Festival Reports

Northern Lights: The 14th Reykjavík International Film Festival »

Feat

By Randy Malamud. I didn’t see the Aurora Borealis during my October visit to the Reykjavík International Film Festival, probably because I spent every night at the movies, but I did have some…

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New York, International: NYFF Shorts 2017 »

Last Light

By Gary M. Kramer. The shorts programs at the 55th New York Film Festival are divided into three narrative sections: Narrative, Genre Stories, New York Stories, and there are some real gems among…

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Highlights from the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival »

Speedy (1928)

By Jordan R. Young. To vintage film enthusiasts–more than 28,000 last year–April means it’s time for the TCM Classic Film Festival. The eighth annual event took place over three days and four nights…

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A Tool for Travelling: Transatlantyk Festival, Łódź (14 – 21 July 2017) »

The Beksińskis: A Sound and Picture Album

By Alex Ramon. Now in its seventh year, Poland’s Transatlantyk Festival remains a spearheading festival in a country that, despite its current volatile political climate, doesn’t yet lack for dynamic, high-profile cultural events:…

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Art Film Fest 2017: 25 Years »

Paula

By Robert Buckeye. Art Film Fest in Košice, Slovakia (16-24 June) provided greater opportunities for those who seek out film however they can by screening films that were seen recently and awarded at…

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Viennale and Thessaloniki Film Festival 2016 »

Park

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

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

Call Her Applebroog

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

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The 2017 AFI DOCS Short Films »

Life, Death, and Cheerleading

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

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Interview

Bare Emotion: An Interview with Scud on Voyage »

Amphetamine

By Gary M. Kramer. The mono-monikered Hong Kong writer-director-producer, Scud (born Danny Chan Wan-Cheung) has been making distinctive films…

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Negotiating Entanglement: An Interview with Jason James »

Entanglement_1

By Tom Ue. Entanglement, the latest film by director Jason James, follows the story of Ben Layten (Thomas Middleditch)…

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Flicks and Politics: An Interview with Rob Reiner »

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By Ali Moosavi. Rob Reiner is one of the most successful American directors working today. However, it’s difficult to…

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Bromance, Romanian Style: Andrei Cretulescu on Charleston »

Char 02

By Martin Kudláč. The Romanian writer-director-producer Andrei Cretulescu rolled out his first feature-length offering Charleston at the biggest Swiss showcase…

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Dread and Genetics – An Interview with Hèctor Hernández Vicens on Day of the Dead: Bloodline »

Day 01

By Tom Ue. Hèctor Hernández Vicens reimagines George A. Romero’s 1985 zombie classic in his new film Day of the…

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Out of a Bleak Past: An Interview with Lynne Ramsay on You Were Never Really Here »

You 02

By Ali Moosavi. In 90 years of Academy Awards, only one woman director, Kathryn Bigelow, has been awarded the…

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Spearheading Arab Cinema in Palestine: An Interview with Annemarie Jacir on Wajib »

Wajib-3

By Ali Moosavi. In recent years, Palestinian cinema has come to the forefront of the Arab cinema and the…

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Re-Animating Day of the Dead: An Interview with Johnathon Schaech »

Day 03

By Gary M. Kramer. Johnathon Schaech’s acting career has included such films as Gregg Araki’s cult classic The Doom…

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Polish Social Dystopia: Bodo Kox on The Man with the Magic Box »

Man 03

By Martin Kudláč. Writer, director and actor Bodo Kox (né Bartosz Koszalka) introduced at Warsaw Film Festival his latest…

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The Carriage Set Upright: Stephen Broomer on Potamkin »

Broomer 03

By Brian Wilson. Stephen Broomer’s rapid ascension on the avant-garde landscape has been, quite simply, astounding. In the span…

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A New Platform for Chinese Independent Cinema: An Interview with Jia Zhangke and Marco Muller »

pingyao (1)

By Martin Kudláč. A new Chinese film festival emerged this year, Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival, inaugurated…

