Festival Reports

Groundbreaking and Dated: TriBeCa 2018 »

Blowin' Up

By Michael Miller.  The 17th Tribeca Film Festival unspooled April 18 – 29, 2018 across seven venues in Manhattan. The festival celebrates storytelling whether in the form of narrative features, documentary, virtual reality and…

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When War or Love Come: Berlinale 2018 »

When the War Comes

By Martin Kudláč. For some time, Berlinale has been grooming its image as a political film festival. Its 2018 edition, which is its current director’s penultimate edition in charge as Dieter Kosslick is to…

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Art Film Fest 2018: The Time of Its Time »

Budapest Noir

By Robert Buckeye. The centenary of the formation of Czechoslovakia and the half century commemoration of the Prague Spring transformed Art Film Fest in Košice, Slovakia (15-23 June) this year into a seminar…

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Glory of the Silents Reborn: the 23rd San Francisco Silent Film Festival »

Gosta Berlings Saga.1

By Janine Gericke. I’ve been going to the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (SFSFF) for ten years. My first introduction to the festival and the Castro Theatre was Buster Keaton’s 1923 film Our…

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Observation and Immersion: 2018 AFI Docs »

Crisanto Street

By Gary M. Kramer. The 2018 AFI Docs Film Festival screened over 90 features and shorts in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, MD. The films tackled topical issues such as the plight of…

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Nightmares from LA and von Trier: 2018 Cannes, Week Two »

The House That Jack Built

By Ali Moosavi. It is very unusual for Cannes, or indeed any film festival that I care to remember, to provide a warning in the festival program for a particular film. In Cannes…

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“Sickie” Docs and Features: The 20th Maryland Film Festival »

Sickies Making Films

By Gary M. Kramer. The 20th Maryland Film Festival, held at the Parkway Theater and various additional venues in Baltimore, took place May 2-6. The program included more than 100 features, documentaries, and shorts.…

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At War with Trump, Etc: 2018 Cannes, Week One »


By Ali Moosavi. The honor of opening the 71st Cannes Film Festival went to the Iranian director, and multi Oscar winner, Asghar Farhadi’s new film Everybody Knows. This thriller stars the real-life couple Javier…

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Casey Wilder Mott on Revis(it)ing A Midsummer Night’s Dream »


By Tom Ue. Casey Wilder Mott served as Director of Development for Flashlight Films, a boutique film finance company…

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Connecting Posthumously: Ofir Raul Graizer on The Cakemaker »


By Tom Ue. Israeli-born film director and video artist Ofir Raul Graizer lives and works in nexus of Berlin,…

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Illuminating the Bipartisan Problem: Kimberly Reed on Dark Money »

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By Travis Merchant. In today’s age of fake news, constant debates, and online videos that depict two sides arguing…

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Reflecting Our Troubled Times: Barnaby Miller on S|T|R|A|Y|S »


By Daniel Lindvall. S|T|R|A|Y|S, described by its makers as “a living graphic novel,” portrays a cross section of contemporary…

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Vulnerability and Awareness: Max Emerson on Hooked »

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By Tom Ue. With more than 900K followers on Instagram alone, writer and director Max Emerson uses his social…

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Bob Farkas on Going Crazy Famous »


By Tom Ue. Bob Farkas took the biggest gamble of his life when he became, at the age of 53,…

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A Surge in the Classroom: Serge Bozon on Mrs. Hyde »


By Tom Ue. Serge Bozon’s latest film Mrs. Hyde follows the plight of a science teacher at a technical…

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Life Commodified: Adilkhan Yerzhanov on Gentle Indifference of the World »

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By Ali Moosavi. When discussing world cinema, Kazakhstan is not a country which immediately springs to mind. Like many of…

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Life Interrupted: Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside on América »

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By Gary M. Kramer. América, directed by Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside, is a lovely, poignant meditation on eldercare.…

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Kitsch Shining Bright: Jeffrey Schwarz on The Fabulous Allan Carr »

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By Tom Ue. Emmy Award-winner Jeffrey Schwarz’s many documentaries include Tab Hunter Confidential (2015), about the 1950s heartthrob and movie…

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Omnibus of Unrest: On Ten Years Thailand »

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By Ali Moosavi. Many film aficionados’ first memory of Thailand dates back to the 1956 film The King and I…

