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Film

Eraserhead's Stylistic Tics Leave Traces of Infection

David Lynch's impossibly mundane and unspeakably grotesque Eraserhead turns a looking glass upon an entire constellation of avant-garde signifiers.

Recent
Film

Horrors in the Closet: Horrifying Heteronormative Scapegoating

The artificial connection between homosexuality and communism created the popular myth of evil and undetectable gay subversives living inside 1950s American society. Film both reflected and refracted the homophobia.

Television

Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).

Film

In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.

Film

The Threat of Violence in George Marshall's Western Comedy, 'Destry Rides Again'

George Marshall's western spoof, Destry Rides Again, has a serious central premise; can society function without the threat of violence?

Television

Jules Dassin Versus Mark Hellinger and 'The Naked City'

Producer Mark Hellinger may have committed the biggest crime in the filming of Jules Dassin's classic film-noir, 'The Naked City'.

Film

The Poetry of Murder in Jean Renoir's 'Toni'

Renoir's Toni is a grim piece of work saturated in summer sunshine and tree-speckled shadows.

Film

Exploitation Shenanigans 'Test Tube Babies' and 'Guilty Parents' Contend with the Aftermath

As with so many of these movies about daughters who go astray, Test Tube Babies blames the uptight mothers who never told them about S-E-X. Meanwhile, Guilty Parents exploits poor impulse control and chorus girls showing their underwear.

Film

Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.

Film

'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Makes the Most of Meta Commentary

Spider-Man: Far From Home ties up the themes of deception and Trump-era media manipulation and it ensures that the next Spider-Man film will be completely different from anything that came before.

Film

Decode the Pre-Code: Four Hot Early Talkies Hit Blu-Ray

Sinuous camera moves and stylish direction, endings that surely wouldn't have flown after the Code crackdown: four pre-code talkies from Cecil B. DeMille, Phil Goldstone, Victor Halperin, and Stuart Walker.

Books

Stanley Kubrick Biography Goes Beyond Rumors and Mystique

David Mikics casts Kubrick as a kind of modernist tragedian in this biography, showing how meticulous planning often gives way to vanity, error, or random chaos.

Film

Investing in Surfaces in Renoir's 'Toni'

Discovery of what lies beyond the surface—or better, the profound meaning invested in surfaces—is the central motif of Renoir's Toni.

Film

Douglas Sirk's Oppressive and Beautiful Worlds

That today's viewers can't easily fall into the fantasy of Rock Hudson as an "Indian" in Taza Son of Cochise -- one of three films discussed here -- provides its own distancing and underlining of the themes that make it Sirkian, the rampant phoniness used as a vehicle for something true.

Film

'X-Men: Dark Phoenix' Will Never Rise from the Ashes

X-Men: Dark Phoenix, a weak, disappointing film, ends two decades of the groundbreaking X-Men series with a barely audible whimper.

Film

'Avengers: Endgame' Culminates 2010's Pop Culture Phenomenon

Avengers: Endgame features all the expected trappings of a superhero blockbuster alongside surprisingly rich character resolutions to become the most crowd-pleasing finalés to a long-running pop culture series ever made.

Film

It's a Helluva of a World in Alain Corneau's 'Série Noire'

Alain Corneau's Série Noire is like a documentary of squalid desperation, albeit a slightly heightened and sardonic one.

Film

'Captain Marvel' Sends a Powerful Message to Audiences and Filmmakers

The first female-centric film in the MCU, Captain Marvel, bakes the female experience into every aspect, making a potentially familiar story fresh and exciting.

Film

The Conception of Morality in Éric Rohmer's 'Six Moral Tales'

Éric Rohmer isn't interested in a pure critique of misogyny; his moral tales are mere observations on how we use other people to serve our interests and how we invent narratives from our relationships through which we define ourselves.

Film

Laurel & Hardy's Genius of Everyday Chaos

The opposite of the idealized embodiments of masculinity seen in male cinema heroes Hapless Man-children Laurel & Hardy are creatures of the id.

