Festival Reports

Crises in Detail: AFI Docs 2019 »

Border South

By Gary M. Kramer. At the 2019 AFI Docs Film Festival this year, five provocative shorts and features tackled important topics ranging from the drug crisis and immigration to the creationism debate and…

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Coming of Age with Care: the 21st Maryland Film Festival (2019) »

Mickey and the Bear

By Gary M. Kramer. Now in its 21st year, the Maryland Film Festival in Baltimore is a showcase for eclectic independent features, shorts, and documentaries. This year’s program features films both homegrown and far-flung.…

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Portraits and Passions: Tribeca Film Festival 2019 »

Gasoline Thieves

By Gary M. Kramer. The Tribeca Film Festival, April 24-May 5, offers a variety of features, shorts, documentaries, television and new media productions from new and established filmmakers. This year’s programs offered some…

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Documenting the Past and Gender: Istanbul Film Festival, 38th Edition »

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By N. Buket Cengiz. Held only a couple of days after a social democrat mayor has won the elections in the city after long years, Istanbul Film Festival, organized by Istanbul Foundation for…

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The Weight of the Journey: The 2019 Miami International Film Festival »

Journey to a Mother’s Room

By Gary M. Kramer. At this year’s Miami International Film Festival, there are some interesting debuts, some intriguing slow-burn films, and some compelling documentaries. Here is a rundown of a half-dozen titles screening…

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Gods and Penguins: The 2019 DC Independent Film Festival »

Penguin Highway

By Gary M. Kramer. The DC Independent Film Festival, unspooling March 1-10 in Washington, DC, is celebrating its 20th year in 2019. This year’s program features dozens of features and shorts, along with a…

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Independents at 25: Slamdance 2019 »

We are Thankful

By Gary M. Kramer. Now in its 25th year, the Slamdance Film Festival – held in Park City, Utah, January 25-31, 2019 – is a showcase for independent filmmakers. Here is a rundown of…

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The Dawn of New Era: Locarno 2018 »

Dragonfly Eyes (2017)

By Martin Kudláč. The largest annual Swiss film gathering, and one of the longest running film festivals in the world, in Locarno flourished into a sought-after cinephile event, some say even “the worldwide cinephile…

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Interview

A Deep Affect for Regional Genre Films: Aaron Harvey on Into the Ashes »

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By Tom Ue. Aaron Harvey is the writer and director of several award-winning feature films including Catch.44 (2011), starring…

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Scoring Films Quickly, with Inspiration: An Interview with Mike Hall »

Pipe Wrench

By David A. Ellis. Fifty-year-old Mike Hall is a film composer who lives in Le Claire Iowa. He grew…

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Joining the Flow: An Interview with Jonathan Rosenbaum »

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By Jeremy Carr. On the occasion of two recently published collections – Cinematic Encounters: Interviews and Dialogues (2018) and…

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The Arab Comrades in the Spanish Civil War: Amal Ramsis on You Come from Far Away »

You Come 03

By N. Buket Cengiz. The 12th edition of Documentarist, the sole independent documentary festival in Turkey, was held on 15-20…

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The Immigrant Dream Life: An Interview with Amir Ganjavie on Pendulum »

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By Ali Moosavi. Pendulum is the first film made by Amir Ganjavie, an Iranian diaspora film critic (and a Film…

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Dreaming on, Despite Brexit: A Conversation with Sean McAllister »

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By N. Buket Cengiz. Documentarist, an independent documentary film festival held in Istanbul since 2007, had the acclaimed British…

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Exposing the Filmmaker: An Interview with Ewa Banaszkiewicz and Mateusz Dymek About My Friend the Polish Girl »

My Friend

By Alex Ramon. As the place that produced the likes of Wajda, Polański, Kieślowski and Skolimowski, and that, under…

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“If You Don’t Learn from the Greats, You’d Be Stupid”: An Interview with Cinematographer Robin Vidgeon »

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By David A. Ellis. Robin Vidgeon BSC born in August 1939 is a retired cinematographer. For many years he…

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Violent Urban Transformation: Ali Vatansever on Saf »

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By N. Buket Cengiz. Ali Vatansever’s Saf (2018) was one of the outstanding films at the Human Rights in…

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Surveying Shorts in 2019: A Interview with Sharon Badal (Tribeca Film Festival) »

STREET MAIN

By Gary M. Kramer. This year, the Tribeca Film Festival had more than 5,100 submissions for its shorts programs.…

