Festival Reports

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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Ultimate Moments: NYFF Shorts 2018 »

The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin

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

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

Becoming Astrid

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

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Groundbreaking and Dated: TriBeCa 2018 »

Blowin' Up

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

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When War or Love Come: Berlinale 2018 »

When the War Comes

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

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Interview

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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In Retrospekt: An Interview with Esther Rots and Dan Geesin »

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By Yun-hua Chen. With a puzzle plotline that resembles Memento, Retrospekt focuses on two women, Mette and Lee Miller,…

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Living the Truth: Claus Räfle on The Invisibles »

Invisibles

By Tom Ue. Claus Räfle has directed over forty feature-length documentaries for German television. Die Heftmacher earned the Grimme…

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Probing Bannon: Alison Klayman and Marie Therese Guirgis on The Brink »

Producer Marie Therese Guirgis and Director Alison Klayman

By Elias Savada. The Kimpton Hotel Monaco is just 9 blocks east of the White House, the work place…

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Heisting Nixon: Mark Steven Johnson on Finding Steve McQueen »

Finding 01

By Jake Rutkowski. The 1972 United California Bank robbery and the gang that pulled it off don’t occupy a lot…

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Beyond the Stereotypes of a Selfie: An Interview with Agostino Ferrente »

Selfie 01

By Yun-hua Chen. Agostino Ferrente, the director of Selfie, started this film project with the initial intention to document…

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A National Pride for Tunisia: An Interview with Dhafer L’Abidine »

That Al Saytara (2015- )

By Neila Driss. During the 40th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), which took place from November…

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In Search of a Home: Vladimir de Fontenay on Mobile Homes »

MOBILE HOMES 2

By Tom Ue. Vladimir de Fontenay’s Mobile Homes follows a young mother (Imogen Poots), her boyfriend (Callum Turner), and her eight-year-old…

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Staying in the Present: Brendan Meyer and Sam McCarthy on All These Small Moments »

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By Travis Merchant. At some point, films focused on teenage characters started growing stale with repeating motifs, themes, and…

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To France with “James Dean”: An Interview with Dominique Choisy »

Ma Vie avec James Dean02 (2)

By Tom Ue. My Life with James Dean finds Géraud Champreux (Johnny Rasse), the film’s central protagonist, presenting his first…

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Representation of Women in Israeli Cinema: An Interview with Author Rachel S. Harris »

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By Anna Weinstein. Rachel S. Harris’s book Warriors, Witches, and Whores: Women in Israeli Cinema (Wayne State University Press, 2017)…

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MOST RECENT

  1. Dickinson Unbowdlerized: Wild Nights with Emily
  2. Film Scratches: Broadcast from Oblivion – .TV (2017)
  3. Film Scratches: The Map and the Territory – Seemingly Uncorrelated Variables (2017)
  4. Beyond the Distractions: The Brink
  5. Never the Victim: Louise Brooks and The Chaperone
  6. Knife+Heart: Of Felonies and Fellatio
  7. All Fight, No Feeling – Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
  8. Little on the Syndrome: Stockholm
  9. Daredevils of the Red Circle and Other Cliffhangers: Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu and Republic’s Drums of Fu Manchu (1940)
  10. Larry Cohen in Conversation with Tony Williams: on Bone (1972)
  11. Hope from the Past: Dziga Vertov: Life and Work (Volume 1: 1896-1921) by John MacKay
  12. Not “Just Another Giallo”: The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire (Arrow Video)
  13. In Retrospekt: An Interview with Esther Rots and Dan Geesin
  14. Crimes and Pastimes: Screwball
  15. The Last Silent Hound: Der Hund von Baskerville (1929)
  16. Too Much and not Enough – 1968 and Global Cinema, Edited by Christina Gerhardt and Sara Saljoughi
  17. Living the Truth: Claus Räfle on The Invisibles
  18. Everywhere and Nowhere: Kent Jones’ Diane
  19. Agnes Varda, 1928-2019
  20. For the Love of a Gangster: Ash is the Purest White
  21. Filling a Gap: The Music of Charlie Chaplin by Jim Lochner
  22. Fessenden Meets a Brooklyn Frankenstein: Depraved
  23. Probing Bannon: Alison Klayman and Marie Therese Guirgis on The Brink
  24. “Movies No Genre Wants to Own Up to” – Blood Hunger: The Films of José Larraz (Arrow Video)
  25. Wildlife: Family in the Dark
  26. Larry Cohen, 1936-2019
  27. Film Scratches: Exuberant Nihilism – Nihelious (2017)
  28. Film Scratches: Suspending the Rules – Poetry of Dreams (2017)
  29. A “Spinster’s” Last Stand: Woman at War
  30. The Uncanny Invades: Jordan Peele’s Us
  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

