Festival Reports

Northern Lights: The 14th Reykjavík International Film Festival »

Feat

By Randy Malamud. I didn’t see the Aurora Borealis during my October visit to the Reykjavík International Film Festival, probably because I spent every night at the movies, but I did have some…

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New York, International: NYFF Shorts 2017 »

Last Light

By Gary M. Kramer. The shorts programs at the 55th New York Film Festival are divided into three narrative sections: Narrative, Genre Stories, New York Stories, and there are some real gems among…

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Highlights from the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival »

Speedy (1928)

By Jordan R. Young. To vintage film enthusiasts–more than 28,000 last year–April means it’s time for the TCM Classic Film Festival. The eighth annual event took place over three days and four nights…

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A Tool for Travelling: Transatlantyk Festival, Łódź (14 – 21 July 2017) »

The Beksińskis: A Sound and Picture Album

By Alex Ramon. Now in its seventh year, Poland’s Transatlantyk Festival remains a spearheading festival in a country that, despite its current volatile political climate, doesn’t yet lack for dynamic, high-profile cultural events:…

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Art Film Fest 2017: 25 Years »

Paula

By Robert Buckeye. Art Film Fest in Košice, Slovakia (16-24 June) provided greater opportunities for those who seek out film however they can by screening films that were seen recently and awarded at…

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Viennale and Thessaloniki Film Festival 2016 »

Park

By Yun-hua Chen. Viennale and Thessaloniki Film Festival are two of the finest film festivals in Europe. Viennale curates the best arthouse films of the year from all major film festivals and is…

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Doku.Art Essaybox and Around The World in 14 Films 2016 Report »

Call Her Applebroog

By Yun-hua Chen.  Doku.Arts Essaybox and Around The World in 14 Films are embellishing Berlin’s autumn cinemascape for sure, each in its own way. The former prides itself on the curation of documentaries…

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The 2017 AFI DOCS Short Films »

Life, Death, and Cheerleading

By Gary M. Kramer. The short documentary films at this year’s AFI DOCS ranged from the political to the personal. The political shorts were part of the festival’s “World Views” program. One of…

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Interview

Preparing for Office Mayhem: An Interview with Samara Weaving »

Mayhem Int 01

By Tom Ue. Mayhem is the latest film directed by Joe Lynch, and it stars Steven Yeun, Samara Weaving, and…

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Documenting in Defense of Art: An Interview with Hila Peleg »

Peleg 01

By Yun-hua Chen. The Israel-born Hila Peleg is a curator and filmmaker based in Berlin. She is the founder…

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Starting the Revolution: Robin Campillo on BPM (Beats Per Minute) »

120 BPMŠCeěline Nieszawer_Photo1 (1)

By Tom Ue. Robin Campillo’s latest film BPM (Beats Per Minute) (2017) is set in Paris, in the early 1990s,…

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Balancing Gentleness and Extremity: Avishai Sivan Talks TIkkun »

Tikkun 03

By Martin Kudláč. The 17th edition of the T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival in Wroclaw revisits several Israeli film…

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Knowing Our Past: An Interview with Legendary Tunisian Actor Fatma Ben Saidane »

Feat

By Matthew Fullerton. With a career spanning some forty years and upwards of fifty films, plays, and radio and…

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Noir en Blanc: Vivian Qu on Angels Wear White (TIFF) »

ANGELS 01

By Tom Ue. Writer, director, and producer Vivian Qu’s second film Angels Wear White is set in a small seaside…

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A Filmmaker Possessed: Eight Questions with Director Amel J. Figueroa »

Possessed 02

By Constantine Frangos. For the past 13 years, independent film company SaintSinner Entertainment Group has been quietly making movies in…

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Kissing Candice: An Interview with Aoife McArdle »

Still-2-from-KISSING-CANDICE-by-Director-Aoife-McArdle---Courtesy-of-Somesuch

By Tom Ue. Director Aoife McArdle discusses the making of Kissing Candice, a film that follows the titular character (Ann…

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Always Fearless: An Interview with Karen Allen on Year by the Sea »

Year 02

By Tom Ue. Actress and director Karen Allen may be best known for her performance as the fearless heroine…

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Adapting to Brevity: Steven McCarthy on We Forgot to Break Up »

We Forgot

By Tom Ue. We Forgot to Break Up is having its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Directed…

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Everything’s Game: An Interview with Filmmaker/Historian John Gallagher »

