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Homegrown Rebel: An Interview with Kirk Marcolina and Matthew Pond on The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne

By Matthew Sorrento. Beginning as a rather conventional documentary – at times so familiar we fear it will play like formulaic television – The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne soon finds a matter-of-fact style that nicely reflects its subject. A career jewelry thief, Doris Payne (born 1930) has used swift methods while never losing […]

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

A Book Review Essay by Matthew Sorrento. Genre studies, whether treating film genre history as evolutionary or as cycles, always has to fight the charge that genre films are conservative by nature. In Judith Hess Wright’s rather compelling estimation (if limiting), the films always look back to the past to endorse the ideas and social […]

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On Compiling The Encyclopedia of Racism in American Film

Editor Salvador Jiménez Murguia recently published The Encyclopedia of Racism in American Film (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), a project that covers the breadth of material it promises and features work by several top scholars in film, including Film International Co-Editor Matthew Sorrento and contributor Tom Ue. Murguia discusses the project below. In the intro, you discuss your early love […]

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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 pick a film that set the spark that became a full-fledged fire as I got older, it would have to be The Magnificent Seven (1961), directed […]

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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 his later work would be judged. (1) No stranger to having his worked critiqued, Gordon already directed for the stage in Chicago and used the […]

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Call for Submissions: The Trail of the Zodiac Killer – Essays on Popular Culture (Edited Collection)

This past spring marked the tenth anniversary of the release of David Fincher’s Zodiac, the legacy of which continues to increase. Viewers and scholars continue to analyze the narrative power of Fincher and screenwriter-producer James Vanderbilt’s journalistic rendition – based on Robert Graysmith’s gripping works of journalism – of the events surrounding the actions of […]

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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

A Book Review Essay by Matthew Sorrento. It may be tempting to recommend Scarface (1932) or Little Caesar (1930) as a first viewing to newcomers of pre-Code. However, Mervyn LeRoy’s I Am A Fugitive from A Chain Gang! (1932) or the similarly powerful Wild Boys of the Road (William Wellman, 1933) are stronger choices with […]

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Writing Our Future: The Inauguration, Alternate Inauguration Ball, and Protests

January 19th to the 21st will bring Trump’s inauguration, a Peace Ball (with Angela Davis and Solange), and street protests, including the Inauguration Day Freedom Protest on Freedom Plaza, DC, the Bridge Together in Golden Gate Park, and the 200,000 Women’s March. How can we quickly document and analyze these unfolding events in a way […]

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A Lover of Dreams, But Not Freud: Michel Gondry on Microbe & Gasoline

By Matthew Sorrento. Though obviously concerned with the dream life, Michel Gondry also focuses on the desires we have while awake. As an artist he aims to deliver dreamlike visions in relatable movie scenes. The variety of his surreal features – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2003), The Science of Sleep (2006), Mood Indigo (2013), and […]

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Framing Law and Crime: An Interdisciplinary Anthology from Rowman & Littlefield/Fairleigh Dickinson University Press

In April, 2016, the Fairleigh Dickinson University Press and Rowman & Littlefield will release Framing Law and Crime: An Interdisciplinary Anthology, edited by Caroline Joan “Kay” Picart, Michael Hviid Jacobsen and Cecil Greek; Picart, Jacobsen and Greek also authored and co-authored individual chapters in the book. The edited collection was published as one of the first books […]

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