Wild 03

Dickinson Unbowdlerized: Wild Nights with Emily »

By Elizabeth Toohey. Biopics, especially literary ones, tend to gravitate towards the grandiose. Sweeping vistas and luxurious estates command center stage as a setting for glamorous historical figures cloaked in elegant…

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Brink 03

Beyond the Distractions: The Brink »

By Michael Sandlin. Seeing populist political shyster Steve Bannon’s slow professional demise play out over the course of Alison Klayman’s documentary The Brink might be pitiable if Bannon was just…

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Knife+Heart: Of Felonies and Fellatio »

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. Right from scene one of his giallo-influenced LGBTQ…

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Mas Z

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

By Yun-hua Chen. Action itself is not enough to compose a good action film – we see yet another hard-earned lesson in Master Z: Ip Man Legacy. Directed by Woo-Ping…

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stockholm-review

Little on the Syndrome: Stockholm »

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

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

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

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screwball

Crimes and Pastimes: Screwball »

By Jake Rutkowski. It’s hard to view the discourse around baseball’s most recent and protracted steroid use scandal as anything other than a proxy culture war, an outlet for the…

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Hund 01

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

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

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Battle of Algiers

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

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

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Everywhere and Nowhere: Kent Jones’ Diane »

By Jeremy Carr. There is so much potential tragedy in the first twenty minutes of Diane that the film appears instantly in danger of over-stressing the point of its dramatic…

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

By Yun-hua Chen. Jia Zhangke’s latest, Ash is the Purest White, three years after his previous film Mountains May Depart (2015) which ambitiously spans from 1999 till futuristic 2025 and…

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Modern Times (1936)

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

A Book Review by John Fawell. I’ve always been somewhat surprised by the amount of critical attention paid to Charlie Chaplin’s sound films, considering they represent, for the most part,…

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DEPRAVED

Fessenden Meets a Brooklyn Frankenstein: Depraved »

By Elias Savada. Larry Fessenden has plenty of fans. A versatile producer, director, writer, editor, cinematographer, and actor in dozens of low-budget flicks, he’s left his mark for more than two…

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Larraz main

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

By Rod Lott. Death aside, it’s a good time to be José Ramón Larraz. The Spanish director finally gets his due, a quarter-century after Cathal Tohill and Pete Tombs made…

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Wildlife: Family in the Dark »

  By Christopher Sharrett. Among the few films that impressed me last season was Paul Dano’s first film as director, Wildlife, based on a book (which I have not read)…

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Woman at War

A “Spinster’s” Last Stand: 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 middle-aged spinster’s frustrated motherly instincts compete with her…

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Us

The Uncanny Invades: Jordan Peele’s Us »

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 film’s release, Peele accepted an offer from Reddit…

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Yardie 01

Idris at the Helm: Yardie »

By Ali Moosavi. The media have been so preoccupied with whether or not Idris Elba will become the next James Bond that somehow his first venture into directing, Yardie,  has…

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Captain 02

Welcome to the Universe: Captain Marvel »

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

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Tradition Against Trafficking: Birds of Passage »

By Ali Moosavi. Films about drug trafficking in Central and South America have been on our cinema and TV screens almost continuously, from Scarface to Sicario. In recent years, there…

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Jupiter 04

What We’re Left with at the End: Jupiter’s Moon »

By John Duncan Talbird. In the opening seconds of Kornél Mundruczó’s White God (2014), we see a bird’s-eye view of Budapest, but a Budapest absent any people. It’s reminiscent of…