JG portrait

By Melissa Webb. Born in 1955 in Flushing, New York, John Gallagher has been an integral player in New York…

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MOST RECENT

  1. Preparing for Office Mayhem: An Interview with Samara Weaving
  2. A Bloody (Laugh) Riot: Mayhem
  3. “Shift to Sincere”: A Gray State
  4. Orson Ascending: The Stranger (1946) from Kino Classics and Othello (1951) from the Criterion Collection
  5. Documenting in Defense of Art: An Interview with Hila Peleg
  6. The Paris Opera: A Rhapsodic Story
  7. Alaskan Neo-Noir: Sweet Virginia
  8. Trauma and Courage: Barbara Kopple’s A Murder in Mansfield (DOC NYC)
  9. The Saga Doesn’t Begin – The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One
  10. Truth and Consequences: Conversations with Buñuel by Max Aub, translated and edited by Julie Jones
  11. Lancing a Bourgeois Boil: The Square
  12. Starting the Revolution: Robin Campillo on BPM (Beats Per Minute)
  13. Documenting the Final Days: Waiting for Kiarostami
  14. Two of a Kind: Faces Places
  15. It’s All About the (Many) Details – 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene
  16. Critique with Some Scopophilia: Gestures of Love by Steven Rybin
  17. Blade of the Immortal: Where Jidaigeki and Manga Collide
  18. The Florida Project: Childhood in Time of War
  19. Film Scratches: Pulling Meaning out of the Shots – Incident Reports (2016)
  20. Film Scratches: Prelude (2014)
  21. Northern Lights: The 14th Reykjavík International Film Festival
  22. Amplified Isolation: It Takes from Within
  23. The “Complete Italianization” of the Western: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Kino Lorber
  24. Mark Felt: History as Mysticism
  25. Balancing Gentleness and Extremity: Avishai Sivan Talks TIkkun
  26. Flight to Salvation: The King’s Choice
  27. Oneiric Noir: The Chase (1946) from Kino Lorber
  28. Prison of the Mind: The Big Knife (1955) from Arrow Academy
  29. Dying To Live Another Day: Realive
  30. Early Black Cinema Recovered: Lost Boundaries (1949)
  1. Jeremy Carr: Thanks very much! I would certainly recommend it.
  2. Tony Williams: What is sadly lacking from this review is the fact that the original screenplay was written by the...
  3. Christopher Sharrett: What a fine review! Since I’m going through the new Studio Canal Blu-Ray set of Bunuel,...
  4. charles russell: I first saw this in the ’70’s, and then I saw parts of it a few minutes ago online. I...
  5. Tony Williams: Chris, Thanks for your informative reply. I don’t think it is a matter of...

Review

Mayhem 01

A Bloody (Laugh) Riot: Mayhem »

By Elias Savada. The tongue-in-check, over-the-top aspect of Mayhem, a looney tune of a film from director Joe Lynch, offers a steroid-infused day in the life of a really toxic office…

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“Shift to Sincere”: A Gray State »

By John Duncan Talbird. In January of 2015 screenwriter and aspiring filmmaker David Crowley was found dead along with his wife, Komel, and five-year-old daughter, Raniya, in their Apple Valley, MN…

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Paris Opera 01

The Paris Opera: A Rhapsodic Story »

By Cecilia A. Zoppelletto. The sophisticated style of The Paris Opera, whilst weaving stories of mundane occupations with the artistic highlights of this world, turns the documentary itself into an…

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Sweet

Alaskan Neo-Noir: Sweet Virginia »

By Elias Savada. As the latest shadowy slant on the malevolent small town subterfuge melodrama – following a few weeks after George Clooney’s Coen Brothers-inspired Suburbicon, which takes the neo-noir…

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Murder 02

Trauma and Courage: Barbara Kopple’s A Murder in Mansfield (DOC NYC) »

By Kate Hearst. Barbara Kopple’s latest documentary revisits a high profile domestic murder case in Mansfield, Ohio in 1989, and reveals how this tragedy continues to haunt. In vérité style,…

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Osiris

The Saga Doesn’t Begin – The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One »

By Elias Savada. If you create a film and title it to suggest it’s the beginning of a series, you better hope that your audience will arrive in quantity and that…

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Square 01

Lancing a Bourgeois Boil: The Square »

