Columns > Film

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...


Monday, October 29 2012

Did the Master of Suspense Make the Best Movies of All Time?

There was a time when Alfred Hitchcock was considered a mere populist entertainer. Like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and others before him, his early work didn’t click with intellectual minds -- they found nothing to praise in his lurid stories of murder, mystery and shocks.


Sunday, October 28 2012

The Last Witch Hunt: The Legacy of the West Memphis Three

Teenage outcasts often feel like the world is against them; in 1994, three adolescents in West Memphis, Arkansas, experienced proof that it actually was. Now, despite being freed after 18 years of wrongful imprisonment, the battle of the West Memphis Three is not concluded.


Thursday, October 25 2012

Halloween Movie Night: Do You Want to Be Mildly Freaked Out or Seriously Traumatized?

Choosing the right movie can spell the difference between an evening of fun thrills and a night of seriously bad dreams.


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.


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.


Thursday, October 4 2012

The Non-Bonds: James Bond’s Bitter, Decades-Long Battle… with James Bond

While the James Bond film franchise remains one of the most acclaimed, successful, recognizable and marketable movie series in history, there was a time when the mighty Mister Bond had some stiff competition at the box office: himself.


//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.

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