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  1. For and Against the Grand Narrative: The Hollywood War Film by Daniel Binns
  2. Broken, Yet Living: Memoir of War (La Douleur)
  3. The Cinematic Poetry of Cielo
  4. Telling Tales: The Company of Wolves by James Gracey
  5. Rediscovering a “Lost Art”: How Did Lubitsch Do It? by Joseph McBride
  6. Shifty Business: Pound of Flesh
  7. Casey Wilder Mott on Revis(it)ing A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  8. Groundbreaking and Dated: TriBeCa 2018
  9. Gothic Grotesque: Aristide Massaccesi’s Death Smiles on a Murderer (Arrow Video)
  10. A Child Custody Thriller
  11. A True Beauty: Chained for Life
  12. The Epitome of Cool: The Films of Ray Danton by Joseph Fusco
  13. Political and Literary Exile: Nicolas Pariser’s The Great Game
  14. Forgotten “Final Girls”: The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle by Alexandra West
  15. Film Scratches: To See is To Know – saVer (2015)
  16. Film Scratches: Grist for his Visual Mill – Parva Sed Apta Mihi (2012)
  17. Film Scratches: Looking Inward – Green Eye (2012)
  18. The First Purge: State of the Nation
  19. “May Well Offend” – Magnificent Obsession: The Outrageous History of Film Buffs, Collectors, Scholars, and Fanatics by Anthony Slide
  20. Beyond Genre to the Other Arts: King Hu’s Dragon Inn (1967) from the Criterion Collection
  21. When War or Love Come: Berlinale 2018
  22. The Lodgers: The Specter of History
  23. Why the Neglect?: Lubitsch’s The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927)
  24. Wake Up at the Back There! It’s Jimmy Edwards by Anthony Slide
  25. Connecting Posthumously: Ofir Raul Graizer on The Cakemaker
  26. Film Scratches: A Stroll with Mickey and Marcel – Promenade Mythanalytique: Logotype, Parole & Empreinte (2017)
  27. Illuminating the Bipartisan Problem: Kimberly Reed on Dark Money
  28. Reflecting Our Troubled Times: Barnaby Miller on S|T|R|A|Y|S
  29. Follow That Dream: Eugene Jarecki’s The King
  30. They Feud (Again): Under the Tree
  1. Mark A. Vieira: Dear Dr. Williams: Your review is fair and accurate. I just read Dr. Slide’s book (in one...
  2. Tony Williams: Another astute analysis. The concluding words of the Robert Ryan character in EXECUTIVE ACTION (1970),...
  3. Tony Williams: The editors of ASIAN CINEMA have informed me that a special issue devoted to King Hu will appear in...
  4. christopher sharrett: Tony, I must look into him. Thanks for this.
  5. christopher sharrett: Rob, Thanks much.


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Broken, Yet Living: Memoir of War (La Douleur) »

By Elizabeth Toohey. Sometimes, on my weirder, darker days, I fantasize about being the architect of a purgatory. There, I would place Mark Zuckerberg – who has lately said he…

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The Cinematic Poetry of Cielo »

By John Duncan Talbird. Since 1982’s Koyaanisqatsi (dir. Godfrey Reggio), time-lapse photography has become a convention, sometimes to the point of cliché. Still, we’re stunned every now and then by its…

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Telling Tales: The Company of Wolves by James Gracey »

A Book Review by Jeremy Carr. James Gracey’s Devil’s Advocates entry on The Company of Wolves (Auteur Publishing, 2017) does everything a book of its scope should do. In about…

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Shifty Business: Pound of Flesh »

By Alex Brannan. After gaining attention in Lindsay Anderson’s if… (1968), legendary character actor Malcolm McDowell­ jump-started his career with a pair of films that embellished moral ambiguities as they pertain to…

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Gothic Grotesque: Aristide Massaccesi’s Death Smiles on a Murderer (Arrow Video) »

By Jeremy Carr. Highlighting the Arrow Video Blu-ray of Death Smiles on a Murderer (also known as Death Smiled at Murder) is a video essay by Kat Ellinger. In this roughly…

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A Child Custody Thriller »

By Janine Gericke. Xavier Legrand’s Custody (Jusqu’à La Garde) is a child-custody thriller. And, the word “thriller” doesn’t usually come to mind when thinking about custody battles. But, that’s just what this…