By Elias Savada. Auteur provocateur Ruben Östlund loves to pick at society’s scabs – and make you laugh and writhe at any unsettling pus that oozes out. As with the squirm-inducing…

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Waiting 02

Documenting the Final Days: Waiting for Kiarostami »

By Ali Moosavi. Abbas Kiarostami’s passing in 2016 deprived the lovers of the 7th art of his unique blend of documentary and fiction, real and imaginary and left a very large…

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Faces 01

Two of a Kind: Faces Places »

By Jeremy Carr. Once you accept and appreciate the superficial contrast between Agnès Varda (a legendary filmmaker, diminutive, inspirationally enthusiastic if rigid by age — she is pushing 90, after all)…

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78 01

It’s All About the (Many) Details – 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene »

By Elias Savada. I can’t remember the first time I saw Psycho. I was a 10-year-old kid when Alfred Hitchcock’s menacing tale made more than a few people start avoiding…

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Sylvia Scarlett (1935)

Critique with Some Scopophilia: Gestures of Love by Steven Rybin »

A Book Review by Anthony Uzarowski. “Anybody got a match?” Who doesn’t remember the first time they heard Lauren Bacall utter these words; the first time they, along with Humphrey Bogart,…

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Blade 01

Blade of the Immortal: Where Jidaigeki and Manga Collide »

By Matthew Fullerton. Takashi Miike isn’t one to shy away from pushing the boundaries of existing genres and teasing his audiences while promoting and screening his films. Take his horror…

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Florida 01

The Florida Project: Childhood in Time of War »

By Christopher Sharrett. Occasionally, the Hollywood industry produces a film that notes the poverty flowing from the neoliberal order, as a “permanent underclass” becomes no more than journalistic jargon taken…

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Takes 01

Amplified Isolation: It Takes from Within »

By Gary M. Kramer. The wordless pre-credit sequence of It Takes from Within sets the tone for this stark, atmospheric drama: three couples crawl, stand, and lie in a bed…

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King Feat

Flight to Salvation: The King’s Choice »

By Jake Rutkowski. About twenty minutes into The King’s Choice, it hits me: I know absolutely nothing about Norway’s political history. Nor its governmental structure. Nor its involvement in World War…

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Chase Feat

Oneiric Noir: The Chase (1946) from Kino Lorber »

By Tony Williams. Based on Cornell Woolrich’s 1944 novel The Black Path of Fear, The Chase (1946) has long required a remastered DVD version though bootleg versions previously available may…

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BK

Prison of the Mind: The Big Knife (1955) from Arrow Academy »

By Jake Rutkowski. There are few time capsules more compelling to me than works in which Golden Age Hollywood peels back the curtain on its own sordid affairs. What normally…

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Main

Dying To Live Another Day: Realive »

By Elias Savada. The general belief that there is seemingly civil attitude toward one another in our planet’s clean, sterile looking future reflects the sci-fi genre’s long-standing notion that there…

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Lost 01

Early Black Cinema Recovered: Lost Boundaries (1949) »

By Louis J. Wasser. In the late 1940s, a man from New Hampshire named Albert Johnston, Jr. wrote a letter to film documentarian Louis de Rochemont. Johnston, in his early…

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After the Fox (1966)  aka Caccia alla volpe

Directed by Vittorio De Sica

Shown from left: Peter Sellers, Victor Mature

Enjoyable Traces: After The Fox (1966) from Kino Lorber »

By Tony Williams. Back in 1965 BBC TV screened a documentary introduced by Dirk Bogarde, The Epic that Never Was, an informative analysis of a 1937 failed film version of I,…

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Woodshock 01

A Lumbering Beast: Woodshock, Woodshlock »

By Elias Savada. The answer to whether smoking kills lies beneath the surface of this abstract but ultimately empty-plotted first feature from sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, better known for having…

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Life After Death: Dementia 13 (2017) »

Dementia-13-e1504807067285

By Jeremy Carr. Francis Ford Coppola’s low-budget, low-key 1963 shocker, Dementia 13, was the first substantial step in the legendary filmmaker’s career. Like…

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Dystopia Awaits: Blade Runner 2049 »

BR 01 Main

By Elias Savada. When I last visited Denis Villeneuve it was when I reviewed one of the best films of last year.…

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Harry Dean Stanton: Finally, Sadly, Career-Topping in Lucky »

Lucky 01

By Elias Savada. Harry Dean Stanton was older than dirt when he died earlier this month. In human years, that was 91.…

