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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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The Time of His Life: Richard Linklater’s Boyhood

By Matthew Sorrento. I honestly hope the “sublime” trend ends soon, with the recent output of Terrence Malick, his bombastic, excessive Tree of Life and To the Wonder, and gaseous muck like Cloud Atlas, cramming together years of history and a speculative look to the future, to signify nothing. Thankfully, Richard Linklater saw past the […]

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John Sayles to Attend First Annual REEL EAST FILM FESTIVAL in New Jersey, August 22-23rd; Deadline for Short Film Series Announced

Oaklyn, NJ (July 16, 2014) – The Reel East Film Festival (REFF), a premiere event in South Jersey to be held on August 22-23, 2014 at the historic Ritz Theatre in Oaklyn, NJ, is proud to announce the appearance of John Sayles. Noted filmmaker (Return of the Secaucus 7, The Brother from Another Planet, Matewan, […]

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He Who Awakens Dreams: An Interview with Doug Jones

By Matthew Sorrento. Of all the tales of cinematic greats meeting, it ranks as one of the best: in 1997, actor Doug Jones arrived to a night re-shoot of a film called Mimic to do creature effects. On the second day during lunch, the film’s director – the still little know Guillermo del Toro – sat […]

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Double Eisenbergs Spell Trouble

By Matthew Sorrento. Of all the entries in NPR’s 2013 series “Movies I’ve Seen a Million Times,” Jesse Eisenberg’s is the most bizarre. When asked about a movie he could watch over and over again, this actor casually noted that he “never watches movies. I haven’t seen a movie in, like, ten years.” You’d think […]

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First Fruits of Inspiration: The Films of Wheeler Winston Dixon

By Matthew Sorrento. Here at Film International, we’re honored to have the hardest working man in film culture as a regular contributor. Since taking up film history, theory, and criticism in 1984, Wheeler Winston Dixon has authored and edited over 30 book-length works, on titles ranging from the criticism of Truffaut, the history of the […]

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Demise and Redemption: Throne of Blood and The Hidden Fortress on Criterion

By Matthew Sorrento. To regard the “First Murder” of the Judeo-Christian tradition as a parable on fratricide is to miss the greater point. The brother turning on his own does channel an uncanny dread, and yet the tale comments on the universality of the crime: how any murder is like killing one of our own. […]

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America’s Acts of Killing: Robert Greenwald on Drone Wars

By Matthew Sorrento. Bizarre, shocking, yet filled with truth, Joshua Oppenheimer‘s The Act of Killing continues to gather acclaim. This Oscar-nominated record of routine killings of Communists in Indonesia during 1965-66 haunts viewers. As a filmed document about memory – the paramilitary gangsters (“free men”) discuss on camera how they kidnapped and murdered – and […]

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From Gangster to Master: the Forgotten Edward G. Robinson

By Matthew Sorrento. I. The Look Robinson’s legion of fans grew after the actor delivered an intense desperation as Rico Bandello in Mervyn LeRoy’s Little Caesar (1931). A hood who embraces a Macbethian drive to kill and consume, Rico soon witnesses the betrayal of his sideman, then ponders his own death, muttering “Mother of Mercy, […]

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All is Lost: Great Forces at Sea

By Matthew Sorrento. The choice of writer-director JC Chandor to cast Robert Redford in All is Lost was astute, if not fortunate. By offering Redford the sole role in this survivalist-at-sea pic – essentially, a leaner Cast Away (2000; with no landing) for the 77-year-old performer, and a chance to prove he’s still strong onscreen […]

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