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MOST RECENT

  1. Too Much “Up-skirt”: Lipstick Under My Burkha
  2. Bare Emotion: An Interview with Scud on Voyage
  3. Unsung Hollywood Journeyman – Jean Negulesco, the Life and Films by Michelangelo Capua
  4. Laughing at the Land of Oddz: Closure
  5. The Boy Who Fell To Earth: The Astronaut’s Bodies (Die Körper der Astronauten)
  6. Negotiating Entanglement: An Interview with Jason James
  7. Marcel Pagnol’s “Marseille Trilogy”: An Essential Reemerges on Criterion
  8. Flicks and Politics: An Interview with Rob Reiner
  9. Social Critique, in Truth and Fiction: 2018 Oscar Nominated Live Action and Documentary Shorts
  10. Big Dreams and Odd Dwellings: 2018 Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts
  11. All That Shapes a Star – Grace Kelly: Hollywood Dream Girl by Jay Jorgensen and Manoah Bowman
  12. The Form and Function of a Cult Film: Deep Red by Alexia Kannas
  13. Bromance, Romanian Style: Andrei Cretulescu on Charleston
  14. Disorder in the Court: The Insult
  15. Where Does the Shredding End? – Ripping England: Postwar British Satire from Ealing to the Goons by Roger Rawlings
  16. On National Consciousness – Hungarian Film 1929-1947: National Identity, Anti-Semitism, and Popular Cinema by Gabor Gergely
  17. White Micro-aggression Against Black Film: Awards and Why They Matter
  18. The Post: Nostalgia for Half-Truth
  19. Seasonal Pageantry from Philadelphia: Christmas Dreams
  20. “America First” or Second? – America Through a British Lens: Cinematic Portrayals 1930-2010 by James D. Stone
  21. Home Sweet Homicide: Mom & Dad
  22. Dread and Genetics – An Interview with Hèctor Hernández Vicens on Day of the Dead: Bloodline
  23. New York Stage and Screen Marvel – Anne Bancroft, A Life by Douglass K. Daniel
  24. Out of a Bleak Past: An Interview with Lynne Ramsay on You Were Never Really Here
  25. Utopia Achieved: Call Me by Your Name
  26. Beuys: Fame and the Pithy Statement
  27. Far From Complete – Ingrid Pitt, Queen of Horror: The Complete Career by Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter
  28. Beyond Wishes: Bronson’s Loose Again!: On the Set with Charles Bronson by Paul Talbot
  29. The Enormous Gap Between Dream and Realization: Scenarios by Werner Herzog
  30. Spearheading Arab Cinema in Palestine: An Interview with Annemarie Jacir on Wajib
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Review

01

Too Much “Up-skirt”: Lipstick Under My Burkha »

By Devapriya Sanyal. Alankrita Srivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha looks at the lives of four women who live in Hawai manzil: Bua ji, who has forgotten her own name as no one…

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humoresque

Unsung Hollywood Journeyman – Jean Negulesco, the Life and Films by Michelangelo Capua »

A Book Review by Louis Wasser. “I’m the last of Hollywood’s dinosaurs.” – Jean Negulesco (124) Although, in retrospect, the stars seemed to align during the years of Jean Negulesco’s…

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closure_still2

Laughing at the Land of Oddz: Closure »

By Elias Savada. There have been plenty of movies that have skewered the sunbaked air of Los Angeles and the strange people who breathe it – Mick Jackson’s L.A. Story and Robert Altman’s…

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Astro

The Boy Who Fell To Earth: The Astronaut’s Bodies (Die Körper der Astronauten) »

By Elias Savada. Russian-born and German-trained Alisa Berger shows off her experimental and artistic tendencies in The Astronaut’s Bodies, a graduation project for the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne.…

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Edith+Eddie

Social Critique, in Truth and Fiction: 2018 Oscar Nominated Live Action and Documentary Shorts »

By Elias Savada. With less than a month before we find out how many Academy Awards The Shape of Water will actually win, the short list of the shortest films are…

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The Garden Party

Big Dreams and Odd Dwellings: 2018 Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts »

By Gary M. Kramer. The best short films hook viewers, carry them through the story, and deliver a surprising finish. Animation is best when it is used to depict things…

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The Country Girl (1954)

All That Shapes a Star – Grace Kelly: Hollywood Dream Girl by Jay Jorgensen and Manoah Bowman »

A Book Review by Anthony Uzarowski. In the 1950s female movie stars were expected to be more than human. For a price of a cinema ticket one could sit in…

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Insult 01

Disorder in the Court: The Insult »

By Elias Savada. When 46-year-old automobile mechanic Tony George Hanna (a piercing-eyed Adel Karam) is first seen in The Insult, he’s at an open air rally supporting the country’s right wing,…

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The Good Show (1951-53)

