Columns > Film

Thursday, April 7 2011

Passing Me By: African American Women and ‘Passing’ As a Film Genre

Caught between two worlds, standing on a near-literal precipice with one foot in the African American experience, the other firmly in majority white culture, the protagonist of the passing film is confronted with an impossible choice: live in truth as a person of color or risk “passing” for white to gain societal advantage.


Wednesday, April 6 2011

The Last Time I Saw Paris

Paris Benjamin is a working actor in Hollywood, a long way from her acting roots in France and the UK. Her recent experiences on the sets of TV series and films shine a spotlight on the US and European entertainment industry.


Monday, April 4 2011

‘Cinema’—That’s Italian for Cinema

New DVD provider RaroVideo USA is coming out of the gate with two lavish Criterion-worthy releases: The Clowns and the Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection. One is nominally "arty" and the other "lowdown", but the lines deserve to be blurred.


Wednesday, March 30 2011

Betty Boop and Bimbo Get Into a Sexual Tangle in ‘Barnacle Bill’

The Fleischer Studios' Betty Boop cartoon Barnacle Bill embraces the pleasures of the perpetrator far more than the fate of the victim, where a cute cartoon pup gets to be a sexual predator and stoke our prurient interest in the 'joy of punishment'.


Thursday, March 24 2011

Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love: The Films of Hal Hartley

Hal Hartley's films bridged the world of art school vibes and workplace routines, elite snottiness and pedestrian punches, suburban angst and critical thinking finesse, and mixed-up politics and prolonged personality crises.


Monday, March 21 2011

Flash Over Substance: ‘Broadcast News’, Redux

As in real life, the TV news industry in Broadcast News looks less like a small pond and more like shark-infested waters.


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.


//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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