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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Films can be considered offensive or obscene for a variety of reasons, whether it be extreme violence, or controversial subject matter, and while most films in this vein are exploitative, a select few are evocative. Obscenity is merely a way of communicating to the audience, much like sight gags or witty dialogue, and the films on this list use this… Read more »

31 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

From the dawn of mankind, human beings have used art, myth, and nightmare to challenge fears and to express them. This is the world of myth, fantasy, and horror that Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro works from. Del Toro takes the monsters that haunt our psyches and makes them terrifying and misunderstood. The monster is an outsider peering into the… Read more »

30 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

For decades, serious film snobs looked down on kung fu movies as cultural trash, a kind of mindless detritus imported from the Pacific Rim to clutter grindhouse movie theaters and fill out the programming line-up on late night TV. This was an odd position to take—if ever there was a genre that embodied the highest ideals of pure cinema, the… Read more »

29 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Photo: Jay Brooks/Saga In the early 1980s, German filmmaker Werner Herzog shot a film named ‘Fitzcarraldo’ in the jungles of South America, battling against forces of nature as formidable as hostile tribes, and an egomaniacal actor. In that film a 340 ton steamship is moved up and over a hill without the aid of special effects. This ostensibly insane skirmish… Read more »

29 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

The job of a character actress is to add spice and flavor to a movie so that audiences won’t notice that they have eaten this same meal a thousand times before. They may be comic actresses, or British, or old, or they might look just look too normal. Otherwise they are too iconoclastic, too weird: rebels working within the system…. Read more »

28 October 2014 | Features, People Lists

Writer/Director John Hughes (1950-2009) was, without a doubt, one of the leading lights in cinema in relation to his depiction of teenage life. From the 1955 Nicholas Ray film “Rebel Without A Cause” onwards, the plight of being young and trying to find your way in the world has been a constant in cinema. Hughes was distinct in the way… Read more »

27 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

When explaining why he dropped out of film school, Paul Thomas Anderson said “My film making education consisted of finding out what filmmakers I liked were watching, then seeing those films. I learned the technical stuff from books and mags…Film school is a complete con, because the information is out there if you want it.” Whatever the motivation, the joy… Read more »

27 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Deeply rooted in Haitian Folklore, zombies have become well-known horror creature spanning from literature, comic books, to cinema, and more recently T.V. Zombies have prevailed in popular culture due to our immense fascination with death. It comes from a ritual in Haitian Voodoo religion in which a corpse is reanimated and controlled by the bokor (a type of priest). The word… Read more »

26 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

In this day and age, it is hard to recommend a film that someone has not seen or heard of. However, it can happen given how many films are made each year and released each week; many not even making it into the cinemas, just ending up on straight-to-video release. The following 20 suggestions to y’all, my fellow cinephiles, are… Read more »

26 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Courtroom dramas have been popular for a long time. Starting off as radio shows in the 1930’s, television soon followed suit in the late 1940s, when the medium overtook radio as the most popular at home past-time. It wasn’t long before the genre was also well established on the silver screen, with the late 1950s and early 1960s being particularly… Read more »

25 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

The thriller genre was going full steam in the late 1970’s, with the large scale success of John Carpenter’s low budget film Halloween in 1978 propelling the thriller genre forward into the 1980’s. Thrillers were generally made up of more conventional crime films and murder mysteries, or slasher films such as Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street…. Read more »

25 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Due to consumer-priced digital video, a shrinking amount of grown up movies in multiplexes, increased global awareness, and a few films by a man named Michael Moore, the 2000s were a watershed moment for documentary film. From the beginning of the decade to the end, production values were on the rise, as were the sheer number of people attempting to… Read more »

24 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Since the beginning of the Great Depression and the rise of organized crime, gangsters have fascinated people around the world. Gangster films often portray a human side of the character, almost making them look like both an antihero and a Robin Hood. Considerably categorized as film noir in earlier days, gangster movies dealt with the mafia and tried to show the… Read more »

23 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

British film in the 90’s began much the same way as the 80’s had ended with few opportunities to gain what little funding was available. To appreciate the films of the decade, the 90’s can be understood as a game of two halves, roughly splitting into grittier more socially conscious films of the early half of the decade and the… Read more »

22 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Surrealism and dream-like imagery has been infused in various forms of visual art throughout history. In the cinema, surreal imagery is a crucial part of its distinction from other art forms as it can go further in depicting a dream-like state through montage and time-based storytelling. Stylized cinematic treatment of a hallucinatory dreamstate or a nightmare can elevate the overall… Read more »

21 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Bela Tarr, who has had a huge influence on contemporary filmmakers like Gus Van Sant and Jim Jarmusch, is one director whose films are more read about than watched. And it is not without a reason. Imagine a seven-hour-long movie made up of just 150 shots! Yes, he is capable of that. A proponent of the slow cinema movement, where… Read more »

21 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists