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Chris Barsanti
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Chris Barsanti is an habitual scrivener on books and film for the lucky readers of PopMatters, Film Journal International, Film Racket, and Publishers Weekly, and has also been published in The Chicago Tribune, The Millions, The Barnes and Noble Review, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and New York Film Critics Online. His books include Filmology: A Movie-a-Day Guide to the Movies You Need to Know, the Eyes Wide Open annual film guide series, and The Sci-Fi Movie Guide: The Universe of Film from ‘Alien’ to ‘Zardoz’. His writings can be found here.


Sunday, January 13 2013

Films Facing Reality in 2012

The only movie of 2012 that makes a strong case for America being a cohesive social body with moral purpose binding it together is Lincoln. For those keeping track, that film is set 147 years ago.

Wednesday, August 22 2012

What 'True Romance' Did for Tony Scott and Hollywood

Tony Scott’s take on this violently funny genre mishmash gave his career new life, and also transmitted Quentin Tarantino’s vision more credibly than the screenwriter and then-novice director could have done himself.

Sunday, January 15 2012

Movies 2011: American Gothic

While comic-book apocalypses ripped across US multiplexes, some smaller films of 2011 envisioned an icier, more disruptive darkness at the heart of the American family.

Wednesday, January 5 2011

It Was a Very Good Year for Film

Now that the first decade of the new millennium is done with, despite what the snarking class might say, the state of film is very healthy indeed -- even considering atrocities like Sex and the City 2.

Monday, August 10 2009

Chronicling Catastrophe: Dave Eggers and the American Nonfiction Novel

When faced with catastrophe, from wars to natural disasters, the nonfiction novel is sometimes the only medium that can do justice to the chaos.


Sunday, March 9 2014

The Drowning Pool: When Great Writers Are Drunks

Berryman, Carver, Cheever, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Williams; none could tend the flame of their talent with anything but liquor and devastation.

Thursday, January 16 2014

A Lot of Good Books Published in 2013 Kept Me Awake at Night

The year 2013 saw a rash of big new books published, from the likes of Stephen King, Malcolm Gladwell, and David Sedaris; none of whom made this list.

Tuesday, February 19 2013

‘Going Clear’: Lawyers, Guns, Money & Scientology

Lawrence Wright’s devastating, impeccably researched history of Scientology’s “Prison of Belief” vividly illustrates the ability of this “Church” to successfully prey upon nearly every dark strain in the modern American psyche, from celebrity-worship to ego-mania and the lust for power and money.

Wednesday, October 10 2012

Woe is Us: ‘What’s the Matter with White People?’

Salon editor Joan Walsh’s half-brilliant and half-confused memoir / manifesto posits that many white Americans have historically taken out their frustration over declining opportunities on minorities … and Democrats.

Wednesday, November 3 2010

President Obama and The Long Fade

Two new books on the Obama presidency make clear that the dream, such as it was, is over -- though not necessarily in the way you'd think. Whether or not something has actually died, the obituary has already been written for Barack Obama's promise of progressive reform


Sunday, April 20 2014

'Shotgun Lovesongs' is One Big Nostalgic Ballad

Nickolas Butler’s golden-toned Bon Iver-inspired novel about four friends in a small Wisconsin town has gorgeous intent, but too little purpose.

Thursday, March 27 2014

'Noah' and One Leaky Ark

Russell Crowe’s embodiment of Noah’s tempestuous righteousness nearly carries Darren Aronofsky’s muddled Biblical parable of man-made catastrophe.

Monday, March 24 2014

'Bad Words' Is Bad, All Right

Jason Bateman’s directorial debut about a misanthropic adult who disrupts a school spelling championship benefits from his clockwork comic timing, but it mistakes a potty mouth for subversive humor.

Thursday, March 20 2014

Is Humankind the New Planet and Species-Destroying Asteroid?

After fighting so long as a Cassandra of the coming ecological catastrophe, Elizabeth Kolbert's latest, The Sixth Extinction, embraces the long view of disaster.

Wednesday, February 26 2014

Tony Leung's 'The Grandmaster' Is Beautifully Alone

Wong Kar Wai’s overkill kung fu epic about Bruce Lee’s teacher doesn’t cohere even as well as his more esoteric work, but its assembled shards make for a brooding, sumptuous experience.

Avatar [17.Dec.09]
A Serious Man [10.Dec.09]
Serious Moonlight [10.Dec.09]
The Last Station [8.Dec.09]
Endgame [5.Nov.09]
9 [8.Sep.09]
Grey Gardens [19.Apr.09]
Brothers by Yu Hua [22.Feb.09]
Bonnie and Clyde [30.Apr.08]


Tuesday, February 11 2014

The Stultifying Speeches of ‘The Monuments Men’

Theoretically an adventure film about saving the culture of the Western World from rampaging Nazi philistines, George Clooney's first serious misstep as a director is somehow both painfully serious and trite.

Wednesday, November 27 2013

An Absence of Evidence: 'The Unknown Known'

If there’s anybody who’s untroubled by the invasion of Iraq, it’s Donald Rumsfeld. Just ask him.

Friday, October 4 2013

‘Gravity’: You’re All Alone

By taking the simple leap between a character’s personal isolation and the equally terrifying physical isolation of space, Alfonso Cuaron creates a vertiginous masterpiece.