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A Problem of Catharsis and Urban Space: Ondi Timoner’s Mapplethorpe »

mapplethorpe

By Mina Radovic. Robert Mapplethorpe is one of New York’s famous black-and-white photographers of the 1970s: coming out after the Warhol generation…

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Deliberate Relief: Visconti’s Death in Venice (Criterion Collection) »

Death 01

By Gary M. Kramer. Death in Venice, Luchino Visconti’s sumptuous adaptation of the 1912 Thomas Mann novella, has been released on DVD…

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A Cinephile’s Cinephile – Mysteries of Cinema: Reflections on Film Theory, History and Culture 1982-2016 by Adrian Martin »

Immortal One

A Book Review by Jeremy Carr. At the very least, Adrian Martin’s Mysteries of Cinema: Reflections on Film Theory, History and Culture…

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A Career Cut Short – Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy by Gregory William Mank »

The Lodger (1944)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. “It was not only his desire to play heroic roles that made him diet, but the…

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The Compulsive Writer-Director’s Guide – Making Your First Feature Film by Dominick Bagnato »

Dominick Bagnato's A Convenient Truth (2015)

A Book Review by Mads Larsen. If you have a few hundred thousand dollars to burn, and although you have no experience,…

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Fighting in America: Tim Sutton’s Donnybrook »

Donnybrook 02

By Thomas Puhr. It’s only fitting that writer-director Tim Sutton’s latest, Donnybrook (2018), opens with a voyage by boat. Like Odysseus, Jarhead…

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Handicapping the Oscars: 2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts »

Bao

By Elias Savada. Another year and another Academy Awards show looms large, filled with commentary about snubs and surprises and a program, the…

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“Lillie Plays Violet”: Exit Smiling (A San Francisco Silent Film Festival Review) »

Exit 01

By Janine Gericke. On Saturday, December 1st, the SF Silent Film Festival held its annual Day of Silents winter program at the…

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They Shall Not Grow Old – But All Shall Perish »

They Shall 01

By Christopher Sharrett. I don’t feel especially generous toward Peter Jackson’s “new” (hardly the right word) film, and must call it stunt…

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The Impatient Actor – Gene Hackman, The Life and Work by Peter Shelley »

The French Connection (1971)

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser.  It’s entirely possible you’ll come away from Peter Shelley’s biography of Gene Hackman knowing less…

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Beyond QuatermassBrian Donlevy, the Good Bad Guy: A Bio-Filmography by Derek Sculthorpe »

Quatermass II (1957)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. It is early evening watching on UK’s ITV channel, the only one of two that existed…

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Real-Life Whac-a-Mole: Rodents of Usual Size »

Rodents 01

By Elias Savada. First, I thought this might be another horror film with oversized critters due to 1) atomic radiation run amuck, 2)…

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Redemption: Red Kimona (A San Francisco Silent Film Festival Review) »

Red 01

By Janine Gericke. During the silent film era, some of the most prolific and highest earning producers, writers, and filmmakers were women.…

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Fifty Shades of Deep Red: Piercing »

Piercing 01

By Jeremy Carr. “You have to relax.” These words of advice come from Laia Costa’s Mona, near the beginning of Piercing, the…

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An Abdurdist, Black Comedy Mixer: Pig »

PIG

By Ali Moosavi. To fans of Asghar Farhadi, Mani Haghighi may be known for co-writing the script of Fireworks Wednesday (Chaharshanbeh Soori)…

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

Beau 01

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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Art and Healing – The 5 Browns: Digging Through the Darkness »

Digging 01

By Elizabeth Toohey. R. Kelly; the backlash against Gillette; the abduction of 13-year-old Jayme Closs, held captive for three months; Larry Nassar’s abuse…

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Journeywoman – Claire Trevor: The Life and Films of the Queen of Noir by Derek Sculthorpe »

Dead End (1937)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Yorkshire resident Derek Sculthorpe is an archivist who has also written plays, short stories, and articles…

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Beyond a Horror Anthology: Spirits of the Dead by Tim Lucas »

Spirits Main

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Initiated last year with the appearance of monograph studies of Theatre of Blood and Martin, this…

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The Other Tounge(s) of Iran: Hendi and Hormoz (Iranian Film Festival of New York) »

