re-Animator (1985), debuting filmmaker Stuart Gordon was very conscious that the film would…

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Noir from the States to the Ilses: The Stranger and Appointment with Crime from Olive Films »

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By Tony Williams. 1946 was an “annus mirabilis” (“amazing year” for those who never studied Latin) for American, British film noir, and…

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Orson Ascending: The Stranger (1946) from Kino Classics and Othello (1951) from the Criterion Collection »

The Stranger (1946)

By Tony Williams. Following the release of several new remastered DVDs after the 2015 Orson Welles Centenary and the expected completion of…

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Truth and Consequences: Conversations with Buñuel by Max Aub, translated and edited by Julie Jones »

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A Book Review Essay by Jeremy Carr. “Even today, I’ve no idea what the truth is, or what I did with it.”…

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The “Complete Italianization” of the Western: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Kino Lorber »

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By Tony Williams. This is the moment when the Italianization of the Western was complete. –Alberto Moravia, quoted by Christopher Frayling As…

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Mark Felt: History as Mysticism »

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By Christopher Sharrett. One of the characteristics of our militarized society, aside from the constant deluge of cop shows, superhero movies, and…

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The Charming “Lithuanian Cary Grant”: Walter Matthau in Hopscotch on Criterion »

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By Christopher Weedman. Walter Matthau (1920-2000) was among Hollywood’s most charismatic stars of the late 1960s and 1970s. During this fascinating period…

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A Haneke Masterpiece: The Piano Teacher (Criterion Collection) »

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By Christopher Sharrett. I count Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (2001) among his supreme masterpieces, along with Code Unknown (2000), Cache (2005),…

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The Brethren of GG (i.e., Jesus Christ) Allin: The Allins »

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By Johannes Schönherr. New York City, June 27th 1993: Notorious punk rocker GG Allin had finally served out a lengthy prison sentence in…

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Working for the Police, Working for the City, or Selling Drugs: Stanley Corkin’s Connecting The Wire »

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A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. David Simon’s television series The Wire ran on HBO from 2002-2008, five seasons of a…

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The Indian Film Critics Have Done It Again!: Reading Gender in Ki & Ka Through the Cinematic Lens of R. Balki »

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By Devapriya Sanyal and Melissa Webb. The Indian film critics have done it again! As Glover and Kaplan state in their book Genders, the term “gender”…

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The Year of the Kneale Olympics – Into the Unknown: the Fantastic Life of Nigel Kneale by Andy Murray and We Are the Martians edited by Neil Snowdon »

Quatermass and the Pit (1959-60)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. It is as if in movies, TV and books, genre progresses through a series of…

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

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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…

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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 »

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A Book Review Essay by Matthew Sorrento. It may be tempting to recommend Scarface (1932) or Little Caesar (1930) as a first…

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

The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Many decades ago I heard a comment made by a respected scholar, and affirmed by…

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

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by John Andrew Gallagher. Tay Garnett and and writer Howard Higgin spent the months of February and March, 1930 on Catalina Island…

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

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By Christopher Weedman. The Criterion Collection deserves to be commended for their continued efforts to bring greater attention to the underappreciated films…

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The Function of Film Criticism at Any Time »

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By Christopher Sharrett. Readers will note that my title derives from essays and certain phrases by Matthew Arnold, T. S. Eliot, F.…

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

All God’s Children (Toti copiii domnului, 2012)

By Brandon Konecny. It has been suggested, sometimes by Moldovan film professionals themselves, that cinema does not currently exist in the Republic…

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Kentucky Fried Chicken in the Moonlight »

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By Orville Lloyd Douglas. Black people are still mentally enslaved; even in the 21st century there is a psychic need by some…

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

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By Tony Williams. As I write, hours tick away for the latest unimportant event in film history – the Hollywood Academy Awards…

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

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By Christopher Weedman. The past couple of months have been full of rich rewards for admirers of the late Abel Gance. This…

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I Wake Up Screaming: Far from “Kansas” »

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By Anthony J. Steinbock. The Maltese Falcon is often considered to be the first film noir of the classical noir period (beginning…

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

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By Johannes Schönherr. The Lovers and the Despot, a 2016 documentary by British directors Robert Cannan and Ross Adam, tackles an especially…