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Larry Cohen in Conversation with Tony Williams: on Bone (1972) »

Larry-Cohen

To celebrate the life of Larry Cohen (1936-2019), Film International will excerpt portions of Tony Williams’s interviews with the filmmaker from Larry…

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MOST RECENT

  1. The Truth Lies….: Cold Case Hammarskjöld
  2. City of Losers, Losing City: Pacino, New York, and the New Hollywood Cinema
  3. An Old Soul Gone Too Soon: Love, Antosha
  4. Mike Wallace is Here – and Isn’t
  5. Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché – Saluting the Film Archival Community
  6. The Excelling Historical Document – Film and the Historian: The British Experience by Philip Gillett
  7. Enthralling Familiarity: Claudio Giovannesi’s Pirahnas
  8. All the Writers Dreamed They’d be Your Partner: Elaine May Writing for Warren Beatty, Director
  9. The Mountain: A Discouraging Word
  10. A Deep Affect for Regional Genre Films: Aaron Harvey on Into the Ashes
  11. Scoring Films Quickly, with Inspiration: An Interview with Mike Hall
  12. “I Don’t Know the Person You Talk About”: Ingmar Bergman’s Novels
  13. Producer-Director Aldrich at a Crossroads: The Killing of Sister George (1968) and The Grissom Gang (1971) from Kino Lorber
  14. Diverted Dreams: Astronaut (2019)
  15. Joining the Flow: An Interview with Jonathan Rosenbaum
  16. On the Border, with Soap Opera: Tel Aviv on Fire (2018)
  17. The Kurious Kase of a Kinski Krimi: Riccardo Freda’s Double Face
  18. Restoring Paul Leni – The Man Who Laughs (1928) and The Last Warning (1929) from Flicker Alley
  19. The Arab Comrades in the Spanish Civil War: Amal Ramsis on You Come from Far Away
  20. In the Heart of the World: Soap Opera Meets Social Realism in Brazil
  21. Bonding vs. Protection: Jan Zabeil’s Three Peaks
  22. Deadites vs. Adaptation: Media and The Evil Dead
  23. The Immigrant Dream Life: An Interview with Amir Ganjavie on Pendulum
  24. Film Scratches: Multiple Remembrances of Things Past – Luz en la Copa (2017)
  25. Forbidden Desire: The Reports on Sarah and Saleem
  26. Reconciliatory Depiction of Time: Richard Billingham’s Ray & Liz
  27. All in the Method – Remembering British Television: Audience and Industry by Kristyn Gorton and Joanne Garde Hansen
  28. Alone on New Adventures: Lara and Patrick (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)
  29. A Tricky Tonal Arc: Greg Kinnear’s Phil
  30. Dreaming on, Despite Brexit: A Conversation with Sean McAllister
  1. Tony Williams: Thank you for publishing this interview. There may be hope for this “ugly society” if more...
  2. Matthew Sorrento: Reading about this “misfit” cowboy narrator, I can’t help wonder if the Coens...
  3. Matthew Sorrento: This sounds like an interesting mediation on the politics of gender and, more specifically, our...
  4. Melinda: Great interview, John! I enjoyed the specificity of your questions as well as the conversational style of...
  5. Matthew Sorrento: I agree with Tony, Daniel — thanks for commenting on the issues this film addresses. This...

Review

Main Cold

The Truth Lies….: Cold Case Hammarskjöld »

By Michael Sandlin. It’s now been eight years since Scandinavian prankster filmmaker Mads Brugger donned his pith helmet and jodhpurs in Angola to impersonate a blood diamond buyer – recording on film the…

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A still from Love, Antosha Garret Price, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Anton Yelchin

All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

An Old Soul Gone Too Soon: Love, Antosha »

By Yun-hua Chen. Paying tribute to the late actor Anton Yelchin’s life, this biographical documentary extends far beyond his acting career. As Garret Price’s directorial debut premiered at the Sundance…

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Mike Wallace is Here – and Isn’t »

By Christopher Sharrett. The premises of the new documentary Mike Wallace is Here are contradictory, and I suppose meant ironically so. The late TV journalist, most famous for helping start…

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Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché – Saluting the Film Archival Community »

By Elias Savada. In a way, I consider myself a film archivist. I don’t do that for a living now, but I do have close ties with many such institutions,…