Where Does the Shredding End? – Ripping England: Postwar British Satire from Ealing to the Goons by Roger Rawlings »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Ripping England is the latest of two recent studies by American academics devoted to aspects of British Cinema. Although the day is long gone…

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Hyppolit the Butler (1931)

On National Consciousness – Hungarian Film 1929-1947: National Identity, Anti-Semitism, and Popular Cinema by Gabor Gergely »

A Book Review by Robert Buckeye. In Jean-Luc Godard’s Les Carabainares (1963), a soldier at a cinema for the first time sees a woman on the screen, leaves his seat to…

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Post 01

The Post: Nostalgia for Half-Truth »

By Christopher Sharrett. I hope that Steven Spielberg’s The Post ignites more interest in the standard media, at a time when blogs and rightist websites, and the repugnant Fox News,…

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Christmas 01

Seasonal Pageantry from Philadelphia: Christmas Dreams »

By Elias Savada. Christmas comes but once a year, but folks who like the holiday’s sweet joy and heartfelt message might take a look at Christmas Dreams anytime they’re down and…

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Mom 01

Home Sweet Homicide: Mom & Dad »

By Elias Savada. Nicolas Cage, like Bruce Willis, seems to be trying everything and anything to reinvent his career. Or find a wider audience, like the ones that once flocked to…

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Turning Point (1977)

New York Stage and Screen Marvel – Anne Bancroft, A Life by Douglass K. Daniel »

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser. “I’m always lonely when I work…You’re going through a very private inner experience that requires personal strength. I accept this loneliness, but it’s one…

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Call Me 02

Utopia Achieved: Call Me by Your Name »

By Christopher Sharrett. I’ve kept in mind Luca Guadagnino since his 2009 film I Am Love, which made such good use of both Visconti and Renoir while creating a work…

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Beuys 01

Beuys: Fame and the Pithy Statement »

By John Duncan Talbird. “Everything under the sun is art,” Joseph Beuys famously – or fatuously, depending on your point of view – asserted. He also said “Everyone is an artist.”…

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Ingrid 03

Far From Complete – Ingrid Pitt, Queen of Horror: The Complete Career by Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Upon reviewing Ingrid Pitt, Queen of Horror: The Complete Career (McFarland, 2018, revised from a 2010 edition), I recalled my one and only meeting…

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CrazyFamous main

Not Much Fun: Crazy Famous »

By Elias Savada. Little did Elton John realize that the filmmakers behind Crazy Famous, a lame adventure comedy set in an Upstate New York asylum, might actually try to build a…

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Darkest 02

Misapprehension of the Mainstream: Darkest Hour »

By Dean Goldberg. Like many a baby-boomer it was television that brought the movies into my life and introduced me to the world of visual storytelling. If I had to…

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Holy feat

Viva Jodorowsky!: The Holy Mountain by Allesandra Santos »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. “I hate Spielberg, because none of his movies are honest…He is fascist, because America is the centre of his world. If I can kill…

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Mother 2

The Question of Intelligence: Mother! »

By Christopher Sharrett. The release last season of Darren Aronovsky’s Mother! was the unfortunate occasion for another assessment of the American mind. The reviewer chatter at the film’s release was on…

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The Dialectic of Historical Dictionaries: Peter Rollberg’s Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Cinema (Second Edition) »

Igor Cobileanski on the set of At the Bottom of the Sky (La limita de jos a cerului, 2013)

A Book Review by Brandon Konecny. A history of soviet cinema, encompassing the films of Russia as well as the non-Russian former…

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The Kids Are Alright: Miss Kiet’s Children »

Miss-Kiets-Children-Photo FEAT

By Jeremy Carr. Young Haya is having a rough time. At the beginning of the documentary Miss Kiet’s Children, this precocious primary school…

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Swimming in Poetry: The Shape of Water »

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By Elias Savada. When Guillermo del Toro makes a film, people take notice. For me, these are delicious, often unsettling – and sensitive…

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Various Industries Post-Independence: New African Cinema by Valérie K. Orlando »

Le silence de la forêt (The Forest; Bassek Ba Kobhio and Didier Ouenangare, 2003)

A Book Review by Cecilia A. Zoppelletto. Charting the recent film industry of an entire continent is an unimaginable task and, even…

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A Stilted, Flat Wonder Wheel »

