Recent Features
New Moon: Wherefor Art Thou Edward?

Bella and Edward's longing for each other is what makes the series so appealing. It fully encapsulates the bliss and agony of first love or any love that would make you lie down and die for the other person.

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The Guilty Pleasure Films of 2009

Someone, the same old suspects show up on this list - cheesy horror films, goofy gross out comedies, and the occasional certified WTF title. Lucky for us, 2009 was no different when it came to culpable schlock.

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Best Actor: Ben Foster Delivers in ‘The Messenger’

This year's best independent film happens to contain three of the year's finest performances. The unlikely trio of Samantha Morton, Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster shine in this war-themed drama.

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The Best of Slugging Santas and Fightin’ Father Christmases

Sliding down chimneys in the middle of the night is not without its risks, which is why Santa needs to be one tough elf with survival tactics and fighting skills.

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Staying on the Edge: An Interview with Damon Elliott

Having produced hits for Destiny's Child, Bone Thugz-n-Harmony, and P!nk, Damon Elliott talks to PopMatters about his career and his work on that Fame remake.

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Precious and Lee Daniels: State of the Race

In adapting author Sapphire's difficult novel for the screen, director Lee Daniels is helping change the way spectators view African American women by deploying stereotypes and then exploding them.

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Little Women: Brilliant Book, Flawed Film

A scene shows Ryder blissfully tying up the manuscript and putting a rose under the string. That's rather like what Armstrong and the screenwriters did to the film: tied it up neatly with a pretty flower.

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Tim Burton Exhibit at MoMA: Publicity Ploy or Actual Art?

With over 700 works on display spanning his artistic life, MoMA's Tim Burton career retrospective is more than a commercial appeal, but an example of art for popular culture.

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20 Questions: Bruce Greenwood

The prolific actor Bruce Greenwood shows up as yet another character for 20 Questions -- this time as a rather erudite cake designer with a mean edge on a ’53 Telecaster.

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Looking Back at the Avant Garde

These two new DVDs help us take a look back at forward thinkers, and although no one will like all these films equally, the whole is an experience not only edifying but, at its most radical, even pleasurable.

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Are We All Mythtaken About Star Wars?

Fans are mistaken about Return of the Jedi and Luke Skywalker (dismissing the Ewoks, and Skywalker is deemed a wuss). Might they also be wrong about the prequel trilogy? And how.

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Hitting ‘The Road’ with Director John Hillcoat

Director John Hillcoat talks to PopMatters about the hazards of being intimidated by legends, the funny side of cannibalism and Viggo Mortensen's sweet tooth as his adaptation of the seminal apocalyptic novel The Road hits theaters.

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Viva Pedro: The Almodóvar Interview

What could possibly be better than getting face time with one of the most legendary filmmakers of all-time? Getting face time with Almodovar and getting him to talk about some of Matt Mazur's favorite things: Jessica Lange, Ingmar Bergman, and actresses behaving badly. Generous, energetic and all-around amazing, Almodovar talks to PopMatters about his new film, Broken Embraces and much more.

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18 Nov 2009 // 9:00 PM

Lost in Translation

Though Almodovar's work seems to have penetrated the xenophobic American critical monolith, winning Oscars and scoring major points with stateside critics, he has often been taken to task by the European press. Bringing a special insight into Almodovar's place in the world of European filmmaking is a correspondent from Madrid, who turns a microscope on Pedro's role in post-Franco Spanish cinema, and the importance of his work as a European auteur.

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Woman or Object: Selected Female Roles in the Films of Pedro Almodóvar

What many of the women in Almodóvar’s films do have in common, despite their characterization as victim or martyr or heroine, is that they are survivors.

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Pedro Almodóvar’s Quintessentially Pansexual Oeuvre

Almodóvar’s insistence on pushing boundaries and transcending confining definitions of acceptability, gender, sexuality, and narrative structure place his body of work amidst (among others) a queer cinematic canon that acknowledges and appreciates his placement of queer bodies and characters in essential strands of the narrative structure.

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Referencing & Recycling

A true passion for cinema is something that effortlessly shines through the work of the greatest filmmakers. We've seen homages to classic films, in this year alone, in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds, Judd Apatow's Funny People and Lee Daniels' Precious, but no contemporary director references film history as commandingly as Almodovar.

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15 Nov 2009 // 9:00 PM

Pedro Almodóvar 101

Almodovar 101 takes a look at some of the Spanish auteur's greatest hits - from Pepi, Luci and Bom up through Volver, a crack team of PopMatters film writers/Almodovar experts from New Jersey to Madrid are on hand to guide readers through the vivid world of the director.

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An Education: Carey Mulligan Comes of Age

Danish director Lone Scherfig spares audiences the trite clichés of a young woman's coming of age, directs a magnificent cast of actors, and defends her film against allegations of inappropriate sexuality.

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Yin and Yang: The Beatles - ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ vs. ‘Help!’

Aside from such obvious aspects -- including the difference between black and white and color film stock -- the back and forth between the films was also reflective of their burgeoning creative output.

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Counterbalance: The Avalanches' 'Since I Left You'

// Sound Affects

"Get a drink, have a good time now. Welcome to paradise, and read all about the 305th most acclaimed album of all time. An Australian plunderphonics pioneer is this week’s Counterbalance.

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