Recent Features

12 Oct 2008 // 10:00 PM

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.

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12 Oct 2008 // 10:00 PM

The Secret Life of Bees

What could have been a brave film turned out lukewarm, lost in its own self-importance, stripped of its feminist overtones and watered down for mass consumption.

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9 Oct 2008 // 10:00 PM

Woody Allen’s “Asian” Problem

Hollywood has rarely offered Asians opportunities to be anything other than karate heroes, geishas, wartime prostitutes, or sinister "yellow peril" villains.

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9 Oct 2008 // 9:59 PM

Irrational Exuberance

Watching Mike Leigh’s sublimely fresh Happy-Go-Lucky, you could be forgiven for wondering what the rest of humanity is so depressed about, anyway.

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7 Oct 2008 // 10:00 PM

DIY: Takahiko Iimura

Takahiko Iimura read about the American underground film movement and began making experimental works based only on what he'd read. Soon he was a leading experimental filmmaker.

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Bukowski: What Lies Beneath

During the rare moments when Charles Bukowski's vulnerable side are shown, they manage to break through the "dirty old man" parody of himself that he had become.

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2 Oct 2008 // 10:00 PM

In the Land of the Blind

Fernando Meirelles’ adaptation of Jose Saramago’s Blindness fails because the source material doesn’t easily lend itself to cinema, and because the filmmaker is clearly out of his depth.

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25 Sep 2008 // 10:00 PM

Pretty Vacant

The world of The Duchess should have been one of fiery tumult, but little of that foment makes it into this film’s garden party landscape.

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Retelling the History of Black Music: Bert Williams, Godfather of the Black Stage & Studio

Bert Williams in blackface started a conversation about representing blackness within a mainstream context that has continued through virtually every crossover moment in black American life.

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18 Sep 2008 // 10:00 PM

The Cold Season

Just when you start worrying about the state of American movies, and wondering whether the business is going to swandive into irrelevance, along comes something as vital and jolting as Frozen River.

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(Catherine) Deneuvian Depths

Face slapping, bathroom porn, and obsessive, possessive, manic-depressive, aggressive-aggressive fixations define these Catherine Deneuve non-masterpieces.

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Horrors in the Closet: Transgressing All Boundaries

David Cronenberg and Clive Barker constantly pushed the boundaries of representations of sexual identities, yet their films feel not condemning, paranoid, or xenophobic -- but alluring and fascinating.

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Talk, Talk, Talk: December 2008

Just like the end of an inspiring speech that may or may not succeed in making its point, these final four weeks before 2009 tend to define or defeat the entire awards season purpose.

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11 Sep 2008 // 9:59 PM

Women Without Men

Diane English’s version of The Women barely nudges from its Martha Stewart interiors, exchanging insights for platitudes. It’s a cup of lukewarm tea, without even a biscuit on the side.

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Talk, Talk, Talk: November 2008

Like the sainted sigh of relief that comes after another shriek-filled All Hallow's Eve, November usually means the start of the 'nominate me' process for the proposed prestige pictures of 2008.

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Talk, Talk, Talk: October 2008

What studio suit thought this was a good idea? With four months to schedule your high priced efforts, you instead unload almost 30 overpriced pictures on an unsuspecting movie audience.

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Talk, Talk, Talk: September 2008

From wars both past and present to a number of nail-biting thrillers, September is sizing up as a potentially profitable one.

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Are We Not Funny? Laugh, Damn You!

The problem with the (inexplicably popular) Tropic Thunder may be that Ben Stiller is just not a funny filmmaker. Not even remotely.

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4 Sep 2008 // 10:00 PM

Sex on the Beach

Though 1980s bikini films seem objectifying and antifeminist, they offer a utopian space where class and gender hierarchies begin to dissolve.

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Stark Reality: A Different Hero for Different Times

Bucking the trend of an outsider given an opportunity to overcome ordinariness, millionaire Tony Stark (Iron Man) seems like the least sympathetic of heroes. But his all-too-familiar flaws reveal a more than heroic depth of character, and he offers readers an entirely different form of escapism.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

"Island of Lemurs: Madagascar" Is Cute but Spooky

// Short Ends and Leader

"This flick is a superficial but eye-popping survey for armchair nature tourists.

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