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An Actor’s Life – Which One was David? by David Frankham with Jim Hollifield »

With Vincent Price during filming of Return of the Fly

A Book Review by Tony Williams. The title of this review is not accidental. It is deliberately meant to evoke the title…

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New York Plays Itself: Brian Tochterman’s The Dying City »

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

A Book Review by John Duncan Talbird. In Thom Anderson’s documentary, Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003), the history and culture of L.A.…

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Life on Hold: Mike Leigh’s Meantime (Criterion Collection) »

Meantime 01

By Jeremy Carr. Based solely on his latest string of features – Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Another Year (2010), Mr. Turner (2014) – one might…

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Culture, Style, Voice, Motion: The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien by Christopher Lupke »

A Time to Live, a Time to Die (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1985)

A Book Review by Yun-hua Chen. Christopher Lupke’s The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice, and Motion (Cambria, 2016) is…

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All That’s Lost: Rebecca from the Criterion Collection »

Rececca 01

By Tony Williams. Criterion initially offered Rebecca (1940) on a 2-disc DVD edition in 2001 but following loss of copyright a few…

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Love Kills: Sid & Nancy from the Criterion Collection »

Chloe Webb and Gary Oldman in the film Sid and Nancy

By Jeremy Carr. Sid & Nancy, Alex Cox’s 1986 biopic about raucous Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) and his equally rowdy…

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Stephen King’s IT: Unneeded Horrors »

It 02

By Christopher Sharrett. I have never much admired the horror fiction of Stephen King, which I’ve called the “hoagie sandwich” approach to…

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The Sublime Beauty of Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg on Criterion »

Umbrellas 01

By Christopher Weedman. When celebrated French film director Jacques Demy and composer Michel Legrand were experiencing difficulty securing financing for Les parapluies de…

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Cultivating Young Minds: School Life »

hero_School-feat

By Elias Savada. In the quaint, historic town of Kells in County Meath, home to Ireland’s only independent documentary film festival, it seems…

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Catharsis, Backstage and Beyond: Spettacolo »

spettacolo03

By Jeremy Carr. There was no plan to launch an annual undertaking where the residents of Monticchiello, a small Tuscan village, would enact…

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Anti Matter: Alice Tumbles Down the Wormhole »

Anti 02

By Elias Savada. Memory loss and Queen of Hearts madness team up against a you-shouldn’t-play-with-Mother-Nature anti-hero in Anti Matter, an ambitious and entertaining…

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Updating the Debate – The Elusive Auteur: The Question of Film Authorship Throughout the Age of Cinema by Barrett Hodsdon »

Elusive MAIN

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Barrett Hodsdon is an unfamiliar name to me, chiefly because I do not reside in Australia.…

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A World of One’s Own: The Endearing Humanity of Pavel Cuzuioc’s Secondo Me »

Secondo_Me_1

By Brandon Konecny.  Pavel Cuzuioc is a filmmaker with a flair for creating thoughtful meditations on working-class people, and he doesn’t diverge…

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Cops, Criminals, and Cultural Revolution: The Nile Hilton Incident »

Nile 03

By Jeremy Carr. There are bound to be comparisons made between Tarik Saleh’s The Nile Hilton Incident and several films of the past.…

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Daughter of the South, Star Across Borders – Ava: A Life in Movies by Kendra Bean and Anthony Uzarowski »

Night of the Iguana (1964)

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser. I once confessed to a friend that, despite my preoccupation with serious film, I remained…

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The Last Hurrah of John Garfield: Criterion’s The Breaking Point (1950) »

Breaking 01

By Tony Williams. Since the inclusion of a co-written article by Tom Flinn and John Davis in the pre-David Bordwell University of…

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Gilda Lost and Gilda Regained: Concerning The Lady Eve’s Destructive Relationship with Two Sexually Confused Adams »

gilda 3

By James Churchill. Nobody forgets the first time they experienced Hayworth’s sudden emergence from the bottom of the frame in Gilda. The quick…

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A Workman Finding His Artistry: The Cinematography of Roger Corman by Pawel Aleksandrowicz »

Corman-01 Feat

A Book Review by Brad Cook. For many film fans, myself included, the name Roger Corman typically evokes an immediate response: That guy…

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Siri Grows Up: Marjorie Prime »

Maj 01

By Elias Savada. In a lovely, earth-toned Long Island beach house, Walter Lancaster (Jon Hamm) comes and goes in rather disconcerting fashion.…

