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They Shall Not Grow Old – But All Shall Perish

By Christopher Sharrett. I don’t feel especially generous toward Peter Jackson’s “new” (hardly the right word) film, and must call it stunt filmmaking. With the help of the BBC and the Imperial War Museum, Jackson and his large team of collaborators mark the centenary of World War I by assembling a film taken from hours […]

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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 return to form with this three-disc version of Tarkovsky’s masterpiece. Subject of many fine critical books and articles, the film’s importance lies in its relevance […]

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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 two films, Whiplash (2015) and La La Land (2016), the first a throwback, I think, to films of the 1970s and the Reagan era, that […]

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Notes on Pablo Larraín

By Christopher Sharrett. Some months ago I published in this location brief remarks on Pablo Larraín’s remarkable film Jackie (2016), one of the most compelling works of its season. The film had me going back, revisiting Larraín’s other work, which resulted in my present view that he is in the front rank of current filmmakers. […]

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White Boy Rick: The Father and the City

By Christopher Sharrett. Yann Demange’s White Boy Rick is a smaller-budget film of the season almost buried by franchise movies like The Nun (of “the Conjuring Universe”), Predator (another franchise reboot), and the usual cascade of juvenilia. The film deserves notice. I want first to take note of one of the film’s stars, Matthew McConaughey, […]

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

By Tony Williams. A box set containing the Josef Von Sternberg (1894-1969) and Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) collaboration, even if copyright reasons exclude The Blue Angel (1930), would appear the fulfillment of any film collector’s dreams. This recent release of the Paramount Studio films should have been the most heralded event of the year and, to […]

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The First Purge: State of the Nation

By Christopher Sharrett. One would think that the fascination with apocalypse in cinema peaked, perhaps, in the late 70s-early 80s, with the disaster films of the era, or the Mad Max cycle, and Blade Runner and its knock-offs. Alternately, Robin Wood remarked that genre cinema reached its “apocalypse phase” in the late 60s with Rosemary’s Baby, The […]

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Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice: Against All Doctrine

By Christopher Sharrett. I have been meaning for some time to put pen to paper about Andrei Tarkovsky, about whom I’ve been hesitant for decades. A few remarks on the occasion of Kino Lorber’s new Blu-ray of the director’s final film might be a good starting place for a consideration. But I need to include […]

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Hereditary: The Mother Again

By Christopher Sharrett. As the end credits roll for Ari Aster’s horror film Hereditary, we hear Judy Collins sing her hit song from the 60s, “Both Sides Now,” appropriate for the kind of film that wants to keep us guessing as it tries to walk a fine line between supernatural and psychological horror, accomplished with […]

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

By Christopher Sharrett. I have commented on this site at length on Cristian Mungiu’s masterpiece Beyond the Hills (2012), and while it deserves thorough revaluation, I will note merely its importance by way of a remark on its Blu-ray release by Criterion. It is worth saying that this is the film’s first Region 1 release […]

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