Film

Rediscovering Japanese Director Tomu Uchida

A world-class filmmaker of diverse styles, we take a look at Tomu Uchida's very different Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji and The Mad Fox.

Film

Animated 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Is a Pop-Art Masterpiece

Animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse uses unique, groundbreaking animation techniques and engages with the most 'out-there' comic book concepts to tell a hilarious, relatable, timely coming-of-age story

Film

Susan Sontag's 'Duet for Cannibals' Delves into the Games People Play

Is Susan Sontag's Duet for Cannibals a study in personal human behavior? Or is it an allegory of the seductions of fascism and power?

Film

Buster Keaton's 'The Cameraman' Casts Light on MGM's Tyranny

The Cameraman is Keaton's last great film, a jubilant, chaotic, and overactive silent romantic comedy that, intentional or not, doubles as a vision of the precarity of celebrity, independence, and artistry in the brutal Hollywood system.

Film

Romy Schneider Shimmers, Simmers, "Sautets" and "Zulawskis"

Directors Claude Sautet and Andrzej Zulawski turn the camera's gaze on the glorious Romy Schneider in these four drama, romance, and crime films available from Film Movement and Kino Lorber.

Film

Huxters and Do-Gooders and the "Forbidden Fruit" Film Series

Have a peak behind the censored curtain, if you dare, with Dwain Esper's Marihuana and Narcotic, Crane Wilbur's Tomorrow's Children and Harry J. Revier's Child Bride. These exploitation films are certain to provoke.

Film

Ruben Fleischer's 'Venom' Has No Bite

Ruben Fleischer's toothless antihero film, Venom is like a blockbuster from 15 years earlier: one-dimensional, loose plot, inconsistent tone, and packaged in the least-offensive, most mass appeal way possible. Sigh.

Film

Old British Films, Boring? Pshaw!

The passage of time tends to make old films more interesting, such as these seven films of the late '40s and '50s from British directors John Boulting, Carol Reed, David Lean, Anthony Kimmins, Charles Frend, Guy Hamilton, and Leslie Norman.

Film

From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?

Film

Alastair Sim: A Very English Character Actor Genius

Alastair Sim belongs to those character actors sometimes accused of "hamming it up" because they work at such a high level of internal and external technique that they can't help standing out.

Film

Silent Women Filmmakers No Longer So Silent: Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers

The works of silent filmmakers Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers were at risk of being forever lost. Kino Lorber offers their works on Blu-Ray. Three cheers for film historians and film restoration.

Film

Films from the Long War: 'Their Finest Hour' Offers Five British WWII Classics

These WWII films from directors Alberto Cavalcanti, Guy Hamilton, Michael Anderson, Leslie Norman and J. Lee Thomson are excellent studies in history, filmmaking, and wartime propaganda.

Film

The Obstacles in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' Are Not Typical of MCU

Peyton Reed's "Disney-fied" Ant-Man and the Wasp is unchallenging in all the best ways.

Film

Stepping into the Phantasmagoric Otherwise with Karel Zeman

While all films project a world that might be, certain films and certain filmmakers, like Karel Zeman, come closer than others in bringing to the surface the underlying phantasmagoric essence of cinema.

Film

The Highs Are Higher, the Lows Lower in 'Deadpool 2'

The first half of Deadpool 2, in which Vanessa is murdered and Wade becomes purposeless and suicidal, is a slog. The second half, where Wade commits to defending an angry teenage mutant, positively soars with fantastic action and some of the funniest superhero film moments in years.

Film

The Action in 'Avengers: Infinity War' Is Relentless

The focus on Thanos single-handedly saves Avengers: Infinity War from becoming the overstuffed mess many feared and lends the film a relentless action pace more akin to Mad Max: Fury Road than a superhero blockbuster.

Film

Pudovkin Makes the Revolution Human: The Bolshevik Trilogy

Inspired by D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, Vsevolod Pudovkin would leave his chemistry studies for cinema. His films Mother, The End of St. Petersburg, and Storm over Asia are presented in The Bolshevik Trilogy.


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