Archives for March 2020

ARCHIVES

MOVIE REVIEW: How “Slay the dragon” trains the spotlight on a perverse side of America’s electoral system

The breathtaking inanity of gerrymandering
Directed by Chris Durrance and Barak Goodman

The most frightening film of 2020 is not a horror flick. It’s a film about our electoral process. Chris Durrance and Barak Goodman’s stunning and eye-opening documentary examines how gerrymandering (the act of manipulating boundaries of an electoral constituency to favor one political party) is a very real and very present danger to our American democracy. This could be the most important film of ... more >

PREVIEW: Boring down on US-China relations with “Better Angels”

Beyond misperceptions, a mutual understanding?

On January 29th, 1979, President Jimmy Carter and Chinese Deputy Premier Deng Xiaoping signed historic accords, reversing years of U.S. opposition to China. But now, on the forty-year anniversary of this normalization, the U.S. and China are at the threshold of what many fear is a new cold war. “Better Angels,” a documentary directed by two-time Academy Award winner Malcolm Clarke, explores the ... more >

MOVIE REVIEW: Betty Gilpin as an unstoppable bad-ass in “THE HUNT”

How a genre film took on outrage culture and online political discourse
Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank and Ike Barinholtz
Directed by Craig Zobel

Politics in the horror genre is a tricky thing. If done incorrectly, a film’s political slant can hurt its narrative. When done right, a political take can enhance a film’s potency. The late George A. Romero and horror film legend John Carpenter are the two filmmakers who expertly infused their political messages within their works. Romero, with his series of “...of the Dead” films, made each ... more >

INTERVIEW : Eddie Muller, Czar of Noir

Its most committed afficionado lays bare the cinema of the disenchanted

These are tough times for movie lovers. Theaters across the country are closed, many libraries shuttered and people are staying home. However, there is still a way to enjoy watching films. In fact, it may give people a chance to see the more classic cinema that they’ve otherwise been ignoring. The Turner Classics Network (TCM) runs films 24/7 and perhaps the highlight of their line-up is the ... more >

A FILM CRITIC TESTIFIES: My favorite Phillip Marlowe cinematic incarnations

Private detective lore throughout the cinematic arts

The one and only Phillip Marlowe. Created by Raymond Chandler, he is perhaps the best-known of all private eyes. Almost everyone knows his name. A good private detective thriller can be cinematic gold and if Phillip Marlowe is your guide through the mystery, all the better. Marlowe is a tough-talking, hard-living, private eye who dives headfirst into the underbelly of his cases and always gets ... more >

OPINION: the Cannes Festival’s strange pas-de-deux

Will the coronavirus claim the Cannes Festival as its next victim? Nobody knows.

Canceled, not canceled. And now--maybe--merely postponed? The Cannes Festival, in a PR pas-de-deux that has sowed confusion and let on few key details, has issued a press release last night. In its usual imperfect English (but their heart was in it), the Cannes communiqué went : "Today, we have made the following decision : The Festival de Cannes cannot be held on the scheduled dates, from May 12 ... more >

MOVIE REVIEW: “La Gomera”

A new film by the director of "Police, Adjective"
Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon and Rodica Lazar
Directed by Corneliu Porumboiu

Beginning your crime film with “The Passenger” by Iggy Pop is a marvelous idea and one that excitingly sets the tone for the very clever and labyrinthine noir “La Gomera” (“The Whistlers” in the English version). With his latest film director Corneliu Porumboiu has created a fantastic and riveting pop-culture cops-and-mobsters film that occasionally gives way to philosophical leanings. Vlad ... more >