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Wertham in Context: An Interview with Robert A. Emmons Jr. on Diagram for Delinquents

By Tom Ue. Robert A. Emmons Jr. is a documentary filmmaker. His films include: Enthusiast: The 9th Art (2001), Smalltown USA (2005), Goodwill: The Flight of Emilio Carranza (2007), Wolf at the Door (2008), YARDSALE! (2008), and De Luxe: The Tale of Blue Comet (2010). Goodwill has had the privilege to be screened as part […]

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The Function of Film Criticism at Any Time

By Christopher Sharrett. Readers will note that my title derives from essays and certain phrases by Matthew Arnold, T. S. Eliot, F. R. Leavis, D. H. Lawrence, Robin Wood, and Andrew Britton. I in fact stole it from Leavis, and will risk pomposity. In no way would I claim that my slapdash work has much […]

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“I Gotta Be Me”: Thoughts on Hitchcock/Truffaut

By Elias Savada. I still remember buying the paperback book Hitchcock/Truffaut. I found the English version, originally published in 1967 by Simon & Schuster, a few years after college, probably in the stacks at the Strand Book Store in New York City. It was an easy, enjoyable read with lots of photos, many providing the seminal […]

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A Master and a Masterpiece: Hitchcock/Truffaut

By Robert K. Lightning. The historic 1962 interview of Alfred Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut (ironically tape recorded and photographed, but apparently unfilmed) that led to the publication of Truffaut’s landmark Hitchcock in 1966, is examined in Kent Jones’s fine new documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut. That the interview was a singular moment in the history of cinema and […]

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Fair Game: Democratic Principle in Hollywood Romances, from Tracy and Hepburn to the Present

By Robert K. Lightning. Lovers that demonstrate both spiritual affinity and spiritual equality have long been popular in middle-class entertainment. Repartee has often expressed that equality: one thinks of Shakespeare’s Beatrice and Benedict, Austen’s Emma and Knightley, Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Rochester. Romantic relations defined by repartee are inherently democratic, wit allowing for a privatized […]

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In Defense of Hitchcock and Serious Criticism

By Robert K. Lightning. “It follows that the critic should read without inappropriate bias. We cannot properly object to The Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, because we think that John Bunyan’s theology is false: it is not a valid criticism of a work that it disagrees with the critic. What we judge is the work itself […]

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Vindication of an Heiress: Surprise revelation, alienation effect, and screen persona in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

By Robert K. Lightning. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) was Fritz Lang’s final U.S. film.[1] In several obvious ways it can be read as a companion piece to the film that preceded it, While the City Sleeps. Both films star Dana Andrews as a reporter-turned-novelist. Both narratives also involve a sensational crime that triggers the […]

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The Year of the Kneale Olympics – Into the Unknown: the Fantastic Life of Nigel Kneale by Andy Murray and We Are the Martians edited by Neil Snowdon

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. It is as if in movies, TV and books, genre progresses through a series of metaphorical prison walls. Inferior and derivative work merely scratches the surface, some not even that. But the giants – the geniuses and serious innovators – smash the walls down before our eyes, allowing […]

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The Trouble With Hitchcock

By Wheeler Winston Dixon. Mark Rutland: “What do you believe in?” Marnie Edgar: “Nothing.” (From Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie) Alfred Hitchcock is routinely regarded as one of the most profound and technically adept directors in the history of cinema, but I would argue that only the latter half of that statement is accurate. Starting in his […]

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The Politics of Critical Reception and the Marxist Feminist Sublime in Carlos Reygadas’ Post Tenebras Lux

By Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. “Fortunately, somewhere between chance and mystery lies imagination, the only thing that protects our freedom, despite the fact that people keep trying to reduce it or kill it off altogether.”                     (Luis Buñuel 2013: 174) I’m always attracted to films that cause an uproar, critical polarization, outrage, anger, dismissal, and confusion. […]

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