Wonder-Wheel 01

By Elias Savada. Woody Allen has gone dumpster diving. His new film, Wonder Wheel, is anything but wondrous. In fact, it stinks. The…

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Melville at 100: Le samouraï from Criterion »

melville-jean-pierre

By Tony Williams. Initially released in 2005, this new edition of Jean-Pierre Melville’s outstanding film has only one new feature to complement…

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Early Programming in the Midwest: Saving Brinton »

saving_brinton_still_1_mike_outside feat

By Jeremy Owen. Documentaries about cinema are today so numerous that they are close to a genre in their own right and,…

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Double Vision: The Breadwinner »

Breadwinner FEAT

By Jeremy Carr. The power and purpose of storytelling is essential to The Breadwinner, the newly released animated adaptation of Deborah Ellis’ 2000…

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From Novel to Transformation – The Making and Remaking of China’s “Red Classics”: Politics, Aesthetics, and Mass Culture, Edited by Rosemary Roberts and Li Li »

Red Detachment of Women (1961)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. On the surface, most of this edited collection of essays from Hong Kong University Press (2017) appears to…

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In Defiance of Hollywood – Trying to Get Over: African American Directors after Blaxpoitation, 1977-1986 by Keith Corson »

Sidney Poitier directing Traces (1981)

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser. The film director’s traditional conflict between making an artistic statement and making a film that…

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Verity Less Lively: Flesh and Blood »

flesh_and_blood_01

By Dean Goldberg. There’s an often quoted line attributed to director Alfred Hitchcock that goes like this: “Drama is life with the…

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Novitiate: Life Entombed »

novitiate feat

By Christopher Sharrett. I have always been curious about the lives of nuns, mainly because I suffered under their twisted physical and…

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A Bloody (Laugh) Riot: Mayhem »

Mayhem 01

By Elias Savada. The tongue-in-check, over-the-top aspect of Mayhem, a looney tune of a film from director Joe Lynch, offers a steroid-infused day…

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“Shift to Sincere”: A Gray State »

By John Duncan Talbird. In January of 2015 screenwriter and aspiring filmmaker David Crowley was found dead along with his wife, Komel, and…

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The Paris Opera: A Rhapsodic Story »

Paris Opera 01

By Cecilia A. Zoppelletto. The sophisticated style of The Paris Opera, whilst weaving stories of mundane occupations with the artistic highlights of…

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Alaskan Neo-Noir: Sweet Virginia »

Sweet

By Elias Savada. As the latest shadowy slant on the malevolent small town subterfuge melodrama – following a few weeks after George…

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Trauma and Courage: Barbara Kopple’s A Murder in Mansfield (DOC NYC) »

Murder 02

By Kate Hearst. Barbara Kopple’s latest documentary revisits a high profile domestic murder case in Mansfield, Ohio in 1989, and reveals how…

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The Saga Doesn’t Begin – The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One »

Osiris

By Elias Savada. If you create a film and title it to suggest it’s the beginning of a series, you better hope that…

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Lancing a Bourgeois Boil: The Square »

Square 01

By Elias Savada. Auteur provocateur Ruben Östlund loves to pick at society’s scabs – and make you laugh and writhe at any unsettling…

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Documenting the Final Days: Waiting for Kiarostami »

Waiting 02

By Ali Moosavi. Abbas Kiarostami’s passing in 2016 deprived the lovers of the 7th art of his unique blend of documentary and fiction,…

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Two of a Kind: Faces Places »

Faces 01

By Jeremy Carr. Once you accept and appreciate the superficial contrast between Agnès Varda (a legendary filmmaker, diminutive, inspirationally enthusiastic if rigid by…

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It’s All About the (Many) Details – 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene »

78 01

By Elias Savada. I can’t remember the first time I saw Psycho. I was a 10-year-old kid when Alfred Hitchcock’s menacing tale…

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Critique with Some Scopophilia: Gestures of Love by Steven Rybin »

Sylvia Scarlett (1935)

A Book Review by Anthony Uzarowski. “Anybody got a match?” Who doesn’t remember the first time they heard Lauren Bacall utter these words;…

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Blade of the Immortal: Where Jidaigeki and Manga Collide »

Blade 01

By Matthew Fullerton. Takashi Miike isn’t one to shy away from pushing the boundaries of existing genres and teasing his audiences while…

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The Florida Project: Childhood in Time of War »

