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Diverted Dreams: Astronaut (2019)

By Jeremy Carr. Septuagenarian grandfather Angus (Richard Dreyfuss) has harbored dreams of space since he was a child. Although the waning years of his life have generally clouded those fancies, thanks to life’s bitter two-pronged tinge of disappointment and regret, he still looks to the stars in order to “see where we belong.” In Astronaut […]

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Joining the Flow: An Interview with Jonathan Rosenbaum

By Jeremy Carr. On the occasion of two recently published collections – Cinematic Encounters: Interviews and Dialogues (2018) and Cinematic Encounters 2: Portraits and Polemics (2019), both from The University of Illinois Press – Jonathan Rosenbaum discusses a career’s worth of experience. Sharing his views with Film International, he reflects on his relationships with filmmakers […]

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Beyond Reason: Diamantino

By Jeremy Carr. “Love has reasons that even reason can’t understand.” This is what the father of soccer star Diamantino Matamouros once told his son, as recalled by the sporting prodigy in a benign, resigned voiceover. A resonant sentiment for anyone who has experienced the uncertainties of an unforeseen and unpredictable romance, it aptly correlates […]

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Martial Art: Zhang Yimou’s Shadow

By Jeremy Carr. Zhang Yimou has had a remarkable career, one distinguished by its approximate division into two distinct phases. There were first his mostly regional dramas, intimate, relatively moderate titles like his 1987 debut, Red Sorghum, 1990’s Ju Dou, and 1999’s The Road Home, still perhaps his best film. Then there was a shift […]

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

  By Jeremy Carr. Save for the broad categories of drama or comedy, Ingmar Bergman isn’t a name often associated with genre filmmaking. His 1968 feature, Hour of the Wolf, could possibly be categorized as a horror film — it surely has its horrific moments and images — but even there, the familiar tropes are tempered […]

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

By Jeremy Carr. Newly released from Tegal Prison, Franz Biberkopf cautiously looks over a custodial stretch of land just inside the wall that separates the penitentiary from the city streets. He walks a bit, hesitantly but with a slight smile. The camera is close on Franz, tracking this emphatically prolonged discharge. Finally free, he is […]

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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 tension. This subdued, 2018 release, the debut narrative feature from Kent Jones – director of the documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015), director of the New York Film Festival, and […]

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

A Book Review by Jeremy Carr. At the very least, Adrian Martin’s Mysteries of Cinema: Reflections on Film Theory, History and Culture 1982-2016 (Amsterdam University Press, 2018) makes the reader want to watch more movies. Not a specific genre of movies, nor those of a particular nation or movement, nor even those from any one […]

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Fifty Shades of Deep Red: Piercing

By Jeremy Carr. “You have to relax.” These words of advice come from Laia Costa’s Mona, near the beginning of Piercing, the second film from writer-director Nicholas Pesce. She is talking to her husband, Reed (Christopher Abbott), a man with a permanently perturbed disposition who will later echo the suggestion when speaking to a prostitute […]

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Choosing Sides: The Standoff at Sparrow Creek

By Jeremy Carr. The men of The Standoff at Sparrow Creek exist in a world of violence. It can be a basic violence, natural even, as when Gannon (James Badge Dale) hunts a deer at the start of the film, dresses his kill, then has the game as his evening meal. Or it can be […]

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