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Thursday, February 14 2013

The Ethics of Control: ‘Paul Williams Still Alive’

Having experienced decades in the spotlight, Paul Williams, a reluctant subject, is a more powerful opponent than his director suspects.


Tuesday, February 12 2013

A Blackly Sardonic Telling of Abe Lincoln: ‘Crime Classics, The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln’

You think Steven Spielberg's Lincoln is compelling? Try upping the ante with Crime Classics: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.


Wednesday, February 6 2013

“The Road Goes Ever On and On” for New Zealand’s Cinematic Tourism

Red Carpet Tours bridges the worlds of filmmaking and fandom while ensuring that visitors to New Zealand find far more than Middle-earth landmarks.


Monday, February 4 2013

No Texas, No Chainsaw, No Massacre: The True Links in the Chain

With Texas Chainsaw 3D's release, the question of what the "True Story" (if any) really was, is catching the buzz, again.


Wednesday, January 30 2013

What James Bond Can’t Teach You About British Music History

If you want lessons in womanizing, dressing to the nines, or ordering martinis, James Bond is your man. If, however, you’re looking for a review of British music history over the last 50 years, the world’s favorite secret agent has no idea what he’s doing.


Monday, January 28 2013

What Is the Stereotypical ‘Real American?’

Picture such a creature in your mind and see how it compares to the one in mine: White. Well-fed. Armed. Christian. I’m seeing Boss Hogg in Bermuda shorts, Foghorn Leghorn in a business suit, Britney Spears in a monster truck.


Wednesday, January 23 2013

Violence Unchained

There’s a fine line between showing violence and fetishizing it. Have we crossed it?


Sunday, January 20 2013

No More Words Nowadays: ‘The Qatsi Trilogy’

The Qatsi films are artistic ways of raising perceptions in the Irwinian sense: to change the world, we first must know what the world has become by our doing.


Tuesday, January 15 2013

More Than Any Other New American Director, Francis Ford Coppola Reminds Me of Orson Welles

Lifted from over a 40-year period, the Francis Ford Coppola: 5-Film Collection showcases the director's flexibility under circumstances dire and ideal. It also confirms his auteurist consistency.


Wednesday, January 9 2013

Movie Time Travel and the New Nostalgia

The new nostalgia signals the ultimate rejection of millennial anxiety, postmodernism, irony and the future. It longs for a post-industrial, green world. Of course, that suggests a vague and painful longing for something that never was.


Monday, January 7 2013

2012: Another Year the World Should Have Ended

The end of the year is a time for festivities, joy... and naysayers to lament the end of cultural artifacts. The naysayers needn't fear. The world hasn't ended, again. It's just different, now.


Thursday, December 20 2012

What Happens When Humans Go a-Hobbiting?

More than 100 “hobbits” journeying from a half dozen countries to celebrate the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in the Middle of Middle-earth (aka Wellington, New Zealand). They developed a unique fan fellowship—and along the way, met Peter Jackson.


Friday, December 7 2012

Are You in a Film or in Reality? Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Weekend’ Will Have You Wondering

Criterion's splendid edition of Weekend gives insight into the mind of visionary director Jean-Luc Godard, who aimed at nothing less than challenging the dominant social and cinematic paradigms of his time.


Tuesday, November 20 2012

Building the Perfect Star Beast: The Antecedents of ‘Alien’

The impact of Alien is undeniable, and with Prometheus breathing new, terrifying and artistic life into the saga, Alien's legacy could go anywhere. However, Alien didn't spring, fully-formed onto movie screens as the near-perfect Star Beast that it is.


Monday, November 19 2012

Color Television: What Diversity Looks Like in America Today

The buzz word from the 2012 presidential election is "diversity". It's a good story. The look of the Obama crowd had both the structure and randomness of a Jackson Pollock painting. It was the ol' melting pot writ large.


Thursday, November 15 2012

A View Out: The Search for Identity in ‘Cléo from 5 to 7’

In the works of many New Wave auteurs, a sense of alienation often leads to disillusionment. Unlike the pessimism of many of her contemporaries, Agnes Varda views alienation as a quest for identity, one that offers hope and freedom, no matter the uncertainties.


Tuesday, November 13 2012

Takin’ It Easy for Us Sinners: The Dude and Jesus Christ

Even a cursory look at The Big Lebowski and the Gospel reveals that Jesus of Nazareth was an original Dude and Lebowski of Los Angeles is, in his own way, a practitioner of Jesus’ way and life.


Sunday, November 11 2012

The Tragedy of the Family Game in ‘The Road to Perdition’

Sam Mendes’ virtuoso control behind the camera mesmerizes and hypnotizes, his depiction of Depression-era America a stasis of tragedy, each death inevitable but slow to ferment.


Thursday, November 8 2012

The Pragmatic Anarchy of the Long Take

The Long Take can at once be subtle enough to be missed by the audience and astounding enough to entrance that same audience... depending on who is paying attention.


Tuesday, October 30 2012

‘Something Wicked this Way Comes’ Is Both Creepy and Confused

Is Ray Bradbury's classic a horror film? Well, not exactly. Is it a family film? Nah, it has too many genuine scares for the kiddies. Is it perfect for Halloween? Well, Mr. Dark is delightfully wicked...


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