Festival Reports

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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37th Istanbul Film Festival: Colours of the World on the Silver Screen »

Western (Valeska Grisebach, 2017)

By N. Buket Cengiz. The Istanbul Film Festival, organised by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) for the 37th time on 6-17 April 2018, was introduced back in February with a poster in…

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Faces and Things: 2018 Miami Festival Shorts Program »

Mother Feat

By Gary M. Kramer. On March 10, the Miami Film Festival will premiere ten short films in two consecutive programs screening at the Tower Theater. The first program, The Things They Left Behind…

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Northern Lights: The 14th Reykjavík International Film Festival »


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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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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Uncovering the Katyn Massacre Cover-up: An Interview with Piotr Szkopiak on The Last Witness »

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By Sergey Toymentsev. Piotr Szkopiak’s The Last Witness offers a fictional rendition of a cold-blooded execution of 22,000 Polish…

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The Story Comes First: An Interview with François Ozon »


By Alex Ramon. From the patriarchy-busting provocations of his debut feature Sitcom (1998) to the understated elegance of Frantz (2016),…

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Portrait of Julia: Gustave Vinagre on I Remember the Crows »

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By Gary M. Kramer. Julia Katherine is a trans actress with insomnia. In I Remember the Crows, her director,…

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Observing Adolescence: Daniel Patrick Carbone on Phantom Cowboys »

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By Gary M. Kramer. Daniel Patrick Carbone made a splash at the Tribeca Film Festival back in 2013 with…

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Dating and Vulnerability: Sherren Lee and Jesse LaVercombe on The Things You Think I’m Thinking »


By Tom Ue. Director Sherren Lee’s latest offering, the short film “The Things You Think I’m Thinking” follows a date…

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Rediscovering the Cinema Culture of the Congo: An Interview with Cecilia A. Zoppelletto »

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Conscious life-activity directly distinguishes man from animal life-activity. It is just because of this that he is a species…

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A Little Bold, and a Little Lighter: Sharon Badal on 2018 Tribeca Shorts »


By Gary M. Kramer. This year, the Tribeca Film Festival, unspooling April 18-29, features 10 competitive shorts programs curated…

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  1. Life Commodified: Adilkhan Yerzhanov on Gentle Indifference of the World
  2. Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice: Against All Doctrine
  3. Film Scratches: Following the Logic of the Eye – noCOM (2014)
  4. Film Scratches: Wonderland of Pain and Survival – Toogie’s Trip to Bukuokuka (2016)
  5. Film Scratches: Euphoria Unmasked – Careless Camera Work on Clapham Common (2016)
  6. Film Scratches: Recent Short Films by Chang Po-Yang
  7. Life Interrupted: Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside on América
  8. Fiercely Unpredictable: First Reformed
  9. Kitsch Shining Bright: Jeffrey Schwarz on The Fabulous Allan Carr
  10. Omnibus of Unrest: On Ten Years Thailand
  11. North Korea’s International Movie Co-Productions, 1985-2012
  12. Hereditary: The Mother Again
  13. Beyond the “Jacksplosion” – Quintessential Jack: The Art of Jack Nicholson on Screen by Scott Edwards
  14. Gore Down South: Two Thousand Maniacs! (Arrow Video)
  15. A Treat Grows in Brooklyn: Hearts Beat Loud
  16. In Awe of Everything: The Gospel According to André
  17. The Feminist Battle for Respect – The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist by Michelle Morgan
  18. Uncovering the Katyn Massacre Cover-up: An Interview with Piotr Szkopiak on The Last Witness
  19. On Compiling The Encyclopedia of Racism in American Film
  20. Nightmares from LA and von Trier: 2018 Cannes, Week Two
  21. Arthouse Redux: Claire’s Camera
  22. The Story Comes First: An Interview with François Ozon
  23. Mountain: Epic to the Extreme
  24. Defying Ideology (and the Academy) – Mr. Novak: An Acclaimed Television Series by Chuck Harter
  25. Mungiu’s Deceptive Simplicity: Beyond the Hills (Criterion Collection)
  26. Film Scratches: Sleepy in Sulaymaniyah – Dream City (2016)
  27. Film Scratches: Recent Short Films of Jacques Spohr
  28. Film Scratches: The Words Behind The Dance – Una Mina (2016)
  29. Hefting the Masterpieces: Filmworker
  30. “Sickie” Docs and Features: The 20th Maryland Film Festival
  1. Tony Williams: A very valuable tourist guide to the southern Illinois area and its decrepit new millennium...
  2. Christopher Sharrett: Lewis apparently liked the South. I’d prefer to see Two Thousand Maniacs as the ultimate...
  3. Paul: Fine job, Peter.
  4. Tony Williams: Thanks, Chris. History and knowledge of the past does matter. That is why I get so mad at inane...
  5. Christopher Sharrett: I can’t argue, David. Very supple, perceptive observations.