Florida 01

By Christopher Sharrett. Occasionally, the Hollywood industry produces a film that notes the poverty flowing from the neoliberal order, as a “permanent…

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Amplified Isolation: It Takes from Within »

Takes 01

By Gary M. Kramer. The wordless pre-credit sequence of It Takes from Within sets the tone for this stark, atmospheric drama: three…

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Flight to Salvation: The King’s Choice »

King Feat

By Jake Rutkowski. About twenty minutes into The King’s Choice, it hits me: I know absolutely nothing about Norway’s political history. Nor its…

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Oneiric Noir: The Chase (1946) from Kino Lorber »

Chase Feat

By Tony Williams. Based on Cornell Woolrich’s 1944 novel The Black Path of Fear, The Chase (1946) has long required a remastered…

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Prison of the Mind: The Big Knife (1955) from Arrow Academy »

BK

By Jake Rutkowski. There are few time capsules more compelling to me than works in which Golden Age Hollywood peels back the…

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Dying To Live Another Day: Realive »

Main

By Elias Savada. The general belief that there is seemingly civil attitude toward one another in our planet’s clean, sterile looking future…

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Early Black Cinema Recovered: Lost Boundaries (1949) »

Lost 01

By Louis J. Wasser. In the late 1940s, a man from New Hampshire named Albert Johnston, Jr. wrote a letter to film…

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Enjoyable Traces: After The Fox (1966) from Kino Lorber »

After the Fox (1966)  aka Caccia alla volpe

Directed by Vittorio De Sica

Shown from left: Peter Sellers, Victor Mature

By Tony Williams. Back in 1965 BBC TV screened a documentary introduced by Dirk Bogarde, The Epic that Never Was, an informative analysis…

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A Lumbering Beast: Woodshock, Woodshlock »

Woodshock 01

By Elias Savada. The answer to whether smoking kills lies beneath the surface of this abstract but ultimately empty-plotted first feature from sisters…

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Life After Death: Dementia 13 (2017) »

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By Jeremy Carr. Francis Ford Coppola’s low-budget, low-key 1963 shocker, Dementia 13, was the first substantial step in the legendary filmmaker’s career. Like…

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Dystopia Awaits: Blade Runner 2049 »

BR 01 Main

By Elias Savada. When I last visited Denis Villeneuve it was when I reviewed one of the best films of last year.…

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Harry Dean Stanton: Finally, Sadly, Career-Topping in Lucky »

Lucky 01

By Elias Savada. Harry Dean Stanton was older than dirt when he died earlier this month. In human years, that was 91.…

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An Actor’s Life – Which One was David? by David Frankham with Jim Hollifield »

With Vincent Price during filming of Return of the Fly

A Book Review by Tony Williams. The title of this review is not accidental. It is deliberately meant to evoke the title…

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New York Plays Itself: Brian Tochterman’s The Dying City »

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

A Book Review by John Duncan Talbird. In Thom Anderson’s documentary, Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003), the history and culture of L.A.…

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Life on Hold: Mike Leigh’s Meantime (Criterion Collection) »

Meantime 01

By Jeremy Carr. Based solely on his latest string of features – Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Another Year (2010), Mr. Turner (2014) – one might…

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Culture, Style, Voice, Motion: The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien by Christopher Lupke »

A Time to Live, a Time to Die (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1985)

A Book Review by Yun-hua Chen. Christopher Lupke’s The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice, and Motion (Cambria, 2016) is…

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All That’s Lost: Rebecca from the Criterion Collection »

Rececca 01

By Tony Williams. Criterion initially offered Rebecca (1940) on a 2-disc DVD edition in 2001 but following loss of copyright a few…

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Love Kills: Sid & Nancy from the Criterion Collection »

Chloe Webb and Gary Oldman in the film Sid and Nancy

By Jeremy Carr. Sid & Nancy, Alex Cox’s 1986 biopic about raucous Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) and his equally rowdy…

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Stephen King’s IT: Unneeded Horrors »

It 02

By Christopher Sharrett. I have never much admired the horror fiction of Stephen King, which I’ve called the “hoagie sandwich” approach to…

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The Sublime Beauty of Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg on Criterion »

Umbrellas 01

By Christopher Weedman. When celebrated French film director Jacques Demy and composer Michel Legrand were experiencing difficulty securing financing for Les parapluies de…

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Cultivating Young Minds: School Life »

hero_School-feat

By Elias Savada. In the quaint, historic town of Kells in County Meath, home to Ireland’s only independent documentary film festival, it seems…