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They Came to a City

The Excelling Historical Document – Film and the Historian: The British Experience by Philip Gillett »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Some months ago, I struggled through a book about remembering British Television published by the BFI. My dissatisfaction with the contents stemmed from my…

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Enthralling Familiarity: Claudio Giovannesi’s Pirahnas »

By Ali Moosavi. Pirahnas, which won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, is based on a novel by Roberto Saviano, who also co-wrote the…

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The Mountain: A Discouraging Word »

By Christopher Sharrett. My subtitle is taken from a moment in Rick Alverson’s film The Mountain, where we see a black-and-white, furniture-bound TV, the type representative of the 1950s, showing Perry…

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Diverted Dreams: Astronaut (2019) »

By Jeremy Carr. Septuagenarian grandfather Angus (Richard Dreyfuss) has harbored dreams of space since he was a child. Although the waning years of his life have generally clouded those fancies,…

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On the Border, with Soap Opera: Tel Aviv on Fire (2018) »

By Yun-hua Chen. What would bring the two opposing sides across the Israel-Palestinian borders together? Tel Aviv on Fire’s answer is, through a popular tear-jerking soap opera and some good…

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Double 01

The Kurious Kase of a Kinski Krimi: Riccardo Freda’s Double Face »

By Rod Lott. Ah, young love! When John (enfant terrible extraordinaire Klaus Kinski) meets Helen (Margaret Lee, Venus in Furs) on holiday in 1969’s Double Face, their courtship is instant…

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In the Heart of the World: Soap Opera Meets Social Realism in Brazil »

By Martin Kudláč. The Brazilian cinema has been in the viewfinder of the International Film Festival Rotterdam for some time now and certainly for a good reason. New talents have been…

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Bonding vs. Protection: Jan Zabeil’s Three Peaks »

By Gary M. Kramer. Made in 2017, but just getting a release now, Jan Zabeil’s Three Peaks is a flinty chamber drama set mainly in the Dolomites. And despite the spectacular mountain…

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Reports Main

Forbidden Desire: The Reports on Sarah and Saleem »

By Ali Moosavi. If the quality of a country’s cinema is judged on a per capita basis, then surely Palestine would be sitting at the top table. For a country…

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Reconciliatory Depiction of Time: Richard Billingham’s Ray & Liz »

By Mina Radovic. Richard Billingham’s debut as a director is an unjudgmental, observational, frequently difficult, and highly internalized portrait of his family. Composed to the brim, glacial but consistent in…

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Dr. Who

All in the Method – Remembering British Television: Audience and Industry by Kristyn Gorton and Joanne Garde Hansen »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. This recent monograph (Bloomsbury/BFI, 2019) aims to debate the importance of everyday TV memories involving academics, audiences, and fans, in terms of recent theoretical…

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Alone on New Adventures: Lara and Patrick (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival) »

By Ali Moosavi. Two films competing for the main prizes at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Both having a person’s name as their title. Lara (Jan Ole Gerster) from…

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Phil

A Tricky Tonal Arc: Greg Kinnear’s Phil »

By Michael Sandlin. Greg Kinnear has come a long way since his early 1990s career phase sniggering at daytime talk show freaks for E! Network’s Talk Soup. Rising through the…

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Fireflies

From Iran to Mexico: Fireflies (Luciérnagas) »

By Ali Moosavi. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, a number of national filmmakers, who were well-established in their homeland, such as Dariush Mehrjui (The Cow; The Cycle), Amir Naderi…

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Midsommar-movie

Manipulative Artistry: Ari Aster’s Midsommar »

By Gary M. Kramer. Heredity filmmaker Ari Aster’s eagerly awaited sophomore feature, Midsommar, is impressive when one looks at the craft that went into it. There are elaborate dinner table…

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Beyond Reason: Diamantino »

By Jeremy Carr. “Love has reasons that even reason can’t understand.” This is what the father of soccer star Diamantino Matamouros once told his son, as recalled by the sporting…

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Night Feat

A True Cinematic Challenge – Moseby Confidential: Arthur Penn’s Night Moves and the Rise of Neo-Noir by Matthew Asprey Gear »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Moseby Confidential: Night Moves and the Rise of Neo-Noir (Jorvik Press, 2019) is an interesting monograph of a hybrid nature. Written by Matthew Asprey Gear, author…

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Arguments for Greatness – Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am »

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By John Duncan Talbird. In 1988, Toni Morrison’s fifth novel, Beloved, won the Pulitzer Prize. Five years later, she won the Nobel…