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 School variety (i.e. God’s Not Dead, Heaven Is…

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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 from the 60s, “Both Sides Now,” appropriate for…

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Five Easy Pieces (1970)

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

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser. Scott Edwards’s new book (McFarland, 2018) is anything but a garden variety biography of an American A-list actor. There’s no story here of…

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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 Gordon Lewis film from one that is of…

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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 fashioned record store. High Fidelity (2000), Empire Records…

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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 film is enthralling and made me laugh out…

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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 biography or any other kind of study or…

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Arthouse Redux: Claire’s Camera »

By Elias Savada. I’m a latecomer to the work of South Korean filmmaker Hong Sangsoo, but I recently caught Night and Day (2004) and Right Now, Wrong Then (2015), which reveal…

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Mountain: Epic to the Extreme »

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 the imposing photography, which often suggests someone climbing…

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Beyond Top

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

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

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

Bumpy Origins – Solo: A Star Wars Story »

By Elias Savada, In a galaxy far, far away, veteran multi-hyphenate filmmaker Ron Howard has directed Solo with a sure, reliable hand, cobbling together the second standalone Star Wars Story (following…

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Frustratingly Real: Disobedience »

By Janine Gericke. Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience is a frustrating film. Not because of poor performances or a meandering story, but because it’s so real. Based on the novel by Naomi…

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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 Press, 2016), author Saige Walton promotes several fascinating…

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

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

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Dead 02

Deadpool 2: Shtick Happens. Again. »

By Elias Savada. So, as numerous superhero universes collide in worldwide multiplexes, you might wonder if there is an escalating case of mega-budget overload on the horizon. 20th Century-Fox’s Deadpool 2…

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A Scrambled Honeymoon

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

By Jeremy Carr. Marcel Perez certainly isn’t the most renowned name in silent screen comedy. He’s likely not even among its top ten most recognizable figures. But that didn’t stop…

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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 valuable access to books that are rarely considered…

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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 projects, ala Taken (2008) or Colombiana (2011). After…

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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 she knocked the scoop off his chocolate-dipped ice…

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The Shining (1980)

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

The Shining (1980) A Book Review by Tony Williams. During my final year in what was soon becoming Thatcher’s “green and septic isle” even before Blair and Tessie, I read…

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Protéa (1913)

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

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, 2018) – an extremely welcome volume that succeeded in…

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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 »

Revenge - Still 4

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 »

HH 01

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 »

Ready Main

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 »

Work 01

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 »

China 01

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 »

Death 01

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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Social Critique, in Truth and Fiction: 2018 Oscar Nominated Live Action and Documentary Shorts »


By Elias Savada. With less than a month before we find out how many Academy Awards The Shape of Water will actually win,…

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Big Dreams and Odd Dwellings: 2018 Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts »

The Garden Party

By Gary M. Kramer. The best short films hook viewers, carry them through the story, and deliver a surprising finish. Animation is…

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All That Shapes a Star – Grace Kelly: Hollywood Dream Girl by Jay Jorgensen and Manoah Bowman »

The Country Girl (1954)

A Book Review by Anthony Uzarowski. In the 1950s female movie stars were expected to be more than human. For a price…

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Disorder in the Court: The Insult »

Insult 01

By Elias Savada. When 46-year-old automobile mechanic Tony George Hanna (a piercing-eyed Adel Karam) is first seen in The Insult, he’s at an…

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Where Does the Shredding End? – Ripping England: Postwar British Satire from Ealing to the Goons by Roger Rawlings »

The Good Show (1951-53)

A Book Review by Tony Williams. Ripping England is the latest of two recent studies by American academics devoted to aspects of…

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On National Consciousness – Hungarian Film 1929-1947: National Identity, Anti-Semitism, and Popular Cinema by Gabor Gergely »

Hyppolit the Butler (1931)

A Book Review by Robert Buckeye. In Jean-Luc Godard’s Les Carabainares (1963), a soldier at a cinema for the first time sees a…

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The Post: Nostalgia for Half-Truth »

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By Christopher Sharrett. I hope that Steven Spielberg’s The Post ignites more interest in the standard media, at a time when blogs…

