Columns > Film

Monday, March 14 2011

‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ at 34: Still Thrilling After All These Years

What makes Close Encounters of the Third Kind stand out to this day is that it isn’t the usual UFO tale of “us vs them”, like Spielberg’s later remake of War of the Worlds; rather, it's very much a story about Earthlings.


Sunday, March 13 2011

‘I Am Number Four’: Vampires, Aliens and the Art of Movie Recycling

I Am Number Four, a PG-13 science-fiction-slash-teen-romance movie, is so faithful to the Twilight template that it could have been assembled by marketing software.


Sunday, February 13 2011

Punk Rock? It’s a Black, Jewish, Southern Thang

Punk is no vacuum, no airtight, sealed white music form. It's a repository of culture -- magnetized, manifold, and chock-full of merit – that was, and is, impacted by Jewish, black, and Southern experiences.


Thursday, February 10 2011

‘America Lost and Found: The BBS Story’: A Cinematic Open Road

America Lost and Found: The BBS Story leaves no doubt that BBS Productions was one of the most important players in a cinematic revolution. These seven films make a case for keeping the canvas wide and the road open.


Wednesday, February 9 2011

King Henry of Hollywood

Henry King's name isn't mentioned when critics start bringing up John Ford or Howard Hawks, and yet even his forgotten and little-seen works hold up better than many of his contemporaries.


Tuesday, February 8 2011

Raimi’s Last Hunt: A Brief Reappraisal of the ‘Spider-Man’ Trilogy

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy is like his Evil Dead trilogy: the first entry is self-conscious, the second is more of a remake than a sequel, and the third is so different from the first two that it almost qualifies as a different genre.


Monday, January 31 2011

Que Pasa, New York?

How do artists get their work done in other cities of the world? Where is it viable to live? It's probably silly to begin our investigation in New York. Just 30 years ago, New York was still opening its arms to the tired, poor, huddled masses of creatives. But now?


Sunday, January 23 2011

A is for Axe: The Filmic Butchering of ‘The Scarlet Letter’

As is often the case with classics, what could have been a brilliantly updated film adaptation of The Scarlet Letter was consumed by the Hollywood machine that instead spits out a shallow and action-packed romp with a glossed-over ending.


Tuesday, January 18 2011

Mighty Morphin’ Masterpiece: One Man’s Inexplicable Love for ‘Power Rangers: The Movie’

The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers TV series was after my time, and a passing glance at any given episode was enough to convince me that it was, well, 'stunted'. So why have I seen Power Rangers: the Movie five times?


Wednesday, January 5 2011

Suffragette City’s Best of 2010 Cinema

What’s black and white and blue all over? 2010’s finest films. Suffragette City investigates all of the major awards categories, offering up choices that are about as far a field from the Hollywood/Oscar PR machine as one can get!


Sunday, December 5 2010

I Am Become Undead: ‘Cronos’ by Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro evokes a sense of literary and filmic magic surrealism, one of the core traits of Latin American creative DNA, popularized by writers such Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who probe the painful politics that often prevail in the Latin world.


Monday, November 29 2010

The Devil Wears Spandex

It seems that Todd McFarlane designed Spawn’s cape to billow wildly just so that it would obscure Spawn’s feet, so that he wouldn’t have to draw them.


Thursday, November 18 2010

Politicking with ‘Made in Dagenham’‘s Miranda Richardson

Miranda Richardson discusses this season's premiere feminism-themed film about the real-life strike at the UK Ford plant that challenged and changed British laws on equal pay. Just how far have we come since 1968 in the fight for gender equality in the workplace?


Sunday, November 14 2010

Tearjerkers, Weepies, Three-hanky Pictures, Sudsers & Other Such ‘Balloon Juice’

Men's movies show us a fantasy of the man we'd like to be (Tarzan or James Bond or Sam Spade), while women's movies are transmogrified dreams of women's real lives.


Thursday, November 4 2010

Take Your Daughter to Work Day: A Father Reflects on Years of Force-feeding Pop Culture to His Child

How will my daughter feel when her friends greet her in 2030 with an enthusiastic shout-out to Hannah Montana or SpongeBob SquarePants and she can only remember Bebop, Rocksteady, the Gentleman Ghost and Gyro Gearloose?


Wednesday, October 6 2010

‘The Grapes of Wrath’: The Specter of Tom Joad Emerges From America’s Dark Past, Once Again

With the current economic climate -- increasing rates of foreclosure, evictions, unemployment, poverty and misery -- this classic story dangerously impinges upon the present to reveal the specter of Tom Joad emerging from the darkness, once again.


Tuesday, October 5 2010

Hollywood’s Silent Sister Act: A Tearjerking Tragedienne, a Sparkling Comedienne

Mary Pickford was the biggest female star at the beginning of the '20s and Greta Garbo was the biggest at the finish, but in between there were none bigger than Norma and Constance Talmadge.


Friday, October 1 2010

Pacific Hell Amid Days of Heaven: Terrence Malick’s ‘The Thin Red Line’

PopMatters' Paul Maher speaks with cast and crew about what went into Terrence Malick's million-and-a-half feet of film (250 hours) that would become The Thin Red Line (re-released on DVD by Criterion, 28 September).


Thursday, September 2 2010

Masterpieces of Silent Film Are Rescued From Obscurity

Underworld, The Last Command, and The Docks of New York are masterpieces of visual storytelling -- human dramas expressed with cinematographic innovation, impeccably realized set design, and an unparalleled grasp of the “bigger picture” of the motion picture.


Wednesday, September 1 2010

‘Word Is Out’‘s Historical Importance Cannot Be Underestimated

Tales of secrecy, discrimination, discovery, bonding, and isolation and loneliness are common, not surprising considering the social and political climate for the LGBT community in the '70s.


//Mixed media
//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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