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Phantoms from the Past: Gan Bi’s Long Day’s Journey into Night (2018) »

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By Yun-hua Chen. Very few films can capture the feelings of a dream in an audio-visually mesmerizing way. What Andrei Tarkovsky, Ingmar…

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Homage to Humanity: La vie de Jesus and L’Humanite (Criterion Collection) »

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By Christopher Sharrett. Bruno Dumont is one of the outstanding figures of the twenty-first century’s European cinema, so the Criterion hi-definition releases…

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Peace & Love, 50 Years On – Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation »

woodstock

By Elias Savada. Fifty years ago (gulp!) I never made it to Woodstock. I didn’t even try, although I had a hallucinogenic…

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Giving by Stealing: Denys Arcand’s The Fall of the American Empire »

Fall-of-the-American-Empire

By Thomas Puhr. Denys Arcand’s The Fall of the American Empire (2018) asks a question that most never have the luxury to…

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Film as Cultural Artifact: Palestinian Cinema in the Days of Revolution by Nadia Yaqub »

Return to Haifa (Kassem Hawal, 1981)

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. What does it mean to “document” a displaced people? Do humanitarian films, while helpful in raising…

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It’s a Hard Knock Life: American Woman »

americanwoman

By Elias Savada. Wanna watch a train wreck? Sienna Miller plays one in Jake Scott’s third feature. For the first half-hour of…

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A Device to Remember: Halston »

Halston - Still 1

By Dana Weidman. Halston, the new documentary from director Frédéric Tcheng (Dior and I) starts with a credit stating that the “following…

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Kal-El Spelled Badly Is Brightburn »

BrightBurn

By Elias Savada. Here’s a twist on one of those what if comic book, sci-fi scenarios. What if an alien baby (conveniently…

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The De Palma Basics: Domino »

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By Ali Moosavi. I have been an ardent Brian De Palma fan ever since watching Phantom of the Paradise at the cinemas…

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“Brooksie” Revisited: Beggars of Life (1928) from Kino Lorber and Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film by Thomas Gladysz »

Beggars

A Film/Book Review by Tony Williams. While we eagerly await the Criterion release of The Sound of Music with audio-commentary by Quentin…

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Scholar, Lawyer, Catcher, Spy: The Spy Behind Home Plate »

Spy 01

By Elias Savada. I can’t take credit for creating that tagline, but it is a perfect John Le Carré allusion. It’s from author…

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Beyond the “Post-Western” – Marlina: A Murderer in Four Acts »

Marlina 02

By Matthew Sorrento. Marlina begins with a scenario all too familiar: the title character, recently widowed, is now an object of desire…

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Pondering the Ponderous: Malick’s A Hidden Life (Cannes 2019) »

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By Ali Moosavi. My relationship with Terence Malick films has been love and hate. Watching Badlands (1973) back in the 70s was like…

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Look and Listen: Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Cannes 2019) »

Portrait 01

By Ali Moosavi. Somehow I had not seen any of Celine Sciamma’s films until watching Portrait of a Lady on Fire at…

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Screening Communities: Negotiating Narratives of Empire, Nation, and the Cold War in Hong Kong Cinema by Jing Jing Chang »

In The Face of Demolition (1953)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Hong Kong cinema studies has received detailed coverage over the decades in works written about specific…

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Where Has the Film Gone?: My Son »

Was this film made just so Liam Neeson could star in the inevitable American remake?

By Gary M. Kramer. My Son purports to be a taut thriller about a desperate father’s search for his missing seven-year-old son.…

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A Traditional Period Piece: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Cannes 2019) »

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By Ali Moosavi. Twenty-five years ago Pulp Fiction premiered at Cannes, won the Palm D’Or, and had an everlasting impact on the…

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A Disquieting Tale: Unarmed Man »

Unarmed Man

By Elias Savada. Harold Jackson III is a very focused, and quite talented, individual. He does just about everything in Unarmed Man, his…

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Almodovar Most Personal: Pain and Glory (Cannes 2019) »

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By Ali Moosavi. Pain and Glory is Pedro Almodovar at his most personal and confessional, in the same vein as Bad Education…

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Martial Art: Zhang Yimou’s Shadow »

Shadow 01

By Jeremy Carr. Zhang Yimou has had a remarkable career, one distinguished by its approximate division into two distinct phases. There were…

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Dystopias in Disguise: Aniara »