Friday, August 23 2013

‘The Great Gatsby’ Proves That Baz Luhrmann is Our Disco Michael Bay

One of the year’s worst films, Luhrmann’s trashy, overhyped, faux- Jazz Age spectacle is so shallow as to be creatively nonexistent.

Friday, August 2 2013

‘Oblivion’ Scavenges for Ideas

This is beautifully designed but derivative science fiction that suffers more than it benefits from Tom Cruise’s turbo-charged energy.

Crime Story: Dennis Farina (1944-2013) (Short Ends and Leader) [29.Jul.13]
Dad Against the Apocalypse in ‘Pacific Rim’ (Short Ends and Leader) [12.Jul.13]
The Academy Awards Are Decadent and Depraved (Short Ends and Leader) [26.Feb.13]
Getting on With It in ’56 Up’ (Short Ends and Leader) [23.Jan.13]
A ‘Hobbit’ That Overstays Its Welcome (Short Ends and Leader) [13.Dec.12]
The '2016' "Snub" (Short Ends and Leader) [6.Dec.12]
Icons at War in ‘Skyfall’ (Short Ends and Leader) [16.Nov.12]
In ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Money Matters (Short Ends and Leader) [10.Aug.12]
‘Take This Waltz’: The Rites of Summer (Short Ends and Leader) [29.Jun.12]
The 5 Greatest Martin Scorsese Oddities (Short Ends and Leader) [6.Mar.12]
Five Oscars the Academy Got Wrong (Short Ends and Leader) [1.Mar.12]
The Bad News Statisticians: 'Moneyball' (Short Ends and Leader) [23.Sep.11]
The Not-Quite Lost Art of the Movie Poster (Short Ends and Leader) [6.Apr.11]
'Sucker Punch'; The Zack Snyder Experience (Short Ends and Leader) [25.Mar.11]
'The Fighter', Quietly Brawling (Short Ends and Leader) [17.Dec.10]
ESPN Films 30 for 30 Gift Set Collection, Volume 1 (Consuming Consumables) [14.Dec.10]
The Pacific (HBO Miniseries) (Consuming Consumables) [13.Dec.10]
Encyclopedia of the Exquisite (Consuming Consumables) [9.Dec.10]
Silverdocs Documentary Festival 2010: 'Regretters' (Notes from the Road) [28.Jun.10]
The A-Team: Flying Tanks and Jolly Rangers (Short Ends and Leader) [11.Jun.10]
Alice in Wonderland: The Triumph of Reason (Short Ends and Leader) [4.Mar.10]
Shutter Island: In a Lonely Place (Short Ends and Leader) [18.Feb.10]
Blue World: James Cameron’s 'Avatar' (Short Ends and Leader) [17.Dec.09]
Fables the Deluxe Edition: Book One (Consuming Consumables) [1.Dec.09]
We Live in Public: Post-Reality TV (Short Ends and Leader) [29.Aug.09]
Inglourious Basterds: The Trouble with Tarantino (Short Ends and Leader) [20.Aug.09]
Harry Potter, Forever! (Short Ends and Leader) [15.Jul.09]
Redemption of a Jerk (Re:Print) [6.Jul.09]
Away We Go: Home Sweet Wherever (Short Ends and Leader) [4.Jun.09]
The Sucker King (Re:Print) [28.May.09]
Outrage Review Censored (Short Ends and Leader) [18.May.09]
A Shortage of Villainy (Short Ends and Leader) [7.May.09]
The Beats: A Graphic History (Re:Print) [15.Apr.09]
Adventureland: Bastards of Young (Short Ends and Leader) [8.Apr.09]
Watchmen (Consuming Consumables) [13.Dec.08]
Willie & Joe: The WWII Years (Consuming Consumables) [4.Dec.08]
WALL-E: 3-Disc Special Edition (Consuming Consumables) [30.Nov.08]
The Graphic Report: Summer Edition (Re:Print) [11.Aug.08]
Consumer Apocalypse: WALL-E (Short Ends and Leader) [29.Jun.08]
Late Delivery: Take Out (2004) (Short Ends and Leader) [28.Jun.08]
HBO: The Movie (Short Ends and Leader) [29.May.08]
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Short Ends and Leader) [21.May.08]
The Will Eisner Edition (Re:Print) [22.Jan.08]
Mexican Radio (Re:Print) [10.Jan.08]
The Graphic Edition (Re:Print) [6.Jan.08]
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan [$13.95] (Consuming Consumables) [28.Nov.07]
The Road by Cormac McCarthy [$14.95] (Consuming Consumables) [18.Nov.07]
National Book Awards (Re:Print) [16.Nov.07]
Truth in Comics: After the Deluge (Re:Print) [3.Nov.07]
Bookmarks: The Book of Vices (Re:Print) [28.Sep.07]
We Are (Somewhat) Amused (Re:Print) [30.Aug.07]
Winning the Right War (Re:Print) [23.Aug.07]
The World Without Us (Re:Print) [7.Aug.07]
Getting Biblical (Re:Print) [30.Jul.07]
Soon-Forgotten Harry (Re:Print) [23.Jul.07]
Vampire Love Triangle (Re:Print) [18.Jul.07]
The next Potter? (Re:Print) [16.Jul.07]
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