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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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Nightcrawler: Blood from All of Us

    By Matthew Sorrento. He can “work all day, and creep all night,” stated Dr. James Grigson, nicknamed Dr. Death (for his penchant for sending the accused to the chair) about Randall Adams, the man wrongfully accused for the murder of a Dallas policeman featured in Errol Morris’ exemplary documentary The Thin Blue Line (1988). […]

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Breaking the Western Trail: Hawks’ Red River on Criterion

By Matthew Sorrento. In 2008, the Criterion Collection issued Anthony Mann’s The Furies (1950) with the restored film sleeved alongside the 1948 source novel by Niven Busch. The film will remain “lesser” Mann, with The Naked Spur (1951), The Man from Laramie (1955) and Man of the West (1958) as standouts in the decade’s psychological […]

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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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