Aniara

By John Duncan Talbird. In 1956, Swedish author Harry Martinson wrote an epic poem called Aniara. It tells the story of the eponymous…

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Life During Wartime: Ingmar Bergman’s Shame (Criterion Collection) »

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  By Jeremy Carr. Save for the broad categories of drama or comedy, Ingmar Bergman isn’t a name often associated with genre filmmaking.…

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Universalizing a Movement – The Berlin School and Its Global Contexts: A Transnational Art Cinema »

La Ciénaga (Lucrecia Martel, 2001)

A Book Review by Thomas Puhr. As its title of this collection makes clear, The Berlin School and Its Global Contexts: A…

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Hours of Artistry and Independence: Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Happy Hour »

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By Matthew Fullerton. In a 1981 essay, the film critic Alan Booth (1946-1993) recognized independent directors as the strength of Japanese cinema.…

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Long Walk to Freedom: The Silence of Others »

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By Michael Sandlin. Despite its low-budget workmanlike feel, this documentary from Emmy-winning directors Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar – and produced by…

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Taming a Wild Man: Matteo Garrone’s Dogman »

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By Thomas Puhr. He is a slight man: short and hunched, as if perpetually carrying a heavy load. His head and eyes…

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Trick and Treat: Penny Lane’s Hail Satan? »

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By Elias Savada. Never has a Penny Lane film been this funny. An academic-now-turned-full-professional-documentary-filmmaker, she has provided a window into the weird…

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Super Heroes Matter – Avengers: Endgame »

Avengers 01

By Elias Savada. It has come to this, the emotional end of the Marvel Comic Universe as we know it. In our…

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Scared Stiff: Ghost of No Chance »

Scared 01

By Rod Lott. New on Blu-ray from Arrow Video, 1987’s Scared Stiff arrives with a stunningly inaccurate title – one that suggests a light…

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Dickinson Unbowdlerized: Wild Nights with Emily »

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By Elizabeth Toohey. Biopics, especially literary ones, tend to gravitate towards the grandiose. Sweeping vistas and luxurious estates command center stage as a…

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Beyond the Distractions: The Brink »

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By Michael Sandlin. Seeing populist political shyster Steve Bannon’s slow professional demise play out over the course of Alison Klayman’s documentary The…

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Knife+Heart: Of Felonies and Fellatio »

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By Rod Lott. Whereas several of Brian De Palma’s works famously suggested tools and utensils as phallic, Yann Gonzalez’s Knife+Heart removes all doubt.…

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All Fight, No Feeling – Master Z: Ip Man Legacy »

Mas Z

By Yun-hua Chen. Action itself is not enough to compose a good action film – we see yet another hard-earned lesson in…

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Little on the Syndrome: Stockholm »

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By Gary M. Kramer. Stockholm, written and directed by Robert Budreau, recounts the “absurd but true” 1973 Norrmalmstorg (Kreditbanken) robbery and hostage…

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Not “Just Another Giallo”: The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire (Arrow Video) »

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By Rod Lott. If the first two minutes of Riccardo Freda’s The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire (1971) had failed to…

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Crimes and Pastimes: Screwball »

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By Jake Rutkowski. It’s hard to view the discourse around baseball’s most recent and protracted steroid use scandal as anything other than…

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The Last Silent Hound: Der Hund von Baskerville (1929) »

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By Tony Williams. Like the recently restored Behind the Door (1919), Der Hund von Baskerville was shown at the San Francisco Silent…

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Too Much and not Enough – 1968 and Global Cinema, Edited by Christina Gerhardt and Sara Saljoughi »

Battle of Algiers

A Book Review by Mads Larsen. The timing could hardly be better. Every month seems to throw more gasoline onto the political…

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Everywhere and Nowhere: Kent Jones’ Diane »

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By Jeremy Carr. There is so much potential tragedy in the first twenty minutes of Diane that the film appears instantly in…

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For the Love of a Gangster: Ash is the Purest White »

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By Yun-hua Chen. Jia Zhangke’s latest, Ash is the Purest White, three years after his previous film Mountains May Depart (2015) which…

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Filling a Gap: The Music of Charlie Chaplin by Jim Lochner »

Modern Times (1936)

A Book Review by John Fawell. I’ve always been somewhat surprised by the amount of critical attention paid to Charlie Chaplin’s sound…

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Fessenden Meets a Brooklyn Frankenstein: Depraved »

