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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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Trumbo: Wit in the Face of Pathos

By Matthew Sorrento. Dalton Trumbo’s story is an ideal one to represent the golden age of Hollywood. A famed screenwriter with literary roots (as the winner of the National Book Award for Johnny Got His Gun, 1939) who worked successfully within the studio system for around a decade (late 30s to 40s), he led a life of […]

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Tough Talk from the Heart: A Conversation with Joe Mantegna

By Matthew Sorrento. Veteran actor Joe Mantegna has all the wisdom that a life before the camera could provide. And yet he possesses an innocence long lost by most in his cadre. Looking back on a varied acting career – “I’ve done it all” from him sounds completely factual and devoid of bragging – he […]

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The “Czar of Noir” on TCM’s Summer of Darkness

By Matthew Sorrento. The “Czar of Noir” Eddie Muller needs no introduction. Over the past two decades, he has become what we could describe as a public intellectual for golden age cinema. If not the scholar of film noir that Foster Hirsch or James Naremore may be, Muller has offered his expertise through a series […]

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Les Blank Chased Happiness: A Conversation with Harrod Blank

By Matthew Sorrento. Naming Criterion’s new DVD/Blu-ray collection of films by Les Blank (1935-2013) Always for Pleasure was a given. In borrowing the name of Blank’s 1978 documentary on New Orleans, the set contains that film and several others radiating the feeling. Though Blank is known for his works with Werner Herzog – Burden of […]

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Call for Submissions – The Second Annual REEL EAST FILM FESTIVAL (August 21-23, 2015)

The Reel East Film Festival is seeking exciting, uncompromising and unique visions from around the world to present at our Second Annual event at the historic Ritz Theatre in Oaklyn, NJ on August 21-23, 2015. We are looking for short films in the following categories: Narrative, Documentary, Experimental, Student and Animated. All short films must […]

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She Goes for It: Cortney Palm on Zombeavers (2014)

By Matthew Sorrento. When Patricia Arquette debuted in the hit A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), few could have imagined the major artist she’d become. Granted, she soon shined in vehicles with room for her talent, as an innocent yet subversively sexual ‘50s nurse – the gal who gets Ed Wood – in […]

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So It Goes in What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

By Matthew Sorrento. In his essay “A Spanner in the Works?: Genre, Narrative and the Hollywood Comedian,” Frank Krutnik details how classical Hollywood comedies were built around a star comedian. Designed to showcase the talents of the star, these vehicles present him/her as a fish-out-water, to provide comic bits, and then redirect his energy towards success […]

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New Perspectives: John Boorman on Queen and Country

By Matthew Sorrento. John Boorman’s status as a major filmmaker was sealed with five words from Lee Marvin: “I defer those to John.” The actor then left the room, which contained Boorman and the producers of Point Blank (1967); they had just conferred that Marvin had approval over the script and cast of the film, which […]

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Games We Play: Nick Antosca and Armen Antranikian on The Girlfriend Game (2015)

By Matthew Sorrento. Of all the writers busy in print and onscreen, it’s great to see Nick Antosca having made a place for himself. With a sizable talent from the start, he began publishing fiction – novels and stories – upon finishing undergraduate work. His early speculative works, like the stories “Amphibian” and “Mammals,” depict […]

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