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The Cinematic Culture of Conspicuous Consumption – When Knighthood was in Flower (1922) »

Marion_Davies_-_Arthur_Forrest_-_1922_-_When_Knighthood_Was_In_Flower

By Tony Williams. Like Alejandro Jodorowsky’s recently released Endless Poetry (2016) and Samantha Fuller’s tribute to her late father A Fuller Life…

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I Did…You Shouldn’t: I Do…Until I Don’t »

I Do 01

By Elias Savada. There are problems a-plenty in Vero Beach, Florida, and after watching them dribble forth in the lame ensemble comedy…

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The Trip to Spain: A Road Best Not Taken »

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By Elias Savada. Always light-hearted and entertaining, the deadpan road films featuring the improvisation talents of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have christened…

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On “Symbolic Annihilation”: Killing Off the Lesbians by Liz Millward, Janice G. Dodd, and Irene Fubara-Manuel »

xena-gabrielle-lovewins (1)

A Book Review by Gary M. Kramer. Killing Off the Lesbians by Liz Millward, Janice G. Dodd and Irene Fubara-Manuel (McFarland, 2017) addresses the…

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Modes of Viewing and Censoring – The Other Air Force: U.S. Efforts to Reshape Middle Eastern Media Since 9/11 by Matt Sienkiewicz »

From Ma'an News Agency (Palestine) coverage

A Book Review by Ipek A. Celik Rappas. The Other Air Force explores post-9/11 US investments in Middle Eastern broadcasting initiatives especially…

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Ham on Die, with a Side of Cupcakes and Beer: The Dismembered »

the_dismembered-blu-ray

By Elias Savada. Taking a film out of distribution purgatory, Garagehouse Pictures is the final link in a rescue involving an obscure…

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20 Rms, Expanding Views: Dave Made a Maze »

Dave 02

By Elias Savada. Is there any way to regain whatever amount of dignity an actor has gained in his career after he’s played…

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Rebelling in the Right Direction: Midnight Movie Monographs’ Martin by Jez Winship and Theatre of Blood by John Llewellyn Probert »

Martin (1977)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Before the successful re-launching of We Are the Martians, editor Neil Snowdon initiated a new series…

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As Offbeat As Fancher: Escapes »

Blade Runner (1982)

By Jeremy Carr. Escapes, a new documentary from director Michael Almereyda and executive producer Wes Anderson, begins with Philip K. Dick’s ruminations on…

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From Brooklyn, with Camp – Paul Bartel: The Life and Films by Stephen B. Armstrong »

EATING RAOUL, Mary Woronov, Paul Bartel, 1982, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All ri

A Book Review by Irv Slifkin. Say the name and the image of an overweight, balding man with a neatly trimmed beard…

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Gazpacho with A Shot of Estrogen: Almodovar’s Women On The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown »

Women 01

By Kate Hearst. As statistics continue to demonstrate the persistent imbalance of women’s representation on screen,[1] Pedro Almodovar’s Women On the Verge…

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The Dark Tower: The Mighty King Has Fallen »

Dark 02

By Elias Savada. The phrase “lump of coal” comes to mind after watching The Dark Tower, a lavish and most definitely lackluster CliffsNotes…

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After Love: Verity and Banality »

After Love

By Jeremy Carr. While watching After Love, a 2016 film about a Brussels couple in the midst of an emotionally evolving but physically…

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On the Road to Nirvana: Jodorowsky’s Endless Poetry »

Endless 01

By Elias Savada. “A naked virgin will illuminate your path with a blazing butterfly.” Yes, just the kind of fertile, fantastic utterance you…

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Bisarjan: Kaushik Ganguly on Unrequited Love »

Bisrjan

By Devapriya Sanyal and Melissa Webb. On the banks of the Padma lives Padma Halder, named after one of the bigger rivers flowing between the…

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Two California Raisins Walk Into a Sitcom: Landline »

Landline

By Elias Savada. Three years ago, filmmaker Gillian Robespierre arrived at the Sundance Film Festival with her first feature, Obvious Child, a small,…

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Coppola’s Dazzling Teenage Dream: Rumble Fish (Criterion Collection) »

On the Set of

By Jeremy Carr. Two credits stand out on Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 film Rumble Fish. One is Stewart Copeland, then drummer for The…

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Laid to Rest: Frederic Mermoud’s Moka »