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By Elias Savada. Larry Fessenden has plenty of fans. A versatile producer, director, writer, editor, cinematographer, and actor in dozens of low-budget flicks,…

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“Movies No Genre Wants to Own Up to” – Blood Hunger: The Films of José Larraz (Arrow Video) »

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By Rod Lott. Death aside, it’s a good time to be José Ramón Larraz. The Spanish director finally gets his due, a…

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Wildlife: Family in the Dark »

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  By Christopher Sharrett. Among the few films that impressed me last season was Paul Dano’s first film as director, Wildlife, based…

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A “Spinster’s” Last Stand: Woman at War »

Woman at War

By Michael Sandlin. Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson, in his sophomore directorial effort Woman at War, imagines the chaos that ensues when a…

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The Uncanny Invades: Jordan Peele’s Us »

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By Matthew Sorrento. The most unfortunate aspect of Jordan Peele’s Get Out was its creator’s attempt at self-criticism. Some months after the…

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Idris at the Helm: Yardie »

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By Ali Moosavi. The media have been so preoccupied with whether or not Idris Elba will become the next James Bond that…

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Welcome to the Universe: Captain Marvel »

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By Elias Savada. Packing a $153 million weekend wallop here in her home country, and a huge $455 million on her native planet,…

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Tradition Against Trafficking: Birds of Passage »

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By Ali Moosavi. Films about drug trafficking in Central and South America have been on our cinema and TV screens almost continuously,…

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Features

Transcending the Chains of Illusion – The Assassin: Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s World of Tang China, Edited by Peng Hsiao-yen »

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A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. In Mostly About Lindsay Anderson, his long-time friend Gavin Lambert speaks about the in-flight movie…

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Researcher Beware! – Frankly: Unmasking Frank Capra by Joseph McBride »

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A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Joseph McBride’s latest mammoth book, well-written and copiously documented as usual, is an unusual production…

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Reassessing Blue Velvet: a Criterion Collection Release »

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By Christopher Sharrett. I have had a difficult history with David Lynch’s breakthrough film Blue Velvet (1986), and for that matter, much…

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Pondering the Ponderous: Malick’s A Hidden Life (Cannes 2019) »

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By Ali Moosavi. My relationship with Terence Malick films has been love and hate. Watching Badlands (1973) back in the 70s was like…

Read More »

La vérité: the French Woman’s Prison (Criterion Collection) »

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By Tony Williams. Henri-Georges Clouzot (1907-1977) is best known as the director of Le Corbeau (1943), Quai des Orfevres (1947), The Wages…

Read More »

Long Walk to Freedom: The Silence of Others »

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By Michael Sandlin. Despite its low-budget workmanlike feel, this documentary from Emmy-winning directors Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar – and produced by…

Read More »

Planning and Execution: Werner Herzog’s Scenarios II and Meeting Gorbachev »

Even Dwarfs Started Small

By John Duncan Talbird. Werner Herzog should win the Nobel Prize in Literature. If Bob Dylan can win it, I don’t see…

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The Struggle for a City’s Soul: Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz (Criterion Collection) »

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By Jeremy Carr. Newly released from Tegal Prison, Franz Biberkopf cautiously looks over a custodial stretch of land just inside the wall…

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Never Look Away: Art Against Death »

Film Review - Never Look Away

By Christopher Sharrett. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Never Look Away is a good – but not great – film of this past…

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I Made the Documentary The Cult of JT LeRoy, and I Must Discuss Savannah Knoop’s New Film »

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By Marjorie Sturm. I am the director and producer of the The Cult of JT LeRoy, the documentary that explores the elaborate…

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Never the Victim: Louise Brooks and The Chaperone »

“Louise Brooks? What’s all this talk about Louise Brooks? She was nobody. She was a nothing in films." George Cukor

By Thomas Gladysz. The Chaperone, the first theatrical release from PBS Masterpiece, is a story of beginnings as well as a kind…

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Daredevils of the Red Circle and Other Cliffhangers: Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu and Republic’s Drums of Fu Manchu (1940) »

Drums of Fu Manchu (1940)

“Daredevils of the Red Circle and Other Cliffhangers” is a blog on serials by Geoffrey Mayer, the author of Encyclopedia of American Film Serials (McFarland,…

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Larry Cohen in Conversation with Tony Williams: on Bone (1972) »