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Chained Feat

A True Beauty: Chained for Life »

By Elias Savada. A piece of the infamous “Gooble Gobble” carnival communal wedding chant from Tod Browning’s Freaks (1932) isn’t the only ditty from that horror classic paid homage to in…

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Political and Literary Exile: Nicolas Pariser’s The Great Game »

By Thomas Puhr. Is the pen indeed mightier than the sword, as Bulwer-Lytton’s adage would have us believe? This ever-prescient question drives writer-director Nicolas Pariser’s 2015 feature debut, The Great…

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Forgotten “Final Girls”: The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle by Alexandra West »

A Book Review by Alex Brannan. In Men, Women, and Chainsaws (1992), Carol J. Clover takes a critical look at horror and exploitation films of the 1970s and 1980s that were…

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The First Purge: State of the Nation »

By Christopher Sharrett. One would think that the fascination with apocalypse in cinema peaked, perhaps, in the late 70s-early 80s, with the disaster films of the era, or the Mad…

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The Lodgers: The Specter of History »

By Alex Brannan. “Be in bed by midnight’s bell. Never let a stranger through your door. Never leave each other all alone.” These are the rules that define the lives…

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Wake Up at the Back There! It’s Jimmy Edwards by Anthony Slide »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. The name of Jimmy Edwards (1920-1988) may not be familiar to American audiences, let alone contemporary British ones, except for those tuning in to…

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Follow That Dream: Eugene Jarecki’s The King »

By Jeremy Carr. Embracing a road trip structure, which is always conducive to a film concerning self-reflective journeys of the soul, Eugene Jarecki’s The King takes as its meditative subject not…

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They Feud (Again): Under the Tree »

By Thomas Puhr. One may argue that the “feuding neighbors” subgenre is overdone, having been explored in films like John G. Avildsen’s Neighbors (1981), Danny DeVito’s Duplex (2003), and Nicholas…

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Between Fantasy and Reality: A Matter of Life and Death (1946) from the Criterion Collection »

By Tony Williams. One can never have too much of a good thing and the successful works of The Archers defines this cinematically. After the long overdue recognition delivered to…

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Conflict, Dissension, and Collaboration – Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The Making of Cujo, Written and Edited by Lee Gambin »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. This book is an excellent addition to the Bear Manor Media repertoire. Written by an independent film historian as a tribute to a film…

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Weird Science: Three Identical Strangers »

By Elias Savada. I’ve been told, at rare moments throughout my life, that I look just like someone else, other than my dad or a close cousin, of course. Usually, if…

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John Waters, Respectably Vile Again: Female Trouble (Criterion Collection) »

By Gary M. Kramer. John Waters has achieved respectability (again). After 2016’s successful Criterion Collection release of Multiple Maniacs, the premier film snob’s publisher of classics on Blu-ray/DVD has now…

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The Paradox of Vivienne Westwood – Westwood: Punk, Activist, Icon »

By Elizabeth Toohey. Is the designer Vivienne Westwood anti-establishment or is she the establishment? Is she iconoclast or icon? More to the point, has her fashion been subversive, a form…

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El Sur

Perfectly Partial: Víctor Erice’s El Sur (Criterion Collection) »

By Jeremy Carr. Writer-director Víctor Erice can be forgiven if he speaks of El Sur (newly released by the Criterion Collection) with more than a tinge of regret. This 1983 feature,…

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New Directions Emerging: Orson Welles in Focus, Edited by James R. Gilmore and Sidney Gottlieb »

A Book Review by Tony Williams. During and since the time of Welles’s Centenary, many fine books and articles have appeared re-evaluating the work of a director once popularly regarded…

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Not Playing Smart: The Catcher Was a Spy »


By Elias Savada. There’s an unsettling blandness flowing through The Catcher Was a Spy, a well photographed and impressively designed film about a…

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Fiercely Unpredictable: First Reformed »


By Thomas Puhr. Paul Schrader takes Christianity seriously: no small feat, given that many “Christian” movies today are of the schmaltzy, Sunday…

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Hereditary: The Mother Again »


By Christopher Sharrett. As the end credits roll for Ari Aster’s horror film Hereditary, we hear Judy Collins sing her hit song…