MOKA 1

By Devapriya Sanyal and Melissa Webb. Frederic Mermoud’s French-thriller Moka (2016) centers on a grieving woman who is on the hunt for the…

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Beatriz at Dinner: Necessary Cinema »

Beatriz at Dinner

By Christopher Sharrett. There are certainly films more perceptive about class and race than Beatriz at Dinner, a film I put off seeing since…

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Nothing’s Changed: Lost in America (Criterion Collection) »

Lost Feat

By Jessica Baxter. It’s been over 30 years since Albert Brooks unleashed his on-point satire about the mental unraveling of dissatisfied yuppies…

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L’argent: Bresson Ends »

Largent 01

By Christopher Sharrett. The terms “ascetic” and “austere” are too-common adjectives applied to the films of Robert Bresson. It is reasonable to…

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A Stumble in the Woods: First Kill »

First

By Elias Savada. Bruce Willis still tracks 243 on the IMDB.com STARmeter scale (I’m at 1,325,678). All kind of entertainment folk are…

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Diversity and Unity – Global Cinematic Cities: New Landscapes of Film and Media Edited by Johan Andersson and Lawrence Webb »

Bron Broen (2011- )

A Book Review by Margaret C. Flinn. Johan Andersson and Lawrence Webb’s Global Cinema Cities (Columbia UP, 2016) poses as its task to…

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Out of the Dark(room) and Into the Light – The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography »

B-Side 02

By Elias Savada. There is an elegant, simple beauty in documentarian Errol Morris’s affectionate portrait of his friend, soft-spoken, 80-year-old Elsa Dorfman, in…

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Eleven Heroines Does a Feminist Film Make: Reading Srijit Mukherjee’s Rajkahini »

rajkahani 01

By Devapriva Sanyal and Melissa Webb. Srijit Mukherji’s Rajkahini (2015) is the Bengali version of 2017’s much feted Begum Jaan, the film which served…

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Features

The Function of Film Criticism at Any Time »

Irreversible-2

By Christopher Sharrett. Readers will note that my title derives from essays and certain phrases by Matthew Arnold, T. S. Eliot, F.…

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A Forgotten Country’s Forgotten Cinema: Searching for Hope in Post-Soviet Moldovan Cinema »

All God’s Children (Toti copiii domnului, 2012)

By Brandon Konecny. It has been suggested, sometimes by Moldovan film professionals themselves, that cinema does not currently exist in the Republic…

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Kentucky Fried Chicken in the Moonlight »

Moonlight_Trailer1

By Orville Lloyd Douglas. Black people are still mentally enslaved; even in the 21st century there is a psychic need by some…

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The Aesthetic Majesty of King Hu: A Touch of Zen on Criterion »

Touch 02

By Tony Williams. As I write, hours tick away for the latest unimportant event in film history – the Hollywood Academy Awards…

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The Resurrection of Abel Gance’s J’accuse (1938) on Olive Films »

Jaccuse 02

By Christopher Weedman. The past couple of months have been full of rich rewards for admirers of the late Abel Gance. This…

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I Wake Up Screaming: Far from “Kansas” »

wake-03

By Anthony J. Steinbock. The Maltese Falcon is often considered to be the first film noir of the classical noir period (beginning…

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The Lovers and the Despot: Forced Seduction, North Korean Style »

lovers-featured

By Johannes Schönherr. The Lovers and the Despot, a 2016 documentary by British directors Robert Cannan and Ross Adam, tackles an especially…

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Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven: Loss of Grace »

mag-feat

By Christopher Sharrett. I have always thought that John Sturges’s 1960 Western The Magnificent Seven has suffered too unfavorably in comparison to…

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Entertaining Mr. Klein: Eclipse Series 9 – The Delirious Fictions of William Klein »

mrfreedom_main

By Tony Williams. Although this special Criterion three film DVD set has been available since 2008, it is only recently that I…

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Rare Welles No Longer Unseen: Chimes at Midnight and The Immortal Story on Criterion »

chimes-at-midnight-001

By Tony Williams. Long awaited by many, following either unavailability or dubious accessibility via duped 16mm copies, unwatchable VHS copies, and bootlegged…

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Once There Were Bawdy Tales: Nosrat Karimi’s Matrimonial Comedies »

The Triple Bed

By Ramin S. Khanjani. Of all directors associated with the pre-1979 “Iranian New Wave,” Nosratallah Karimi probably presents one odd case for…