Larry-Cohen

To celebrate the life of Larry Cohen (1936-2019), Film International will excerpt portions of Tony Williams’s interviews with the filmmaker from Larry Cohen: Radical Allegories…

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Hope from the Past: Dziga Vertov: Life and Work (Volume 1: 1896-1921) by John MacKay »

Man With a Movie Camera (1929)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. In 1904, Lenin once wrote a monograph, “One Step Forward, two Steps Back” (1) that…

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Agnes Varda, 1928-2019 »

Set of the movie "Sans toit ni loi" by Agnes Varda

By Christopher Sharrett. I commented early this week on the ruthlessness of death. The occasion was my remembrance of Larry Cohen, a…

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Larry Cohen, 1936-2019 »

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By Christopher Sharrett. Death is ruthless, but it seems to have been especially vicious lately. We have received word that Larry Cohen,…

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The Uncanny Invades: Jordan Peele’s Us »

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By Matthew Sorrento. The most unfortunate aspect of Jordan Peele’s Get Out was its creator’s attempt at self-criticism. Some months after the…

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“What Might Have Been”: The Magnificent Ambersons (Criterion Collection) »

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By Tony Williams. “Anybody who does things their own way while they’re working with a corporation is going to be problematic.” –…

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Twilight of the Idol: Eastwood’s The Mule »

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By James Slaymaker. Like many late-period Eastwood films, The Mule is a revisionist genre piece with a pronounced self-reflexive streak. It only…

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His Own Man – George Raft: The Man Who Would be Bogart by Stone Wallace »

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A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Enter George Raft groom cum chauffeur – He lurked hand and collar and hands in…

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The Eternal Dilemma: Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev (The Criterion Collection) »

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By Tony Williams. After reviewing the disappointing Criterion Von Sternberg/Dietrich DVD Collection and noting the company’s inexplicable emphasis on popular films available…

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Watering the Money Tree: Eugen Damaschin’s Beautiful Corruption (2018) »

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By Brandon Konecny. In 2014, Moldova experienced what many observers called the “theft of the century.” One billion dollars disappeared from the…

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First Man and Last Things »

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By Christopher Sharrett. I have just recently seen Damien Chazelle’s First Man after putting it off during its initial release. The film…

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Just Slightly Off: True Stories »

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By John Duncan Talbird. My friends and I loved the Talking Heads when we were in college. You could not go a week…

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There’s No Place Like Home: Revisiting Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day (Criterion Collection) »

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By Jeremy Carr. In her essay for the Criterion Collection release of Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day, Moira Weigel opens with a…

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Re-Working Hitchcock: Brian De Palma’s Sisters (Criterion Collection) »

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By Tony Williams. De Palma’s Sisters has long been overdue for a new 4K digital restoration that Criterion now supplies along with…

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Notes on Pablo Larraín »

Natalie Portman and Pablo Larrain on the set of Jackie

By Christopher Sharrett. Some months ago I published in this location brief remarks on Pablo Larraín’s remarkable film Jackie (2016), one of…

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

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By Tony Williams. Gregory La Cava’s My Man Godfrey (1936) is admittedly one of the best screwball comedies of the 1930s that…

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

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A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Joseph McBride, currently Professor of Film Studies at San Francisco State University, has had a…

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Colette in the #MeToo Era »

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

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

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By Tony Williams. Imagine Lee J. Cobb (1911-1976) playing a star role as an honest cop turned bad played for a sucker…

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Cinema Thinks: Film as Philosophy Edited by Bernd Herzogenrath »

Lost Highway (1997)

A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. The multi-authored book is a misnomer. Although out in the world there is no…

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

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

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

The Steel Helmet (1951)

A Book Review Essay by Matthew Sorrento. Genre studies, whether treating film genre history as evolutionary or as cycles, always has to…

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

Ninotchka (1939)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Any book or article by Joseph McBride is worth reading, especially in this era of…

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

The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960)

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…

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

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

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

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By Tony Williams. For those really interested in the art of cinema, the achievements of King Hu (1932-1997) are comparable to others…

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

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By John W. Fawell. The following is an excerpt from Ernst Lubitsch’s The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg: the Art of Classic Hollywood,…

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The Cinematic Form of the Football Match »

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By Declan Cochran. Introduction (Pre-Match Warm-Up) Cinematically speaking, the filmed football match is a curious phenomenon, one that seems to integrate a…

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The Truth Lies….: Cold Case Hammarskjöld »