Hendi-Hormoz

By Arash Azizi. Hendi and Hormoz, which screened at the first-ever Iranian Film Festival of New York on January 11, has many…

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Choosing Sides: The Standoff at Sparrow Creek »

Standoff 01

By Jeremy Carr. The men of The Standoff at Sparrow Creek exist in a world of violence. It can be a basic…

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When a Documentary Isn’t: Inside Slovenian Non-Fiction Films »

Poj-mi-pesem_05

By Noah Charney. Slovenian documentary films are at their best when they do not appear to be documentaries. When we imagine documentaries,…

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Hail Mary! – Fanchon The Cricket (1915) and Little Annie Rooney (1925) from Flicker Alley »

Fanchon the Cricket

By Tony Williams. These DVD restorations represent another important collaborative venture on the part of The Mary Pickford Foundation and Flicker Alley,…

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A Quiet State: Maine »

Maine

By Janine Gericke. Matthew Brown’s Maine is a quiet, observational film, in every sense. Not a word is uttered for nearly the…

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Maryland, Oy Maryland: Sickies Making Films »

Sickies Main

By Elias Savada. Baltimore filmmaker Joe Tropea tackles a not very pressing subject with his new film. It’s an admirable history lesson…

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Uma: Invoking Love, Death and an Elsewhere »

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By Devapriya Sanyal. Uma is Srijit Mukherji’s twelfth film in seven years. It is based on a real story, which by the…

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Fair and Balanced, for Real – Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes »

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By Michael Sandlin. Alexis Bloom’s Divide and Conquer could have easily been conceived as a shameless liberal hit job on an easy target:…

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Choosing Your Own Family: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters »

Shop 02

By Matthew Fullerton. Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest drama, the Palme-d’Or-winning Shoplifters (Manbiki Kazoku), is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary family: Osamu…

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The Man Who Would Be Scar – Henry Brandon: King of the Bogeymen by Bill Cassara and Richard S. Greene »

Brandon 01

A Book Review by Tony Williams. In one way, my title is misleading. Despite the impressive appearance of Henry Brandon’s Scar appearing as…

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More than Rippin’ or Rascality: Jonah Hill’s Mid90s »

Mid 01

By Brandon Konecny. “My visceral reaction when I hear someone is making a movie about skateboarding is…I wish they [sic] wouldn’t,” says…

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Rebirth: Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria »

Suspiria 01

By Janine Gericke. In 1977, Italian horror legend Dario Argento released Suspiria – a seminal classic among horror fans and cinephiles. Luca Guadagnino, whose Call…

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Struggling Adrift: The Raft (Flotten) »

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By Daniel Lindvall. In May 1973 six women and five men set out from the Canary Islands to cross the Atlantic to…

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The Sweet, Swedish Smell of Fear: Border »

Border

By Elias Savada. Scandinavian folklore is home to dozens of curious creatures. Trolls, dwarves, and elves might be the ones most of us…

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Art Loving Criminals: Ruben Brandt, Collector »

Brandt 01

By Martin Kudláč. The Locarno International Film Festival has a notorious sweet spot, Piazza Grande, one of the biggest squares in Switzerland where…

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Rehistoricizing the Gaze – Elena Gorfinkel’s Lewd Looks: American Sexploitation Cinema in the 1960s »

Bad Girls Go to Hell (1965)

A Book Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. There’s a shared lightning bolt moment I’ve discussed at length with many other film critics and…

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Born to Kill: El Angel »

Angel

By Michael Sandlin. Director Luis Ortega’s El Angel (co-produced by Pedro Almodovar) is a quietly disturbing but ultimately unsatisfying character study based…

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A Formidable Pairing: Green Book »

Film Title: Green Book

By Elias Savada. The exceptionally crisp performances by Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen are but two of the great things about Green Book,…

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

Great 01

By Elias Savada. The breakneck parade of Hollywood celebrities seems endless in Peter Bogdanovich’s love letter to silent film comedian Buster Keaton. It…

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

Man 01

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

The Housemaid (1960)

A Book Review by Madeline Hawk. Using prolific Korean New Wave director Im Kwon-Taek to introduce Korean cinema’s preoccupation with its colonial…

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Homages, Attack!: Killer Kate! »