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Beyond the “Jacksplosion” – Quintessential Jack: The Art of Jack Nicholson on Screen by Scott Edwards »

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser. Scott Edwards’s new book (McFarland, 2018) is anything but a garden variety biography of an…

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Gore Down South: Two Thousand Maniacs! (Arrow Video) »


By Jeremy Carr. As noted by no less an authority than Mr. MonsterVision himself, Joe Bob Briggs, to distinguish a good Herschell…

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A Treat Grows in Brooklyn: Hearts Beat Loud »


By Elias Savada. One way or another, I always seem to get a plastic high when watching a film with an old…

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In Awe of Everything: The Gospel According to André »


By Janine Gericke. ​I’ll start by saying that The Gospel According to André is a delightful film about a delightful human. The…

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The Feminist Battle for Respect – The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist by Michelle Morgan »


A Book Review by Anthony Uzarowski. Whenever one sets out to write a book about a real-life person, be it a traditional…

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Arthouse Redux: Claire’s Camera »

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By Elias Savada. I’m a latecomer to the work of South Korean filmmaker Hong Sangsoo, but I recently caught Night and Day (2004)…

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Mountain: Epic to the Extreme »

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By Elias Savada. The word “breathtaking” doesn’t do justice to Australian documentarian Jennifer Peedom’s Mountain. It’s so far beyond that. The manner of…

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Mungiu’s Deceptive Simplicity: Beyond the Hills (Criterion Collection) »

Beyond Top

By Christopher Sharrett. I have commented on this site at length on Cristian Mungiu’s masterpiece Beyond the Hills (2012), and while it…

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Bumpy Origins – Solo: A Star Wars Story »

"Sorry, pal – he was a little taller."

By Elias Savada, In a galaxy far, far away, veteran multi-hyphenate filmmaker Ron Howard has directed Solo with a sure, reliable hand, cobbling…

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Frustratingly Real: Disobedience »

Disobedience 02

By Janine Gericke. Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience is a frustrating film. Not because of poor performances or a meandering story, but because it’s…

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Beyond the Surface: Cinema’s Baroque Flesh by Saige Walton »


A Book Review by Jeremy Carr. Through the course of Cinema’s Baroque Flesh: Film, Phenomenology and the Art of Entanglement (Amsterdam University…

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A Beautiful Crash Course – Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat »

Boom 01

By Janine Gericke. Clocking in at a cool 78 minutes, Sara Driver’s documentary Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel…

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Deadpool 2: Shtick Happens. Again. »

Dead 02

By Elias Savada. So, as numerous superhero universes collide in worldwide multiplexes, you might wonder if there is an escalating case of…

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Comic Discoveries – The Marcel Perez Collection: Vol. 2 »

A Scrambled Honeymoon

By Jeremy Carr. Marcel Perez certainly isn’t the most renowned name in silent screen comedy. He’s likely not even among its top…

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Times Remembered – Junior Bonner: The Making of a Classic with Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpah in the Summer of 1971 by Jeb Rosebrook with Stuart Rosebrook »


A Book Review by Tony Williams. It is frequently true that publishers like Bear Manor Media not only offer the possibility of…

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Beautiful Hopelessness: Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here »


By Thomas Puhr. On paper, Lynne Ramsay’s breathtaking You Were Never Really Here (2017) sounds like one of Luc Besson’s off-the-cuff side…

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An Insufficient Measure of Novelty: Jim Loach’s Measure of a Man (2018) »


By Brandon Konecny. There’s a scene in Measure of a Man where Bobby (Blake Cooper) bickers with his sister Michelle (Liana Liberato) after…

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Market Values – Screening Stephen King: Adaptation and the Horror Genre in Film and Television by Simon Brown »

The Shining (1980)

The Shining (1980) A Book Review by Tony Williams. During my final year in what was soon becoming Thatcher’s “green and septic…

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A Modern Classic Revised: The French Cinema Book, 2nd Edition, Edited by Michael Temple and Michael Witt »

Protéa (1913)

A Book Review by Margaret C. Flinn. In 2004, Michael Temple and Michael Witt published the first edition of The French Cinema Book (Palgrave/BFI,…

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Becoming Cary Grant: The Awful Truth from Criterion »


By Tony Williams. It appears very unusual to think that the debonair star we tend to think of as an actual person…

