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by Chris Barsanti

18 May 2015


A demolition derby of a chase scene occasionally interrupted by scraps of crackpot wit and Aussie slang-strangled dialogue, Mad Max: Fury Road burns through ammunition and fuel with abandon. You would think that the characters were video-game avatars possessed of endlessly replenishable digital supplies, not the starving and sickly remnants of humanity barely surviving in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Unlike many action films, though, where such profligacy is determined by need for trailer-ready action beats, here it’s central to the film’s story and message.

“Message?” you say. Yes, we are talking about the fourth film in George Miller’s pedal-to-the-medal post-apocalyptic series that started back in 1979 with Mad Max. A swift and effective revenge flick about a cop who goes rogue after a biker gang kills his family and disappears into the Outback after taking revenge, it was also a subtle piece of dystopian fiction. Miller never identified exactly why society was collapsing, but made clear that it all went back to a gas shortage; a more savage version of the one from earlier in the 1970s that reportedly saw law and order break down in remote parts of Australia.

by Bill Gibron

14 Apr 2015


It’s becoming a bit of a joke. The man hasn’t made a legitimate mainstream movie since 2001 (2006 if you count the digital experiment INLAND EMPIRE) and yet he remains one of the most highly regarded and beloved auteurs in all of film. His past efforts include masterworks such as Mulholland Dr., Lost Highway, Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet, The Elephant Man, and Eraserhead, and even his lesser efforts (Dune, The Straight Story, to some extent) radiate an artistic immediacy that is hard to shake.

by Bill Gibron

6 Apr 2015


With nearly $384 million in the bank and another four weeks that it can more or less dominate the box office, it’s clear that Universal’s Fast and Furious franchise is a monster hit—and it shows no signs of stopping. What once was a paltry post-modern attempt to merge underground street racing with a police procedural has now turned into an ever-increasing exercise in action genre excess.

The main characters have gone from outlaws to semi-good guys, given a pass by the powers that be in order to prove their superhero like mantle both behind the wheel and outside a vehicle, and the core narratives have shifted from speed to espionage.

by Bill Gibron

17 Feb 2015


This past weekend, as it slowly slinks past the $300 million mark at the box office and prepares to play (possible) spoiler to Boyhood and Birdman at this year’s Academy Awards, American Sniper remains one of the most talked about and controversial films of 2014.

Telling the supposedly true tale of America’s deadliest marksman, Chris Kyle (the film is based on his autobiography) and showing the hardship both abroad and at home for such men, director Clint Eastwood redeemed himself after the disastrous Jersey Boys to prove that, when it comes to mindless jingoism and fake babies, nobody does it better than the aging icon.

by Bill Gibron

21 Jan 2015


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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Kiasmos: 26 May 2015 - Rough Trade NYC (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Kiasmos is the exciting, dark and trippy electronic project from Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen.

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