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Son of Saul: Versions of the Irrational »

Son Featured

By Christopher Sharrett. I have been meaning for some time to put pen to paper about last year’s superb achievement by Laszlo…

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Michael Morris’ Hermeneutics: Visual Music, Expanded Cinema, New Aesthetic »

MORRIS Main

By Michael Betancourt. Michael Morris’ expanded cinema performances, Second Hermeneutic (2013) lasting approximately nine minutes, and Third Hermeneutic (2014) lasting approximately eleven minutes,…

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In Praise of Susan Oliver: The Green Girl (2014) »

Oliver 01

By Tony Williams. “She was so much more than the Green woman in Star Trek” (George Pappy DVD audio-commentary). “What I knew I…

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United 93: A Social Conscience and the Ease of Historicism (A 10th Anniversary Retrospective) »

Director Paul Greengrass prepares for a take.

By David Ryan. Before United 93 opened ten years ago, the film’s previews were greeted with varying degrees of stress and grief.…

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All the Fire: The use of sexual imagery as a way for attracting cinema audiences in 1950s America »

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By Anthony Uzarowski. The 1950s are often seen as the time of Hollywood’s greatest splendour, yet the reality of the time was…

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Star Wars Episode VII: Feminism from “Far, Far Away” »

SW Feat

By Sotiris Petridis. Introduction The Star Wars saga is an internal and important part of popular culture since its first filmic text…

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Cannibalized Chaos: Iago, The Joker and the “Good Sport” of Postmodernism »

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By Richmond B. Adams. During a conversation approximately one-third of the way through The Dark Knight (2008), Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) expresses…

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The Sentinel Excavated »

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By Christopher Sharrett. I use the word “excavated” in my title not because the 1977 horror film The Sentinel , directed by…

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The Best and the Most Overrated of 2015 »

The Assassin: Frustrating or rewarding?

By Film International. The editors’ Top 10 and Overrated 10 include films that were released in the editors’ respective regions during 2015.…

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CGI and the Audience: Things Better Left Unsaid »

The Show of Shows

By Fred Wagner. The Show of Shows (2015), a recently released documentary made out of archive footage shows the lost world of…

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The Battle for Fair Remuneration: A Slovenian Drama with International Consequences »

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By Edgar Tijhuis. Sometimes it seems like time stood still in Slovenia. In 2009 Variety magazine reported about a “royalty battle” in…

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“All My Treasures”: On Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words (2015) »

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By Tony Williams. Critic-director Stig Bjorkman, well known for his studies on directors such as Woody Allen and Ingmar Bergman, has made…

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I, Shakespeare by Anonymous and Last Will. & Testament »

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By David Ryan. Rewriting history is a common academic enterprise, and crafting Elizabethan history – particularly Shakespearean biography – is composed recursively. Though…

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Kurt Vonnegut Hunter Thompson Norman Mailer Tom Wolfe William Burroughs Jonathan Miller William Burroughs Jr Jacob Bronowski Robert Hughes Bob Woodward Carl…

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Traces of Postindian Survivance: Two Short Films by Jeff Barnaby »

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By John Garland Winn. Jeff Barnaby, a Mi’kmaq First Nations director, was four years old when the Quebec Provincial Police raided his…

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Rereading The Wire: police procedural, social games and the magic of blood »

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By Rajko Radović. Blood has been shed on the asphalt at night. We see it in close-up as thin red lines spreading…

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Madam Secretary: The Happy Family in Time of War »

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By Christopher Sharrett. When I first took note of the television series Madam Secretary (2014-), I assumed it was a sort of…

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Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and the Politics of Escapism »

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By Richard Grigg. Director Guy Ritchie’s 2015 film The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is of course inspired by the U.S. television series of…

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An Ogre’s Hide: Samad and Foolad Zereh, the Ogre »

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By Ramin S. Khanjani. For many avid followers of Iranian cinema across the world, the experience of this national cinema justifiably doesn’t…

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Monstrous Gaze: The Quandary of Spectatorship in La dolce vita »

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By William Repass. In the thematic arc formed by Fellini’s body of work, La dolce vita  (1960) can be said to represent…

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The Way, Way Back: An Appreciation »

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By Christopher Sharrett. Some months ago I saw The Way, Way Back (2013) and was taken by it enough to buy the…

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Peter Bogdanovich: The Comedy Smuggler »

