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Chris Barsanti
Image: Chris Barsanti

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


Thursday, December 18 2014

The Bright Knight Rises: 'Batman: The Complete Television Series'

The 1966 live-action series still mesmerizes today as a deft Pop Art confectionary satire on '50s squares that wanted its viewers to have their cake and eat it too.

Friday, November 28 2014

'Horrible Bosses 2' Goes for the Laughs, Not the Anger

The sequel skips the original’s workers' fury and lets its comedy all-star trio play to their strengths, with mixed results.

Monday, November 24 2014

DOC NYC 2014: ‘Enquiring Minds’ + ‘The Last Impresario’

Two documentaries about surprising success stories: the men behind the National Enquirer and Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Tuesday, November 18 2014

DOC NYC 2014: ‘The Hand That Feeds’ + ‘Little White Lie’

Workers at a Manhattan deli fight for their most basic rights, and a woman who believed herself to be Jewish discovers a shocking truth about her paternity.

Monday, November 17 2014

DOC NYC 2014: 'Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere' + 'A Murder in the Park'

A lyrically surreal investigation into the mysterious disappearance of a professor in Nebraska and an exposé on the case an innocent man that might have been a huge mistake.

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, September 9 2014

The Top 5 Sci-Fi Movies That Never Were

No, David Cronenberg’s Total Recall never made it to the screen. And we are all the poorer for it.

Wednesday, August 6 2014

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Out-Whedons ‘The Avengers’

What makes James Gunn's scruffier and un-spandex'd band of reluctant heroes so appealing is how they approximate the good-hearted rogues on the raggedy charm of space westerns like Whedon’s own "Firefly".

Friday, July 25 2014

You Barely Need One Percent of Your Brain to Appreciate 'Lucy'

If you surgically grafted a snippet of Flowers for Algernon and a low-end documentary about the human brain onto a Cliff Notes summary of La Femme Nikita, the result might approach the lazy schizophrenia of Luc Besson's latest fembot warrior fantasy.

Thursday, June 19 2014

The 2009 Book that Foretold the (Possible) Collapse of Post-American Iraq

Thomas Ricks's 2009 book The Gamble predicted that the 'surge' was far from the end of the Iraq War.

Tuesday, June 3 2014

Joe Strummer: Punk-Rock Shapeshifter

Joe Strummer cycled through a wardrobe's worth of personas in his career; but it never changed his fundamental authenticity or optimism.

The Stultifying Speeches of ‘The Monuments Men’ (Short Ends and Leader) [11.Feb.14]
An Absence of Evidence: 'The Unknown Known' (Short Ends and Leader) [27.Nov.13]
‘Gravity’: You’re All Alone (Short Ends and Leader) [4.Oct.13]
‘Oblivion’ Scavenges for Ideas (Short Ends and Leader) [2.Aug.13]
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) [5.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) [24.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) [13.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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