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Thursday, January 31 2013

The Best DVDs and Blu-rays of 2012

From classics to contemporary television, the typical titles and the surprising outsider choices, the year in home video was just as divisive, and delightful, as the rest of our meaningful media.


Sunday, August 21 2011

The 100 Essential Directors Part 7: Kenji Mizoguchi to Satyajit Ray

Pushing boundaries seems to be the thread that ties the directors of our seventh day together. From Japanese innovators to Italian iconclasts and Polish provocateurs, the directors that fall between Kenji Mizoguchi and the man who was perhaps India's greatest visual storyteller, Satyajit Ray, all push the form in incredible, surprising ways.


Tuesday, January 11 2011

The Best Films of 2010

Among this year's winners include a fake documentary, a comedy about Jihad, a vampire story NOT dealing with tacky tween romance, a haunting hillbilly noir, and an elegant tale about clones. Not necessarily the usual cinematic suspects.


Sunday, October 12 2008

Cinema Qua Non - Indispensable DVDs: Part 1

Day One - A trip back to the classic days of studio system Hollywood, complete with great musicals, amazing adventure yarns, and a couple of post-modern freak outs, just to keep things controversial and lively.


Thursday, February 21 2008

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, Jake

Chinatown remains a stalwart of '70s cinema. The uninspired follow-up 16 years later reminds one that, sometimes, a masterpiece needs to simply be left alone.


Columns

Monday, May 12 2008

The Demise of Horror Culture?

While the horror classics of 1968 may have indeed revitalized the genre, few today are aware of these movies' impact on the canon...if they acknowledge them at all.


Reviews

Friday, July 11 2014

On Roman Polanski and the Psychosexual Power in 'Venus in Fur'

Polanski's movies tend to be even-handed in their treatment of the sexes, at least in that both male and female characters can be conniving and power-mad.


Wednesday, March 19 2014

'Tess' Is One of the Most Gorgeous Love Songs to Loss Ever Filmed

Tess is the rare film that feels like a painting come to life, and just like a painting, allows us to see precisely what we wish to see.


Thursday, April 4 2013

The Rural Heartbreak and Victorian Gender Politics of 'Tess'

In addition to being a hymn to doomed romance, Tess is an unflinching examination of the unpleasant mores of a resolutely sexist and thoroughly patriarchal Victorian society, when women were viewed at best as subservient, and at worst as male possessions, prone to the whims of the disrespectful.


Thursday, November 29 2012

Innocent Catholic Wife Unwittingly Used as Satan-Incubator! 'Rosemary's Baby'

As scary as the film is, it's also a black comedy -- pitch black, with sinister bits of humor throughout.


Thursday, April 5 2012

'Chinatown' Begins as an Archetypal Private Detective Story; It Ends as a Definitive One

Along with Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye, Chinatown was part of a mini-reinvention of the private eye subgenre, filtering '40s film-noir classicism through the cynicism and complexity of '70s auteur cinema.


Blogs

Friday, August 26 2011

So Polanski: 'Cul-de-sac'

For the famed filmmaker, this cul-de-sac is no dead end.


Friday, July 30 2010

Apparently, Polanski's Problems Aren't Just Off Screen: The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer limps along when it should really crackle, stumbling over aspects of its story that a bit of better plotting would probably remedy.


Friday, March 5 2010

'Ghost' is Minor Polanski at Best

Abandon hope all ye who enter here for you will not be seeing an unheralded masterpiece by one of film's final auteurs. While his name


Friday, March 5 2010

'Ghost Writer': The Futility of Good Intentions

I'd heard an old LA story, about a vice squad officer on duty in Chinatown. He'd told his partner that the best thing to do


Thursday, March 4 2010

Roman Polanski's 'Ghost Writer': Two Viewpoints

As it slowly rolls out across the nation, PopMatters' film blog, Short Ends and Leader, has two competing reviews of Roman Polanski's latest, The Ghost


Piling on Polanski: Wanted, Desired, and Arrested (Short Ends and Leader) [29.Sep.09]

News

Tuesday, July 8 2014

Roman Polanski Knows the Ropes in ‘Venus in Fur’

“Venus in Fur,” a whip-smart dissection of gender politics via some teasing S&M, is arch. So arch in fact that it is surprising it


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