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Catharsis, Backstage and Beyond: Spettacolo »

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By Jeremy Carr. There was no plan to launch an annual undertaking where the residents of Monticchiello, a small Tuscan village, would enact…

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Anti Matter: Alice Tumbles Down the Wormhole »

Anti 02

By Elias Savada. Memory loss and Queen of Hearts madness team up against a you-shouldn’t-play-with-Mother-Nature anti-hero in Anti Matter, an ambitious and entertaining…

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Updating the Debate – The Elusive Auteur: The Question of Film Authorship Throughout the Age of Cinema by Barrett Hodsdon »

Elusive MAIN

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Barrett Hodsdon is an unfamiliar name to me, chiefly because I do not reside in Australia.…

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A World of One’s Own: The Endearing Humanity of Pavel Cuzuioc’s Secondo Me »

Secondo_Me_1

By Brandon Konecny.  Pavel Cuzuioc is a filmmaker with a flair for creating thoughtful meditations on working-class people, and he doesn’t diverge…

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Cops, Criminals, and Cultural Revolution: The Nile Hilton Incident »

Nile 03

By Jeremy Carr. There are bound to be comparisons made between Tarik Saleh’s The Nile Hilton Incident and several films of the past.…

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Features

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

The Wire 01

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 »

Ki and Ka 01

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 »

Reagan 01

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 »

Muni 01

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) »

Her Man

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 »

Tree 01

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 »

Irreversible-2

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

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

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Son of Saul: Versions of the Irrational »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Sentinel Excavated »

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

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The Best and the Most Overrated of 2015 »

The Assassin: Frustrating or rewarding?

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

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CGI and the Audience: Things Better Left Unsaid »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Madam Secretary: The Happy Family in Time of War »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Way, Way Back: An Appreciation »

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

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

By Christopher Weedman. Among the most impressive film restorations of 2017 was Marcel Pagnol’s Marseille Trilogy (1931-36), which I reviewed last March when Janus Films screened it theatrically in select…

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

A Book Review Essay by Jeremy Carr. Alexia Kannas’ Deep Red (Columbia University Press, 2017), her contribution to the Wallflower Press Cultographies series, in which she takes a deep dive into…

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

By André Seewood. Every weekend numerous websites inform us of the short term box office grosses of various films like Star Wars: The Last Jedi which itself has raked in a…

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As Long As They're Happy (1955)

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

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Captain Hornsby: “What an extraordinary fellow!” Colonel Thompson: “Well, he’s an American.”  – Too Late the Hero (Robert Aldrich, 1970) This book, which began life…

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

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. If Dr. Johnson had James Bosworth as his chronicler in the inimitable The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791), so the departed star Charles…

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Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

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

A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. There are snowy peaks all around, majestic crests, and the mountains tower like Holy Cathedrals. Very clear, icy, silent air, frost lying on…

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

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

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

By Tony Williams. 1946 was an “annus mirabilis” (“amazing year” for those who never studied Latin) for American, British film noir, and many of its international counterparts. Both appearing a…

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

By Tony Williams. Following the release of several new remastered DVDs after the 2015 Orson Welles Centenary and the expected completion of his last unedited feature The Other Side of…

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

A Book Review Essay by Jeremy Carr. “Even today, I’ve no idea what the truth is, or what I did with it.” – Luis Buñuel, My Last Sigh Compiling biographical…

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

By Tony Williams. This is the moment when the Italianization of the Western was complete. –Alberto Moravia, quoted by Christopher Frayling As most film departments merge into Media conglomerates and…

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Mark Felt: History as Mysticism »

By Christopher Sharrett. One of the characteristics of our militarized society, aside from the constant deluge of cop shows, superhero movies, and inane affirmations of family life, is the erasure…

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

By Christopher Weedman. Walter Matthau (1920-2000) was among Hollywood’s most charismatic stars of the late 1960s and 1970s. During this fascinating period where New Hollywood favorites such as Robert DeNiro,…

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

By Christopher Sharrett. I count Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (2001) among his supreme masterpieces, along with Code Unknown (2000), Cache (2005), and The White Ribbon (2009). His “glaciation trilogy”…

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

By Johannes Schönherr. New York City, June 27th 1993: Notorious punk rocker GG Allin had finally served out a lengthy prison sentence in Michigan and was set to play his first…

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