She's Funny That Way

By James Knight. This August will see the US theatrical release of She’s Funny That Way, the latest feature from Peter Bogdanovich.…

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Mise-en-scène and the Rebirth of Film »

Man of the West

By Tom Silva. Film is a living thing and so it faces an unending series of deaths. Like the mythic hero in…

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

Fair Game

By Robert K. Lightning. Lovers that demonstrate both spiritual affinity and spiritual equality have long been popular in middle-class entertainment. Repartee has…

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End of a Saga: Andrzej Wajda’s Wałęsa: Man of Hope »

Man of Hope

By Geoffrey Fox. The credits roll over a black-and-white newsreel of missiles and men parading before an austere Leonid Brezhnev in Moscow…

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Discovering Mary Pickford »

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By Tony Williams. The title of this article has a double meaning. It is primarily a reworking of that lavishly illustrated and…

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The Stranger (1946)

Orson Ascending: The Stranger (1946) from Kino Classics and Othello (1951) from the Criterion Collection »

By Tony Williams. Following the release of several new remastered DVDs after the 2015 Orson Welles Centenary and the expected completion of his last unedited feature The Other Side of…

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Bunuel 01

Truth and Consequences: Conversations with Buñuel by Max Aub, translated and edited by Julie Jones »

A Book Review Essay by Jeremy Carr. “Even today, I’ve no idea what the truth is, or what I did with it.” – Luis Buñuel, My Last Sigh Compiling biographical…

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Good Bad 02

The “Complete Italianization” of the Western: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Kino Lorber »

By Tony Williams. This is the moment when the Italianization of the Western was complete. –Alberto Moravia, quoted by Christopher Frayling As most film departments merge into Media conglomerates and…

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Felt Feat

Mark Felt: History as Mysticism »

By Christopher Sharrett. One of the characteristics of our militarized society, aside from the constant deluge of cop shows, superhero movies, and inane affirmations of family life, is the erasure…

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Hop MAIN

The Charming “Lithuanian Cary Grant”: Walter Matthau in Hopscotch on Criterion »

By Christopher Weedman. Walter Matthau (1920-2000) was among Hollywood’s most charismatic stars of the late 1960s and 1970s. During this fascinating period where New Hollywood favorites such as Robert DeNiro,…

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Piano Feat

A Haneke Masterpiece: The Piano Teacher (Criterion Collection) »

By Christopher Sharrett. I count Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (2001) among his supreme masterpieces, along with Code Unknown (2000), Cache (2005), and The White Ribbon (2009). His “glaciation trilogy”…

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The Brethren of GG (i.e., Jesus Christ) Allin: The Allins »

By Johannes Schönherr. New York City, June 27th 1993: Notorious punk rocker GG Allin had finally served out a lengthy prison sentence in Michigan and was set to play his first…

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The Wire 01

Working for the Police, Working for the City, or Selling Drugs: Stanley Corkin’s Connecting The Wire »

A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. David Simon’s television series The Wire ran on HBO from 2002-2008, five seasons of a prestige show that, in the less than ten…

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Ki and Ka 01

The Indian Film Critics Have Done It Again!: Reading Gender in Ki & Ka Through the Cinematic Lens of R. Balki »

By Devapriya Sanyal and Melissa Webb. The Indian film critics have done it again! As Glover and Kaplan state in their book Genders, the term “gender” itself is rather slippery. Such complicated issues regarding…

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Quatermass and the Pit (1959-60)

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…

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Facts are Not Stupid Things: Lessons from The Reagan Show »

By Heather Hendershot. One week after Donald Trump’s inauguration, Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here reached the #9 position in book sales on Amazon. Brave New World held the #15 slot. Sales also…

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Muni 01

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…

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The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962)

Master of Italian Gothic – Riccardo Freda: The Life and Works of a Born Filmmaker by Roberto Curti »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Many decades ago I heard a comment made by a respected scholar, and affirmed by a graduate student whom he later hailed as…

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Her Man

When Tay Garnett Met Frankie and Johnnie: Her Man (1930) »

by John Andrew Gallagher. Tay Garnett and and writer Howard Higgin spent the months of February and March, 1930 on Catalina Island writing Her Man, sharing a house with Lewis…

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The Roots of Social Change: Ermanno Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs on Criterion »

By Christopher Weedman. The Criterion Collection deserves to be commended for their continued efforts to bring greater attention to the underappreciated films of director Ermanno Olmi. It is regrettable that,…

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