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Tuesday, May 13 2014

‘Shelter Island’ Makes Harald Olsen’s Art a Living, Breathing, Organic Experience

Shelter Island is the sort of film that can take audiences who know nothing about art or care nothing for it and make them feel something.


Monday, May 12 2014

‘Orange is the New Black’ Eases Us All Into Prison Life

These are women who are rarely given a voice in television, so when a series like Orange is the New Black comes along, it’s striking in its depiction.


‘The Best Offer’ Leaves the Gears of One’s Mind Turning

Nothing is ever quite as it seems in this dramatic tale of art, love, fear and deceit.


Friday, May 9 2014

Living the Nightmare of ‘An Unreal Dream’

An Unreal Dream explores the personal journey of one man in devastating circumstances, and proves itself to be more enlightening than one might imagine.


Thursday, May 8 2014

‘I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season One’ Is Really Smokin’

I Love Lucy has been treasured for years, but this is the first time that it has been presented in a manner so thoroughly studied and examined within its historical context.


Otto Preminger’s Disorientation in ‘Danger—Love at Work’ and ‘Margin for Error’

The very unevenness of these early projects bespeaks a filmmaker who sets about very precisely to be ambiguous.


Wednesday, May 7 2014

‘Generation War’ Isn’t Afraid to Present Ambivalence and Ambiguity

This might make some viewers uncomfortable. It might offend. It might challenge preconceptions. That’s fine. Much of the time, that’s what good art does.


‘City That Never Sleeps’ and ‘Hell’s Half Acre’ Try Unusual Methods in Their Storytelling

These crime thrillers tell their stories via a talking city, a mechanical man, a bilious little rodent of a man, and even a soundtrack with Hawaiian guitars.


Tuesday, May 6 2014

What Changed for Our Protagonist in ‘The Pawnbroker’?

The Pawnbroker remains an important work, especially as one of the first major studio films to explore the Holocaust.


The King and Queen of Postwar Pop

Doris Day and Frank Sinatra's creamy Hollywood dreams simmer with tension and uncertainty in Young at Heart.


Monday, May 5 2014

‘Bastards’ Makes Despair Bleed from the Walls

Claire Denis' jagged filmmaking is matched by the nihilistic darkness of her latest assault on the senses.


‘Lizzie Borden Took an Axe’ and That’s About It

Too shallow to be informative and too dry to be campy, Lizzie Borden Took an Axe is unsatisfying on every level.


Friday, May 2 2014

D.W. Griffith’s Cinematic Continuity Influences the Danish Classic, ‘Master of the House’

Carl Theodor Dreyer's mastery of film technique makes Master of the House (1925) rewarding viewing today.


Thursday, May 1 2014

Meryl Streep’s Incomparable Performance in ‘Sophie’s Choice’

No matter how you may feel about the story, Sophie's Choice is worth watching simply for the pleasure of watching Meryl Streep act.


Kenneth More’s ‘Father Brown’ Gives a Us Reassuring Voice of Reason and Moderation

Father Brown, in his 1974 television series incarnation, assures viewers that wisdom lies in moderation, not revolution.


Wednesday, April 30 2014

‘Grudge Match’ Proves It Ain’t Over for De Niro or Stallone

Three decades later, Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro are still the stars they were at 35, and it's their efforts that carry Grudge Match over the top.


‘Labor Day’ Is a Labor-Intensive Watch

Even with all of the talent on display, Labor Day is a major disappointment.


Tuesday, April 29 2014

‘Mr. Selfridge: Season 2’ Gives Us a Wonderful Cast of Characters and a Riveting Time Period

As the war affects all aspects of the business, season 2 employs a more serious tone, yet it's more entertaining than thought-provoking.


It’s the End of Paris as We Know It in ‘Dead Shadows’

The hazards run the gamut from the predictable to the grotesque, but at least they're set to a cool Francophone hip-hop soundtrack.


‘The Borderlands’ Is Where Faith Goes to Die

Just like the unfathomably popular Paranormal Activity, The Borderlands often relies on tired old horror film tropes to generate frights.


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