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Ghost Stories: Earnest and Campy »

Ghost Feat

By Alex Brannan. To break it down into the simplest of taxonomies, there are two types of horror anthology film: those which…

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A Televisual Tale of Three Cities – Television Cities: Paris, London, Baltimore by Charlotte Brunsdon »

Maigret (1960-63)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. This concisely written and informative monograph represents a critical examination of the role cityscapes play within…

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Celebrating a Life Well Spent: Itzhak »


By Elias Savada. It’s fitting that this refreshing documentary starts out with the world renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman performing a rousing rendition of…

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Where is Kyra?: Women in Transition »

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By Christopher Sharrett. I have no reservations about using a central, foundational handbook serving women as the subtitle to this piece (in…

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The Endless: Who’s Crazy Now? »


By Elias Savada. I’ve been a fan of horror maestros Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead ever since catching their 2012 feature debut Resolution…

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A Genre Reclaimed: Coralie Fargeat’s Revenge »

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By Alex Brannan. There is a critical stigma to the small subset of films that comprise the rape-revenge genre – or, at the…

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An Archive of Indoctrination: Hitler’s Hollywood »

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By Jeremy Carr. Even if there wasn’t a compelling, underlying thesis to Hitler’s Hollywood: German Cinema in the Age of Propaganda: 1933–1945, this…

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Losing Touch: Ready Player One »

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By Dean Goldberg. While I’ll admit that Pong was the last video game I had any interest in and more recently got sea…

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Unfertile Perspectives – A Green and Pagan Land: Myth, Magic and Landscape in British Film and Television by David Huckvale »

The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. According to an old saying about not judging a book by its cover, the same can…

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Metafictional Examination: The Workshop »

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By Travis Merchant. Recently, the rise of extreme right-wing groups and individuals have done more than upset the quotidian structure to society. More often than…

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War’s Veiled Aftermath: 1945 »

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By Jeremy Carr. On the day of her son’s wedding, presumably the central event of 1945, drug-addled Anna (Eszter Nagy-Kálózy) ominously observes,…

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Placing Theory and Practice – Spectatorship: Shifting Theories of Gender, Sexuality and Media edited by Roxanne Samer and William Whittington »

Blackmail (Alfred Hitchcock, 1919)

A Book Review by Dean Goldberg. While the introduction to this collection of published essays from the storied Spectator, the University of…

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Deceit and Inconsistency: The China Hustle »

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By Travis Merchant. A decade has passed since the beginning of an economic recession that many still feel today. The recession of 2008…

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Max Winkler’s Flower Sour »


By Elias Savada. I didn’t like Max Winkler’s first feature, the dreary comedy Ceremony (2011), a quirky tic of a wedding crasher…

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Andy Goldsworthy’s Landscape Art: Leaning Into the Wind »


By John Duncan Talbird. In the opening of the new documentary, Leaning Into the Wind, artist Andy Goldsworthy tours a small home in…

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Role-Playing Writ Small: I Kill Giants »

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By Elias Savada. Children dealing with their fears – although not those anxieties normally associated with horror genre tropes like The Dark, Loud…

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Comedy Killing Satire: The Death of Stalin »

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By Jake Rutkowski. The process of interpersonal grievances and small-scale ironies rippling out into matters of national security is at this point a…

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A Misguided Adventure: A Wrinkle in Time »


By Elias Savada. If I were a 12-year-old girl (particularly one of color), I probably would be anxiously awaiting, with all my BFFs,…

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“Too Beautiful for Brilliance” – Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story »

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By Anthony Uzarowski. Hedy Lamarr was a movie star for whom the term glamour might have been invented. As far as celluloid goddesses go,…

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More Mood Than Mayhem: They Remain »

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By Elias Savada. In case you’re not feeling enough dread after watching Natalie Portman push her way through The Shimmer in the…

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More Complications: Films of the New French Extremity by Alexandra West »


A Book Review by Alex Brannan. When James Quandt coined the term “New French Extremity” in a piece for ArtForum, he referred…

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Pedestrian Action: 7 Guardians of the Tomb »


By Elias Savada. The Mummy was a huge, expensive flop last year, and relics of the archaeology digs genre are still up and…

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Coincidence and Conviction: Irving Pichel’s Tomorrow is Forever (1946) »

