Blog Archives

Banks, Bergman, Hamilton, Limon, Polanski

1971 (Johanna Hamilton, 2014). Clearly positioned as a history lesson for those who venerate Edward Snowden for his digital freedom fighting in bringing to light information about the U.S. government’s shady spying on its own citizens, 1971 focuses in on a

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Posted in Film

Garnett, Gondry, Hitchcock, Sturges, Susser

The Postman Always Rings Twice (Tay Garnett, 1946). This adaptation of James M. Cain’s 1934 novel is a film noir classic. It’s an exemplar of the form, and perhaps the perfect introduction to the dark charms of the sub-genre built

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Posted in Film

Aja, Cameron, Hanks, Ophüls, Saladoff

Piranha (Alexandre Aja, 2010). It’s remarkable that a film that so overtly embraces its own willful trashiness can still be dour, flatfooted and boring as hell. Richard Dreyfuss’s early cameo as a scruffy boater who’s a victim of carnivorous fish

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Posted in Film

Kosinski, McQueen, Melville, Reichardt, Young

Tron: Legacy (Joseph Kosinski, 2010). “You’re messing with my Zen thing, man!” Is there another actor working today besides Jeff Bridges who could deliver a line like that and make it sound plausible? In the never-ending quest to mine every

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Posted in Uncategorized

Campbell, Cukor, Curtiz, Gluck, von Donnersmarck

Adam’s Rib (George Cukor, 1949). Probably the apex of the onscreen collaborations between Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, largely because the storyline involving married attorneys facing off against one another in a high-profile trial allowed for the sort of warm,

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Posted in Film

Eastwood, Polanski, Rosenberg, Siodmak, Wyatt

Hereafter (Clint Eastwood, 2010). Clint Eastwood will often dismiss anyone trying to read too much subtext of grand personal artistic statement in his films. They’re just pictures to the steely-eyed director. Certainly this ponderous rumination of mortality holds no added

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Posted in Film

Clooney, Goldwyn, Kiarostami, Taylor, Vaughn

The Help (Tate Taylor, 2011). I think a strong, important movie can (and arguably should) be made about the continued racial-based social inequities imposed in the American South–really all over the country, but those below the Mason-Dixon line had a

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Posted in Film

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