CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 29 Jan / 12 Feb]

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Friday, Jan 23, 2015
Ralph Fiennes holds civilization together with little more than his impeccable manners and mustache in Wes Anderson’s absurdist dollhouse of a tragicomedy.

Wes Anderson isn’t our greatest living filmmaker; his style is too narrowly defined for such a grand title. We tend to think of our greatest directors as both having a signature style but also being flexible enough to tackle many styles: Howard Hawks could move from urbane comedies to Westerns and epics, Martin Scorsese from urban grit to musicals and children’s’ fantasias, and so on. By contrast Anderson has one style, and each of his films simply refine it. All those twee little trinkets and fussy outfits could drive you mad, were one to watch too many in a row. But as perfectly Andersonian a spectacle as The Grand Budapest Hotel is, it also expands his reach in surprising ways. Being one of the year’s most unique spectacles, it’s also the first Anderson film made up of tragedy as much as it is comedy.

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Thursday, Jan 22, 2015
Robert Altman's '70s noir is a terrific, sad, and mischievous movie.

It’s 3 AM, and Marlowe’s sleeping with the lights on, fully dressed. He’s also forgotten to feed his cat, who jumps on him in remonstrance. We don’t know if he’s hung over or what, but Marlowe’s definitely going to seed. After trying and failing to feed the cat some cottage cheese with egg and salt, he finagles something morally questionable. He tries to fool the cat by substituting another brand in the old brand of cat food. Finding this a breach of contract, the cat dumps him, splits the scene, slips out the back. There are 50 ways to leave your owner.

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Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015
Because of its unjustified snubbing, Selma and the artists involve now face an uphill battle in the movie industry they never should have to face.

Over the last few days, ever since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its nominations for the 2014/15 Oscars, there’s been a groundswell of criticism over what many in the press are calling “the whitest” pool of candidates since the mid ‘90s. The lack of diversity, especially in the main categories (Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Actress, Director, and Screenwriting) has the La-Z-Boy pundits up in arms, with the lack of respect for Paramount’s Civil Rights epic, Selma, front and center.

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Tuesday, Jan 20, 2015
Over the next 12 months, we will be bombarded with all manner of proposed cinematic spectacle. Here are the 20 films we are most looking forward to.

While the stars are brushing off their formal wear and brushing up on their acceptance speeches, we bid a fond farewell to 2014… and almost immediately focus on the films that will have us giddy with anticipation between now, the dog days of cinema, and December, when we’ll play “What’s the Best?” all over again. There are literally hundreds of offerings up for grabs, from unknown works of independent art to big, brawny, wannabe blockbusters. Each one hopes to tap into that tricky well of public appreciation. Some will succeed in billion dollar designs; others will open and never be heard from again.

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Monday, Jan 19, 2015
by Steve Leftridge and Steve Pick
Starting today at PopMatters, "Double Take" does for film what "Counterbalance" does for music. Film geeks Steve Leftridge and Steve Pick regularly examine the "500 Greatest Films Ever Made".

The pain in hell has two sides: The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart. For Double Take No. 1, we go into Scorsese’s urban Inferno. Right where you breathe.

Leftridge: So, Mr. Pick, you and I have agreed to watch and discuss the 500 Greatest Films Ever Made. And we’re kicking off the whole shebang, thanks to our big randomizer, with a consideration of Martin Scorsese’s 1973 film Mean Streets, the director’s second feature and one that helped establish several stylistic and thematic elements that would go on to define the Scorsese brand for many years to come: a gritty urban setting, violence, Catholic guilt, noirish realism, racial tension, rock and roll, Robert De Niro, etc. Finding its place in the overall film canon, Mean Streets is a film that enjoys nearly universal admiration among the critical community, or at least it did when it first appeared, but it has, I’ve found, become fairly polarizing among those who watch it for the first time today. I’ll put it to you: As someone revisiting the film after a few years, how do you think it holds up?

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