Kate 01

By Janine Gericke. I really wanted to like Killer Kate! It’s clear that director Elliot Feld loves horror movies and has grown…

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

Naked 01

By Jeremy Carr. The opening narration of The Naked Prey (1965) sets the scene in the African wilderness and the nature of humanity in…

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Where’s Daddy?: Megan Griffiths’ Sadie »

Sadie 01

By Janine Gericke. Director Megan Griffiths has made a captivating film about how one parent’s absence can have immense complications on the…

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

Svengali (1931)

A Book Review by Brandon Konecny. For many today, the name John Barrymore means little – except, perhaps, that it shares the…

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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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Charm in Spades: Tea with Dames »

Dames

By Gary M. Kramer. The gentle, charming documentary, Tea with the Dames eavesdrops on the gossip, memories, and laughs shared by four…

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White Boy Rick: The Father and the City »

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By Christopher Sharrett. Yann Demange’s White Boy Rick is a smaller-budget film of the season almost buried by franchise movies like The…

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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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Assault of Independence: Lizzie »

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

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Pushing Life to the Edge: Free Solo »

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By Elias Savada. Alex Honnold dreams the impossible dream, and he climbs where the brave dare not go. Unlike Don Quixote, he defies…

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Features

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) »

Man 01

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 »

McBride

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 »

Colette 02

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

Read More »

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

Cheated 01

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

Read More »

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 »

DragonInn

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 »

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-12-12,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

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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Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice: Against All Doctrine »

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By Christopher Sharrett. I have been meaning for some time to put pen to paper about Andrei Tarkovsky, about whom I’ve been…

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

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

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

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

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Hefting the Masterpieces: Filmworker »

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

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

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

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Consistent Passion, Little Fanfare: RBG »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Long As They're Happy (1955)

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

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

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

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

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Stranger (1946)

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

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

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

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

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

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Mark Felt: History as Mysticism »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Never the Victim: Louise Brooks and The Chaperone »

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

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Drums of Fu Manchu (1940)

Daredevils of the Red Circle and Other Cliffhangers: Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu and Republic’s 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, 2017). At last they truly were face to…

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

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 of an Independent Filmmaker, rev ed. (© 2015 Tony…

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Man With a Movie Camera (1929)

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

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. In 1904, Lenin once wrote a monograph, “One Step Forward, two Steps Back” (1) that later appeared in Volume 7 of his Collected…

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

Agnes Varda, 1928-2019 »

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

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Larry Cohen, 1936-2019 »

By Christopher Sharrett. Death is ruthless, but it seems to have been especially vicious lately. We have received word that Larry Cohen, the last of the great quartet of 60s-70s…

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The Uncanny Invades: Jordan Peele’s Us »

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 film’s release, Peele accepted an offer from Reddit…

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

By Tony Williams. “Anybody who does things their own way while they’re working with a corporation is going to be problematic.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, audio-commentary, The Magnificent Ambersons Criterion Collection DVD When…

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Twilight of the Idol: Eastwood’s The Mule »

By James Slaymaker. Like many late-period Eastwood films, The Mule is a revisionist genre piece with a pronounced self-reflexive streak. It only takes a glimpse at the poster to deduce…

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

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Enter George Raft groom cum chauffeur – He lurked hand and collar and hands in his pockets – Heavy with menace he takes…

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

By Tony Williams. After reviewing the disappointing Criterion Von Sternberg/Dietrich DVD Collection and noting the company’s inexplicable emphasis on popular films available elsewhere, it is a pleasure to see Criterion…

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

By Brandon Konecny. In 2014, Moldova experienced what many observers called the “theft of the century.” One billion dollars disappeared from the country’s banking system. That’s nearly an eighth of…

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First Man and Last Things »

By Christopher Sharrett. I have just recently seen Damien Chazelle’s First Man after putting it off during its initial release. The film holds some interest for me, unlike his previous…

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Just Slightly Off: True Stories »

By John Duncan Talbird. My friends and I loved the Talking Heads when we were in college. You could not go a week in our house without hearing at least one…

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

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

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

By Tony Williams. De Palma’s Sisters has long been overdue for a new 4K digital restoration that Criterion now supplies along with some significant supplementary material on the disk. The…

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