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By Jeremy Carr. It takes a sustained suspension of disbelief to accept what is tendered by Tomorrow is Forever. To permit the premise…

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Too Much “Up-skirt”: Lipstick Under My Burkha »


By Devapriya Sanyal. Alankrita Srivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha looks at the lives of four women who live in Hawai manzil: Bua ji, who…

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Unsung Hollywood Journeyman – Jean Negulesco, the Life and Films by Michelangelo Capua »


A Book Review by Louis Wasser. “I’m the last of Hollywood’s dinosaurs.” – Jean Negulesco (124) Although, in retrospect, the stars seemed…

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Laughing at the Land of Oddz: Closure »


By Elias Savada. There have been plenty of movies that have skewered the sunbaked air of Los Angeles and the strange people who…

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The Boy Who Fell To Earth: The Astronaut’s Bodies (Die Körper der Astronauten) »


By Elias Savada. Russian-born and German-trained Alisa Berger shows off her experimental and artistic tendencies in The Astronaut’s Bodies, a graduation project…

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Unlovely Spectacle: D.A. Miller on Call Me By Your Name »

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By David Greven. An exchange I had with an older, straight, white academic in Film Studies serves as an instructive example of…

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Marcel Pagnol’s “Marseille Trilogy”: An Essential Reemerges on Criterion »


By Christopher Weedman. Among the most impressive film restorations of 2017 was Marcel Pagnol’s Marseille Trilogy (1931-36), which I reviewed last March…

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The Form and Function of a Cult Film: Deep Red by Alexia Kannas »

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A Book Review Essay by Jeremy Carr. Alexia Kannas’ Deep Red (Columbia University Press, 2017), her contribution to the Wallflower Press Cultographies series,…

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White Micro-aggression Against Black Film: Awards and Why They Matter »

Get Out

By André Seewood. Every weekend numerous websites inform us of the short term box office grosses of various films like Star Wars: The…

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“America First” or Second? – America Through a British Lens: Cinematic Portrayals 1930-2010 by James D. Stone »

As Long As They're Happy (1955)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Captain Hornsby: “What an extraordinary fellow!” Colonel Thompson: “Well, he’s an American.”  – Too Late the…

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Beyond Wishes: Bronson’s Loose Again!: On the Set with Charles Bronson by Paul Talbot »

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A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. If Dr. Johnson had James Bosworth as his chronicler in the inimitable The Life of…

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The Enormous Gap Between Dream and Realization: Scenarios by Werner Herzog »

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. There are snowy peaks all around, majestic crests, and the mountains tower like Holy Cathedrals.…

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More Than a Headrush: Frank Henenlotter’s Brain Damage (1988) »

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By Matthew Sorrento. After the release of his horror-comedy Re-Animator (1985), debuting filmmaker Stuart Gordon was very conscious that the film would…

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Noir from the States to the Ilses: The Stranger and Appointment with Crime from Olive Films »


By Tony Williams. 1946 was an “annus mirabilis” (“amazing year” for those who never studied Latin) for American, British film noir, and…

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

The Stranger (1946)

By Tony Williams. Following the release of several new remastered DVDs after the 2015 Orson Welles Centenary and the expected completion of…

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

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A Book Review Essay by Jeremy Carr. “Even today, I’ve no idea what the truth is, or what I did with it.”…

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

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By Tony Williams. This is the moment when the Italianization of the Western was complete. –Alberto Moravia, quoted by Christopher Frayling As…

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Mark Felt: History as Mysticism »

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By Christopher Sharrett. One of the characteristics of our militarized society, aside from the constant deluge of cop shows, superhero movies, and…

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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…

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

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By Christopher Sharrett. I count Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (2001) among his supreme masterpieces, along with Code Unknown (2000), Cache (2005),…

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

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By Johannes Schönherr. New York City, June 27th 1993: Notorious punk rocker GG Allin had finally served out a lengthy prison sentence in…

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

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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…

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

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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”…

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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 »

Quatermass and the Pit (1959-60)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. It is as if in movies, TV and books, genre progresses through a series of…

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

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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…

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Still More to the Story: I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang! by Scott Allen Nollen and Paul Muni by Michael B. Druxman »

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A Book Review Essay by Matthew Sorrento. It may be tempting to recommend Scarface (1932) or Little Caesar (1930) as a first…

