Recent Features
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 // 10:00 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 // 10:00 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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PopShots: The Lighter Side of Swine Flu

Researchers have largely ignored the pop cultural value of the H1N1 virus: hours on the couch catching up on DVD.

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Eclipse Series 17: Nikkatsu Noir

These five films from the golden-era of the legendary Nikkatsu studio shows off the never-ending ways Japanese filmmakers were able to combine the best elements of pulp and epic Japanese storytelling.

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The Ghostbusters Twinkie Defense

More surprising than the still-impressive special effects and the jokes that hold up to modern scrutiny is the fact that there are moments throughout Ghostbusters that are legitimately scary.

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Agonies of an ‘Antichrist’: Lars von Trier in the Forest of Unreason

Despite the efforts of some to dismiss it as a prank, Antichrist is a serious film and its disturbing extremes speak of broad and deeply felt moral, social, and ultimately, political anxieties.

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In from the Fog: Monstrous Fishermen in Popular Culture

To paraphrase Nietzsche, when fighting monsters one should be careful not to become one, but that’s a major reason why many people fish: to slay the proverbial dragon.

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A Ghost Story of Dubious Origins

No matter the vercity of the tale, The Haunting in Connecticut has just enough creep quotient to keep me engaged, especially since I grew up a few miles from the house.

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26 Oct 2009 // 9:59 PM

Frightful Rome

Profondo Rosso, the Dario Argento store in Rome, hints at a dramatic cultural shift taking place in Italy regarding the appreciation and analysis of classic Italian horror films.

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Bored New World: How the Zach Braff Prototype Is Slowly Killing American Music

Natalie Portman popped headphones onto Zach Braff's head and said, "This song will change your life." The resulting sound was not only that of carefully composed dullness, but of a million wealthy white kids investing in dull acoustic music to soundtrack their own romantic melodrama.

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The 47th Annual New York Film Festival

There were plenty of films in the New York Film Festival that captured similar redemptive moments and there is nothing esoteric, depressing or arduous about that.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

Blindspot: Season 1, Episode 3 - "Eight Slim Grins"

// Channel Surfing

"Secret codes, shadowy organizations: is Blindspot piecing together the riddle wrapped in the mystery of the enigma that is Jane Doe?

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