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Seasonal Pageantry from Philadelphia: Christmas Dreams »

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By Elias Savada. Christmas comes but once a year, but folks who like the holiday’s sweet joy and heartfelt message might take a…

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Home Sweet Homicide: Mom & Dad »

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By Elias Savada. Nicolas Cage, like Bruce Willis, seems to be trying everything and anything to reinvent his career. Or find a wider…

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New York Stage and Screen Marvel – Anne Bancroft, A Life by Douglass K. Daniel »

Turning Point (1977)

A Book Review by Louis J. Wasser. “I’m always lonely when I work…You’re going through a very private inner experience that requires personal…

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Utopia Achieved: Call Me by Your Name »

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By Christopher Sharrett. I’ve kept in mind Luca Guadagnino since his 2009 film I Am Love, which made such good use of…

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Beuys: Fame and the Pithy Statement »

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By John Duncan Talbird. “Everything under the sun is art,” Joseph Beuys famously – or fatuously, depending on your point of view –…

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Far From Complete – Ingrid Pitt, Queen of Horror: The Complete Career by Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter »

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A Book Review by Tony Williams. Upon reviewing Ingrid Pitt, Queen of Horror: The Complete Career (McFarland, 2018, revised from a 2010…

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Not Much Fun: Crazy Famous »

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By Elias Savada. Little did Elton John realize that the filmmakers behind Crazy Famous, a lame adventure comedy set in an Upstate New…

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Misapprehension of the Mainstream: Darkest Hour »

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By Dean Goldberg. Like many a baby-boomer it was television that brought the movies into my life and introduced me to the…

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Viva Jodorowsky!: The Holy Mountain by Allesandra Santos »

Holy feat

A Book Review by Tony Williams. “I hate Spielberg, because none of his movies are honest…He is fascist, because America is the…

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The Question of Intelligence: Mother! »

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By Christopher Sharrett. The release last season of Darren Aronovsky’s Mother! was the unfortunate occasion for another assessment of the American mind. The…

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The Dialectic of Historical Dictionaries: Peter Rollberg’s Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Cinema (Second Edition) »

Igor Cobileanski on the set of At the Bottom of the Sky (La limita de jos a cerului, 2013)

A Book Review by Brandon Konecny. A history of soviet cinema, encompassing the films of Russia as well as the non-Russian former…

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The Kids Are Alright: Miss Kiet’s Children »

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By Jeremy Carr. Young Haya is having a rough time. At the beginning of the documentary Miss Kiet’s Children, this precocious primary school…

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Swimming in Poetry: The Shape of Water »


By Elias Savada. When Guillermo del Toro makes a film, people take notice. For me, these are delicious, often unsettling – and sensitive…

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Various Industries Post-Independence: New African Cinema by Valérie K. Orlando »

Le silence de la forêt (The Forest; Bassek Ba Kobhio and Didier Ouenangare, 2003)

A Book Review by Cecilia A. Zoppelletto. Charting the recent film industry of an entire continent is an unimaginable task and, even…

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A Stilted, Flat Wonder Wheel »

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By Elias Savada. Woody Allen has gone dumpster diving. His new film, Wonder Wheel, is anything but wondrous. In fact, it stinks. The…

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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) »

Piano Feat

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

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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 »


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 »


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 »


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) »

Ingrid Featured

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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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 03

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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Call Me Feat

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

By David Greven. An exchange I had with an older, straight, white academic in Film Studies serves as an instructive example of a particular phenomenon that I will call the…

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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 when Janus Films screened it theatrically in select…

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

A Book Review Essay by Jeremy Carr. Alexia Kannas’ Deep Red (Columbia University Press, 2017), her contribution to the Wallflower Press Cultographies series, in which she takes a deep dive into…

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Get Out

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

By André Seewood. Every weekend numerous websites inform us of the short term box office grosses of various films like Star Wars: The Last Jedi which itself has raked in a…

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As Long As They're Happy (1955)

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

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Captain Hornsby: “What an extraordinary fellow!” Colonel Thompson: “Well, he’s an American.”  – Too Late the Hero (Robert Aldrich, 1970) This book, which began life…

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Bronson Feat

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

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. If Dr. Johnson had James Bosworth as his chronicler in the inimitable The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791), so the departed star Charles…

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Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

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

A Book Review Essay by John Duncan Talbird. There are snowy peaks all around, majestic crests, and the mountains tower like Holy Cathedrals. Very clear, icy, silent air, frost lying on…

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