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

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By Christopher Sharrett. I have always thought that John Sturges’s 1960 Western The Magnificent Seven has suffered too unfavorably in comparison to…

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

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By Tony Williams. Although this special Criterion three film DVD set has been available since 2008, it is only recently that I…

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

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By Tony Williams. Long awaited by many, following either unavailability or dubious accessibility via duped 16mm copies, unwatchable VHS copies, and bootlegged…

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Screwball/Great Depression Denial Syndrome: My Man Godfrey (Criterion Collection) »

By Tony Williams. Gregory La Cava’s My Man Godfrey (1936) is admittedly one of the best screwball comedies of the 1930s that provided witty dialogue, entertainment, and “acceptable” references to…

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McBride

From a Longtime Insider/Outsider – Two Cheers for Hollywood: Joseph McBride on Movies »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Joseph McBride, currently Professor of Film Studies at San Francisco State University, has had a long and varied career both in the film…

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Colette in the #MeToo Era »

By Elizabeth Toohey. If ever a movie was ripe for release, it’s the new bio-pic Colette. The life and career of one of France’s most celebrated novelists hits in rapid…

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“Good Sausage”: Felix Feist’s The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950) from Flicker Alley »

By Tony Williams. Imagine Lee J. Cobb (1911-1976) playing a star role as an honest cop turned bad played for a sucker by femme fatale Jane Wyatt (1910-2006), an actress…

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Lost Highway (1997)

Cinema Thinks: Film as Philosophy Edited by Bernd Herzogenrath »

A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. The multi-authored book is a misnomer. Although out in the world there is no taint to the word “anthology,” it seems that…

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Far from Paradise: Dietrich and Von Sternberg in Hollywood (Criterion Collection) »

By Tony Williams. A box set containing the Josef Von Sternberg (1894-1969) and Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) collaboration, even if copyright reasons exclude The Blue Angel (1930), would appear the fulfillment…

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The Steel Helmet (1951)

For and Against the Grand Narrative: The Hollywood War Film by Daniel Binns »

A Book Review Essay by Matthew Sorrento. Genre studies, whether treating film genre history as evolutionary or as cycles, always has to fight the charge that genre films are conservative…

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Ninotchka (1939)

Rediscovering a “Lost Art”: How Did Lubitsch Do It? by Joseph McBride »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Any book or article by Joseph McBride is worth reading, especially in this era of mostly dismal films and an unqualified plethora of…

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The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960)

The Epitome of Cool: The Films of Ray Danton by Joseph Fusco »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. I initially saw this 2010 book as a main feature on this company’s web site and requested a review copy, thinking it was a new…

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“May Well Offend” – Magnificent Obsession: The Outrageous History of Film Buffs, Collectors, Scholars, and Fanatics by Anthony Slide »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Deliberately described as a “provocative film scholar,” this prolific, self-educated expert in film, who has written more than 250 books in the area…

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Beyond Genre to the Other Arts: King Hu’s Dragon Inn (1967) from the Criterion Collection »

By Tony Williams. For those really interested in the art of cinema, the achievements of King Hu (1932-1997) are comparable to others such as Bela Tarr and Andrei Tarkovsky –…

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Why the Neglect?: Lubitsch’s The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927) »

By John W. Fawell. The following is an excerpt from Ernst Lubitsch’s The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg: the Art of Classic Hollywood, now available from Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield (all rights…

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The Cinematic Form of the Football Match »

By Declan Cochran. Introduction (Pre-Match Warm-Up) Cinematically speaking, the filmed football match is a curious phenomenon, one that seems to integrate a number of cinematic techniques whilst, obviously, by definition…

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Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice: Against All Doctrine »

By Christopher Sharrett. I have been meaning for some time to put pen to paper about Andrei Tarkovsky, about whom I’ve been hesitant for decades. A few remarks on the…

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Kim

North Korea’s International Movie Co-Productions, 1985-2012 »

By Johannes Schönherr. Kim Jong Il, the son of North Korea’s founder and Great Leader Kim Il Sung, went early in his youth in the direction of eventually inheriting his…

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Defying Ideology (and the Academy) – Mr. Novak: An Acclaimed Television Series by Chuck Harter »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. When recovering from reviewing lesser works by well-established publishers, whether direct-to-library or university presses, it is often a welcome relief to read something…

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