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Sunday, October 12 2008

Cinema Qua Non - Indispensable DVDs: Part 1

Day One - A trip back to the classic days of studio system Hollywood, complete with great musicals, amazing adventure yarns, and a couple of post-modern freak outs, just to keep things controversial and lively.


Thursday, September 25 2008

The Detective & His Reflections: The Shield: Sixth Season

The nihilistic, morally blurred world of The Shield reflects the inner workings of its characters.


Thursday, August 28 2008

The Invaders: Cold War Central with the Vietnam Blues

The aliens carry silver dollars with lights which function both as cell phones and as gadgets that can make anyone drop dead from an instantly diagnosable "brain hemorrhage".


Thursday, August 21 2008

Yukio Mishima, of Love and Death

Death and sex were verboten, and Mishima took it upon himself to be a virtuosic provocateur; part passionate expressive modernist, part fervent traditionalist.


Tuesday, August 19 2008

Brighton Wok: The Legend of Ganja Boxing

Brighton Wok is England’s first marijuana Kung-Fu movie. You get the bong, I’ll get the nachos.


Wednesday, August 13 2008

A Fairy Tale Childhood: An Interview with Guy Maddin

The Canadian cult director talks to PopMatters about family, childhood, memory and his cinematic Gesamptkunstwerks that often look like damaged artifacts dredged up from an archive of lost 1920s and '30s film.


Life Into Art: Strange Culture and the Measure of Documentary Film

Strange Culture is a critical entry point into the current discussion of what makes a documentary a documentary, most notably because it announces its own subjectivity in a clear and provocative way.


Wednesday, June 18 2008

The Technology of the Occult: Méliès and the Invention of Film

Like any illusionist, Méliès created wonderment with only the slightest of pretense, creating a filmic language that continues to be explored and exploited today.


Tuesday, June 10 2008

The Phantasmagoric Phantom Carriage

The Phantom Carriage was truly revolutionary in the way it exploited the unique features of motion pictures, and clearly anticipated the sophisticated narrative and visual structure of modern films.


Tuesday, March 25 2008

The Perfect Lean, Mean, Macho Machine

The Die Hard series is a true rollercoaster of visual excesses guaranteed to raise the viewer’s adrenaline levels – while invoking intriguing ideological and cultural subtexts that deal with race, gender, masculinity, and social anxieties.


Thursday, February 21 2008

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, Jake

Chinatown remains a stalwart of '70s cinema. The uninspired follow-up 16 years later reminds one that, sometimes, a masterpiece needs to simply be left alone.


Thursday, January 24 2008

The Best Music DVDs of 2007

The last few years have seen some mind-blowing DVD repackaging of a wide variety of musically projects. 2007 is the best yet.


Sunday, December 2 2007

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Berlin Alexanderplatz, both serial film and novel, are essential to knowing Rainer Werner Fassbinder.


Thursday, November 8 2007

Incomplete Coquette: The Brigitte Bardot Collection

As a vision, Bardot is still alluring. As an actress, however, she’s a strange cinematic cipher. These films just do not serve Bardot.


Tuesday, October 23 2007

Past Imperfect: Luis Buñuel’s Early Work

Sometimes, filmmaking genius is evident in every movie a cinematic master makes. In the case of this famed Spanish surrealist and his two early efforts, the future achievements are well hidden.


Sunday, October 21 2007

Test Patterns: TV That Should Be on DVD

As a wrap up to the five-part Best of TV on DVD feature, we offer this partial wish list, this "where are they now?" wistfulness to some of our favorite forgotten shows that should be on DVD.


Thursday, October 11 2007

Part 5 - Beyond the Envelope

The format forced the issue among cult and commercial products. And TV on DVD highlighted the cream of the creative, forward thinking crop.


Wednesday, October 10 2007

Part 4 - Feasts from the Fringe

Cable created supply where there was little or no demand. Out of the myriad of subject specific programming, a few gemstones managed to shine.


Tuesday, October 9 2007

Part 3 - The New Networks

It would never work... no one challenged the reigning broadcast junta and survived. No surprise then that the upstarts snuck in and changed the face of TV forever.


Monday, October 8 2007

Part 2 - Outsider Influences

TV was at a standstill. On one side -- the status quo. On the other -- the innovators from outside the mainstream. Guess who ended up winning the 'classics’ argument?


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