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by Evan Sawdey and Brice Ezell

18 May 2015

Face/Off (1997, dir. John Woo)

Theoretically, if a work of art is bad, we will view or listen to it only once and never return to it again; after all, if it is truly bad, why would anyone want to spend additional time with it? Yet dozens of films fall under the umbrella of “so-bad-it’s-good”, where a film’s badness becomes the very reason why we enjoy it. From the terrible direction, performances, and editing of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room to the apocalyptic nonsense of Southland Tales, so-bad-it’s-good cinema offers moviegoers the chance to have fun at the expense of itself.

by Brice Ezell

14 May 2015

In a fresh spin on the narrative of Jesus’ temptation in the desert—famously staged in films such as Martin Scorsese‘s The Last Temptation of Christ—director Rodrigo García adds an additional dimension to the tale through a narrative involving Jesus leaving the desert. As he does, he encounters the Devil, with whom he grapples over a situation involving a family in crisis.

The plot details have not been made widely available beyond the description above, but the one thing that is known is that Ewan McGregor is taking on a daring double role as both Jesus and the Devil, undoubtedly one of his most creative steps as an actor yet. McGregor is joined by a small cast, including Tye Sheridan, Susan Gray, Ciarán Hinds, and Ayelet Zurer.

by Brice Ezell

11 May 2015

Although the world of documentary filmmaking no doubt felt a major tremor of loss when director Albert Maysles passed away in Manhattan earlier this year, there remains one final film to add to his considerable legacy. In Transit, which saw its debut screenings in mid-April at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, tells the stories of passengers on board Amtrak’s Empire Builder train, which is the busiest long-distance train in the United States. The film represents a unique and final swan song to Maysles’ “direct filmmaking” style, which he used to great effect in essential documentary pictures such as Salesman and Grey Gardens.

by Brice Ezell

11 May 2015

The 2015 iteration of the Cannes Film Festival, held in France, will kick off on 13 May. The festival’s presiding jury, led by Joel and Ethan Coen, will also feature Rossy de Palma, Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller, Rokia Traoré, Guillermo del Toro, Xavier Dolan, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Films being shown at Cannes this year include Todd Haynes’ Carol (a Patricia Highsmith adaptation), Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees, and Gaspar Noé‘s controversial Love. (For more on said controversy, read here and, fair warning, it’s NSFW.)

For more on the festival and the extensive list of films screening, visit Cannes’ website at this link.

by Brice Ezell

7 May 2015

Over the course of eight seasons, Entourage, HBO’s program about a group of men from Queens trying to make it big in Hollywood, cemented itself as the most extravagant depiction of the “bro” ethos ever recorded. With a buddy-buddy atmosphere fueled by the hedonism so endemic to the City of Angels, the program gives off the vibe that fraternities likely use it as a holy text.

//Mixed media

That Ribbon of Highway: Sharon Jones Re-shapes Woody Guthrie's Song

// Sound Affects

"Sharon Jones and Woodie Guthrie knew: great songs belong to everybody.

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