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

The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962)

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Many decades ago I heard a comment made by a respected scholar, and affirmed by…

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

Her Man

by John Andrew Gallagher. Tay Garnett and and writer Howard Higgin spent the months of February and March, 1930 on Catalina Island…

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

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By Christopher Weedman. The Criterion Collection deserves to be commended for their continued efforts to bring greater attention to the underappreciated films…

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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.…

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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 »


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 »

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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 »

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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” »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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) »

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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 »


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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The Steel Helmet (1951)

For and Against the Grand Narrative: The Hollywood War Film by Daniel Binns »

A Book Review Essay by Matthew Sorrento. Genre studies, whether treating film genre history as evolutionary or as cycles, always has to fight the charge that genre films are conservative…

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Ninotchka (1939)

Rediscovering a “Lost Art”: How Did Lubitsch Do It? by Joseph McBride »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Any book or article by Joseph McBride is worth reading, especially in this era of mostly dismal films and an unqualified plethora of…

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The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960)

The Epitome of Cool: The Films of Ray Danton by Joseph Fusco »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. I initially saw this 2010 book as a main feature on this company’s web site and requested a review copy, thinking it was a new…

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“May Well Offend” – Magnificent Obsession: The Outrageous History of Film Buffs, Collectors, Scholars, and Fanatics by Anthony Slide »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Deliberately described as a “provocative film scholar,” this prolific, self-educated expert in film, who has written more than 250 books in the area…

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Beyond Genre to the Other Arts: King Hu’s Dragon Inn (1967) from the Criterion Collection »

By Tony Williams. For those really interested in the art of cinema, the achievements of King Hu (1932-1997) are comparable to others such as Bela Tarr and Andrei Tarkovsky –…

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Why the Neglect?: Lubitsch’s The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927) »

By John W. Fawell. The following is an excerpt from Ernst Lubitsch’s The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg: the Art of Classic Hollywood, now available from Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield (all rights…

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The Cinematic Form of the Football Match »

By Declan Cochran. Introduction (Pre-Match Warm-Up) Cinematically speaking, the filmed football match is a curious phenomenon, one that seems to integrate a number of cinematic techniques whilst, obviously, by definition…

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Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice: Against All Doctrine »

By Christopher Sharrett. I have been meaning for some time to put pen to paper about Andrei Tarkovsky, about whom I’ve been hesitant for decades. A few remarks on the…

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North Korea’s International Movie Co-Productions, 1985-2012 »

By Johannes Schönherr. Kim Jong Il, the son of North Korea’s founder and Great Leader Kim Il Sung, went early in his youth in the direction of eventually inheriting his…

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Defying Ideology (and the Academy) – Mr. Novak: An Acclaimed Television Series by Chuck Harter »

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. When recovering from reviewing lesser works by well-established publishers, whether direct-to-library or university presses, it is often a welcome relief to read something…

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Hefting the Masterpieces: Filmworker »

By Elizabeth Toohey. Do we really need another Stanley Kubrick documentary? There’s the comprehensive Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001), with its reverent celebrity talking-heads – Tom Cruise and…

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“As Usual, Ladies First”: Manners, Manuals, and The Hunger Games »

By Richmond B. Adams. During “The Reaping” sequence from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) “volunteer[s] as tribute” to save her younger sister Primrose (Willow Shields) from…

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Consistent Passion, Little Fanfare: RBG »

By Elizabeth Toohey. Towards the end of the powerful new documentary RBG, we follow the 85-year-old Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg into a sculpture garden where she is being given…

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"The Galaxy Being"

Genius in Collaboration: The Outer Limits, Season One from Kino Lorber »

By Tony Williams. I saw my first episode of The Outer Limits on a regional independent television station in the mid-60s. Opening with the evocative credit sequence “There is nothing…

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Beauty and the Dogs: Women’s Revolution in Tunisian Cinema »

By Matthew Fullerton. As Hollywood grapples with diversity issues, it is interesting to note how Tunisia, an emergent democracy since its 2011 revolution, has witnessed women filmmakers moving into the…

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Family Values and Civic Duties: Fassbinder’s Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day »

By Jeremy Carr. Rainer Werner Fassbinder was particularly adept at transitioning between the cinema and television (and theater, for that matter), starting the crossover just a few films in to his…

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