By Michael Sandlin. It’s now been eight years since Scandinavian prankster filmmaker Mads Brugger donned his pith helmet and jodhpurs in Angola to impersonate a blood diamond buyer – recording on film the…

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Dog Day Afternoon

City of Losers, Losing City: Pacino, New York, and the New Hollywood Cinema »

By Heather Hendershot. The following is excerpted from When the Movies Mattered: The New Hollywood Revisited, edited by Jonathan Kirshner and Jon Lewis (Cornell University Press, 2019), by permission of the…

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A still from Love, Antosha Garret Price, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Anton Yelchin

All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

An Old Soul Gone Too Soon: Love, Antosha »

By Yun-hua Chen. Paying tribute to the late actor Anton Yelchin’s life, this biographical documentary extends far beyond his acting career. As Garret Price’s directorial debut premiered at the Sundance…

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Mike Wallace is Here – and Isn’t »

By Christopher Sharrett. The premises of the new documentary Mike Wallace is Here are contradictory, and I suppose meant ironically so. The late TV journalist, most famous for helping start…

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They Came to a City

The Excelling Historical Document – Film and the Historian: The British Experience by Philip Gillett »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Some months ago, I struggled through a book about remembering British Television published by the BFI. My dissatisfaction with the contents stemmed from my…

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Enthralling Familiarity: Claudio Giovannesi’s Pirahnas »

By Ali Moosavi. Pirahnas, which won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, is based on a novel by Roberto Saviano, who also co-wrote the…

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All the Writers Dreamed They’d be Your Partner: Elaine May Writing for Warren Beatty, Director »

By Dean Brandum. The following was originally written as a chapter for inclusion in ReFocus: The Films of Elaine May (Edinburgh University Press, 2019, edited by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Dean Brandum).…

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The Mountain: A Discouraging Word »

By Christopher Sharrett. My subtitle is taken from a moment in Rick Alverson’s film The Mountain, where we see a black-and-white, furniture-bound TV, the type representative of the 1950s, showing Perry…

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“I Don’t Know the Person You Talk About”: Ingmar Bergman’s Novels »

A Book Review Essay by John Talbird. “Words flown out can’t be caught on the wing.” Supposedly, this is a saying from Martin Luther, although Google gives me no hits…

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Director Robert Aldrich and Susannah York on the set of "The Killing of Sister George"
1968 Aldrich Studios
© 1978 Bob Willoughby

Producer-Director Aldrich at a Crossroads: The Killing of Sister George (1968) and The Grissom Gang (1971) from Kino Lorber »

A Review Essay by Tony Williams. Following the commercial success of The Dirty Dozen (1967), iconoclastic director Robert Aldrich fulfilled his dream of purchasing his own studio. As well as…

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Diverted Dreams: Astronaut (2019) »

By Jeremy Carr. Septuagenarian grandfather Angus (Richard Dreyfuss) has harbored dreams of space since he was a child. Although the waning years of his life have generally clouded those fancies,…

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The Man Who Laughs

Restoring Paul Leni – The Man Who Laughs (1928) and The Last Warning (1929) from Flicker Alley »

By Tony Williams. While we lament today current low standards represented by mainstream Hollywood cinema, those of us resilient enough to resist the temptations of the “new” and ignore the…

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Evil Dead II: "It's a requel, whatever you want to call it!" Bruce Campbell

Deadites vs. Adaptation: Media and The Evil Dead »

By Valerie Guyant. The following is an excerpt from The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise, © 2019, Edited by Ron Riekki and Jeffrey A. Sartain…

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Dr. Who

All in the Method – Remembering British Television: Audience and Industry by Kristyn Gorton and Joanne Garde Hansen »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. This recent monograph (Bloomsbury/BFI, 2019) aims to debate the importance of everyday TV memories involving academics, audiences, and fans, in terms of recent theoretical…

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Homage to Humanity: La vie de Jesus and L’Humanite (Criterion Collection) »

By Christopher Sharrett. Bruno Dumont is one of the outstanding figures of the twenty-first century’s European cinema, so the Criterion hi-definition releases of his two early films, la vie de…

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DocuChronicles: Barbara Rubin and the Exploding NY Underground »

DocuChronicles is a blog dedicated to independent documentary cinema by filmmaker Marjorie Sturm. It includes a mix of reviews, interviews, and longer pieces.  By Marjorie Sturm. Barbara Rubin was an experimental filmmaker most…

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