Columns > DVDs

Thursday, October 18 2012

Dignity and Physical Drama in the Films of John-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

La Promesse and Rosetta treat seriously the ambitions and spirits of society’s most overlooked individuals, lest they be left by the wayside.


Wednesday, October 17 2012

Would No More ‘Have I Got News for You’ Be Good News?

BBC's satirical news show has taken viewers on a long and bumpy ride. Now in its 44th series, has it reached the end of the road?


Tuesday, October 16 2012

How to Be a Film Snob: On ‘High’ (as in Getting) Culture

I was expecting Frederick Wiseman's cinema verite masterpiece for this column. Imagine my surprise when I was served up John Stalberg Jr.'s sophomoric High School, instead.


Sunday, October 7 2012

Lament of the Middle Aged Punk

Staring at the churning whirlpool of fists and flannels revolving around Keith Morris as he spat out the anthems of my youth, I wonder why, despite my advancing middle age, I never managed to give up on punk rock.


Thursday, September 6 2012

A Light-Hearted Romp through John Hustonian Darkness

John Huston understands the crushing success of failure. In the rarely seen films Sinful Davey and Fat City, he observes the self-destructive behaviors and interactions of stunned and blasted losers as closely as Jane Austen would.


Thursday, August 30 2012

Why Does Everyone Love Comedian Sean Lock?

Before Sean Lock became a comedian, he worked as a labourer on building sites, an office worker for the Department of Health and Social Security, and a toilet cleaner and goat herder in France. No wonder he's got an opinion on everything.


Wednesday, August 8 2012

The Three Stooges’ Chaotic Neutrality in ‘I Can Hardly Wait’

I Can Hardly Wait stretches the Three Stooges' "chaotic neutral" alignment into an uncomfortable fever dream of pointless violence with an undertone of sadistic cruelty. A failed Stoogesperiment in literary naturalism? or just a bad day?


Wednesday, August 1 2012

‘American Pop’... Matters: Ron Thompson, the Illustrated Man Unsung

More than just a rock performance piece, American Pop is an engrossing drama with a pathos that burns through the animation cells in certain scenes even to this day.


Thursday, July 26 2012

Tears in Rain: ‘Blade Runner’ and Philip K. Dick’s Legacy in Film

Thirty years after the release of Blade Runner, with a remake of Total Recall on the horizon, the work of Philip K. Dick continues to find its way into our cinemas and minds. How did the visions of a paranoid loner become the most relevant science fiction of our time?


Monday, July 9 2012

Stone Me, What a Life: Tony Hancock’s Lasting Impact on Comedy

Tony Hancock played an Every Man with the lovable charm and the infuriating selfishness of a know-nothing know-it-all. Like his character, most of us want what we don't have and the rest of the world, we believe, is responsible for our dissatisfaction.


Sunday, July 1 2012

Ruining Their Reputations: Pre-Code Movies Have a Naughty Reputation That’s Not Always Deserved

Not every pre-Code film is a Scarface or Baby Face; some are only mediocre faces.


Sunday, June 24 2012

What It Means to Be Human: ‘Never Let Me Go’’

The film, Never Let Me Go, follows the book relatively well, although it eliminates some of the story, and isn't able to mirror the novel's careful and timed revelations about the mystery of Hailsham's students.


Sunday, May 13 2012

Systemic and Subjective: The Violence of ‘The International’ and the Global Financial Order

The weapons deals in The International and the back-door negotiations between corporate lobbies and Congress are two sides of the same coin; both use overwhelming systemic violence to further their ends.


Monday, May 7 2012

Jerks Are My Heroes, Thanks to ‘Jerks’ Like Steve Martin

My folks are probably still kicking themselves for taking a seven-year-old to see Steve Martin’s profane and ridiculous first film, The Jerk, because that was the day I gave up on strong, upstanding heroes and decided that I wanted to be like Navin Johnson.


Thursday, May 3 2012

In Defense of David Simon and the Legacy of ‘The Wire’

In light of David Simon's recent comments on its intent to 'stir actual shit', we revisit how important The Wire should be.


Wednesday, April 25 2012

‘Lord of the Flies’ Still Reigns

Fear and brutality inherent in the human condition and the drive to survive are themes that have never gone out of fashion. The stakes get even higher when those involved are children, and that's obviously a big seller.


Tuesday, April 24 2012

For Your Smoking Pleasure

Love and hate. Success and failure. Life and death. Cigarettes. You could get addicted to Brian Dooley's The Smoking Room.


Sunday, March 25 2012

The Cost of Success: When Lives Intersect With Fame

The Swell Season is one of the most intimate fly-on-the-wall peeks at the effects of stardom on two people at two very different points in their lives. It’s arguably the most accomplished music documentary of its kind since D.A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back.


Thursday, March 8 2012

Agitprop to Occupy My Time: ‘In Time’ for the Revolution

If fiction and reality could merge, the hero of the film In Time would benefit from listening to Real Time with Bill Maher, who said to the Occupy movement, "When you occupy anything for too long people do get pissed off."


Wednesday, March 7 2012

Identity and Desire: The Search for Emotional Realism in Cinema

The manifestation of jealousy and desire is subtle. It develops over time, and if set off, the act of aggression may just as likely be one of attachment and ardor.


//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

READ the article