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Features > Film

Monday, January 9 2006

The Year in Fear: Best Movies 2005

Many films in 2005 dealt explicitly with the effects of fear, reflecting a world where outrage and terror have stewed into perpetual anxiety. This year, comedy and horror movies were in meager supply, and dread seeped into every other type of film, from indie drama to summer blockbuster.

DAuTeurs: The Year in Homemade Movies (on DVD)

Francis Ford Coppola got it half right. A decade or so ago, he opined that the film industry would soon be overrun by teenagers with portable cameras. These indie moviemakers, rebelling against the studio system, would use their backyards as back lots to make their own 'outsider' entertainment.

Thursday, January 5 2006

The 20 Best Films of 2005

What is love? How does one become a superhero? Is violence something inherent inside you?

The 20 Best TV Shows of 2005

Overall, not a bad year for an entertainment entity long written off as a cultural wasteland. There's some definitive new growth among the arid averageness.

The 20 Best DVDs of 2005

The main reason why digital won the format wars was the ongoing desire to accept film as an art, not a commodity, and in return making discs that preserve and enhance the medium.

Thursday, December 22 2005

Getting Something Out

Claude Chabrol is not only one of the most prolific of the New Wave filmmakers (over 50 films in nearly 50 years), but also committed to genre-based narrative.

Thursday, December 15 2005

A Nigger Un-Reconstructed: The Legacy of Richard Pryor

With each epithet and curse, Pryor shed light on the humanity of those folks who live a reality defined by the dirty, nasty business of race, gender, and poverty in the United States.

Thursday, December 1 2005

Kids’ DVDS: December 2005

It's getting noticeably colder now we're in December, and if you listen carefully, you can already hear Santa Claus checking his list. For the second time.

Thursday, November 10 2005

Benji the Inscrutable

Benji is a child's movie, complete with stereotyped characters, cheesy jokes, and goofy kid-pleasing pratfalls that make parents cringe. But its quiet moments verge sometimes, improbably, on the sublime.

Wednesday, November 9 2005

Rediscovering Cinematic Pleasures

Torino hosts a series of intimate film festivals, including Cinemambiente and Festival Cinema delle Donne. Younger filmmakers are especially well received, with public school screenings and student juries at both festivals.

Friday, September 23 2005

The Hidden Festival: Telluride 2005

Nestled in exclusive artistic and geographic majesty, Telluride is a film lover's feast of the senses.

Perseverance: Robert Wise (1914-2005)

Robert Wise adapted to his subject matter, believing the genre and the story dictated the manner in which the movie was made, not the other way around.

Wednesday, August 31 2005

True Bliss: Celebrating The Big Lebowski

Lebowski Fest celebrates the irrational exuberance of a cult classic community.

Friday, August 26 2005

BAMcinématek Presents: “A New World: Shirley Clarke” (1-4 August 2005)

The BAM series, a testament to Shirley Clarke's eclectic tastes, talents, and influences, also seemed incomplete, the record of a career stifled by circumstances.

Thursday, August 11 2005

Monsters in the Closet: Killer Kids and Queer Identity

Evil kiddie killers in film symbolically unearth our secret paranoid fears of a gay planet and what that could mean for the always-under-siege American family.

Friday, July 29 2005

Solidly Constructed: Ernest Lehman, 1915-2005

Ernest Lehman excelled at the difficult and notoriously thankless task of translating stage musicals to the screen.

Thursday, July 21 2005

James Dean Iconography: Archetypes, Stereotypes, and the Imitation of Life

James Dean's devastatingly good looks and '50s loner chic have often overshadowed his intuitive acting style; many look at Dean in retrospect and see a matinee idol, a pin-up, not a craftsman on the exulted level of his contemporary Marlon Brando.

Friday, July 1 2005


Winchell is best known as the voice of that bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, ball of Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! called Tigger.

Tuesday, June 21 2005

Geeks Globally Act Locally: Otaku Cinema Slam! (4 March-27 May 2005)

The basic generic reference points for Otaku Cinema Slam! are accessible to Western viewers, but the cultural particulars may not be clear.

Friday, June 17 2005

Cape Fear: Courage, Calling and Community in Batman Begins

Batman's struggle for moral involvement in his community starkly contrasts with our own cultural narcissism.

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