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by Michael Barrett

3 Feb 2016

“I live, therefore I make films. I make films, therefore I live.” So sings the ragged, unmusical, heavily Lithuanian accented Jonas Mekas—one of the prime movers of American avant-garde cinema in the second half of the 20th Century—as he accompanies himself with an accordion on the soundtrack of Walden (1969): his three-hour “diary film”. Later he says, “They tell me I should be searching, but I just celebrate what I see.” Still later: “The images go, no tragedy, no drama, no suspense, just images for myself and a few others”; and he adds that cinema is light, movement, the sun, the heart beating.

This monument to the world around him—mainly New York in the ‘60s—is in one sense as accessible as any home movie: clips of weddings, the park, friends, children, street activities. True, his friends are luminaries of avant-garde film, such as Stan Brakhage and Shirley Clarke, and along the way we glimpse even more famous guests: Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, John Lennon and Yoko Ono at their Bed-In.

by Michael Barrett

22 Jan 2016

Many people are nostalgic for ‘70s cinema, even those who didn’t live through it the first time. Contrary to popular wisdom, every ‘70s movie isn’t a classic, but some ‘70s movies are more ‘70s than others. It’s something about the sweat, the grain, the cynical tone, the sense of exploring new narrative by-ways and styles for kicks, or with the idea that this might somehow be important.

Then, of course, you have the lapels, the aftershave, the sideburns, and the discovery of nudity. Here’s a handy guide to a baker’s dozen of the increasing flood of Blu-ray releases from that era.

by Michael Barrett

22 Jan 2016

Louis Feuillade’s Fantômas is a landmark silent epic about the adventures of a diabolical criminal played by René Navarre. This shadowy yet elegant figure, a master of disguise, engages in an endless game of cat and mouse with a police inspector (Edmund Bréon) who can never catch him. When Kino released the five-film serial on DVD in 2010,

PopMatters

reviewed it here with analysis so insightful and informative that we can add nothing to it except our praise of the reviewer’s brilliance.

This new Blu-ray upgrade contains exactly the same program, including the critical commentary, the two excellent bonus shorts and the profile of Feuillade’s career. The only new feature is a gallery of the stylish, colorful, sometimes gory covers of the Fantomas novels in various editions. It stands to reason that people who haven’t seen the previous edition should benefit from the Blu-ray, but will those who already own the DVD derive anything in particular from this reissue?

by Steve Leftridge and Steve Pick

6 Jan 2016

Steve Pick: What would happen if babies stopped being born, and the population of the world would be shrinking every day? Would there be chaos? Would nations lose all control, and countless interest groups battle over resources until the only civilized place on Earth would be England? By civilized, I mean a place where all non-native people would be treated worse than Donald Trump’s most horrific dreams?

Would the good people of England fetishize the youngest person in the world, sobbing uncontrollably when he is killed because of a refusal to live up to the image people have of him as some sort of special being? What if one of the outside people turned up pregnant?

by Michael Barrett

5 Jan 2016

“Dark fairy tale-ish with an element of grotesquery and the pathological” is how one of the Quays, American twin brothers who live and work in London, describes their aesthetic in a commentary for This Unnameable Little Broom. We can’t be sure if it’s Stephen or Timothy talking, but it doesn’t matter in this case. That film is loosely inspired by an incident in the ancient epic of Gilgamesh, if you can imagine Gilgamesh as a Punch-like figure on a tricycle who wheels around a box-like room and cuts the wings off a weird flying creature.

It’s one of 16 titles in The Quay Brothers: Collected Short Films, a Blu-ray upgrade of the 2007 two-disc DVD Phantom Museums, with four new films added. Fans shouldn’t discard that DVD, however, for the contents of Disc 2 mostly aren’t included on the new Blu-ray.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Supernatural: Season 11, Episode 12 - "Don't You Forget About Me"

// Channel Surfing

"In another stand-alone episode, there's a lot of teen drama and some surprises, but not much potential.

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