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Monthly Archives: September 2016

What constitutes a feminist film? While a number of movies have been described as having underlying feminist messages, there is no set definition, no easy way to identify whether or not a movie lives up to associated philosophical ideals (the staid statistical analysis of the Bechdel test notwithstanding). However, some movies take an indirect route to feminism, portraying female characters… Read more »

30 September 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Andrei Tarkovsky was a poet of cinema who was famous for his techniques, his use of long takes, slow dollies, atmospheric use of elements, and legendary theories about cinema as sacrifice and cinema as sculpting in time. He was also one of the directors who most successfully integrated cinema and philosophy. His style, made of slowness, transcendence (originating from the… Read more »

30 September 2016 | Features, Film Lists

The incredible success of Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe, even in a year so good for horror movies, proves once again that claustrophobic environment and minimalist cast/locations are prime ingredients for the genre. Surely, it puts more pressure on the director to create atmosphere and on the writer to keep things tense and interesting, but the results are often as riveting… Read more »

29 September 2016 | Features, Film Lists

“You came and brought ruin with you,” says Fatma (Nahed El Sebai) through tears of anger and heartbreak, to her one-time lover, Aly (Ahmed Abdala Mahomud), recently escaped from prison in the new intense new Egyptian drama, Sins of the Flesh. Written and directed by Khaled El Hagar (Room to Rent, El Shooq), himself a rather controversial figure in his… Read more »

29 September 2016 | Features, Reviews

“The plane wakes up,” says one of the Ju/’hoansi people as she takes her first trip ever on an airplane, destined for “overseas” aka Germany in Simon Stadler’s endearing and open-handed documentary, Ghostland. With an observant but never overly intrusive eye Stadler presents the Ju/’huansi as engaging and endearing subjects. A tribal people who’ve lost their traditional hunting practices thanks… Read more »

29 September 2016 | Features, Reviews

From the birth of cinema, filmmakers have always tried to delve deep into our subconscious, overcoming restraints and taboos, in a constant search of discovering the most repressed aspects of the human psyche. Among these aspect, human erotisism thematically dominated the seventh art. Major directors from every corner of the world pushed the limits of what’s socially (and cinematically) proper,… Read more »

29 September 2016 | Features, Other Lists

Ready for the additional dose of eclectic cinematic weirdness? If your answer is affirmative, then have a look at another twenty films, which fit this category and originate from many corners of the world. The criteria are the same as the last time, meaning you’ll find titles that belong not only to different countries, but to various periods, genres, mediums… Read more »

29 September 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Despite some critics’ dismissal of the craft, claiming it doesn’t constitute “real acting”, motion capture performances have become an increasingly common feature in modern big budget blockbusters. The craft has also been tipped to explode in future years, creating a booming market for mo-cap work. With soaring budgets and audience expectations for more and more visually stunning cinematography, it doesn’t… Read more »

28 September 2016 | Features, Other Lists

Take a chance on me Peter Sellers’ sans pareil performance – also his penultimate – as Chance, the gardener, idiot savant exemplar, is a disarmingly taciturn portrait, and the discerning centerpiece of Hal Ashby’s oft omitted masterpiece from 1979, Being There. Ashby directed several seminal pictures throughout the 1970s, including such substantial works as Harold and Maude (1971), The Last… Read more »

28 September 2016 | Features, Reviews

Bringing back seemingly dead franchises from the dead has been all the rage as of recently. In addition to the recent releases of Blair Witch and Bridget Jones’s Baby, 2016 still has the likes of Bad Santa 2 and Rings coming out in the coming months. We also have sequels for Bad Boys, XXX, Saw, Incredibles, and Blade Runner on… Read more »

28 September 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Since the beginning of the motion picture industry, there has been an obsession with violence. Before the adoption of strict ethical codes, early cinema featured a great deal of violence. Films such as The Great Train Robbery (1903), Intolerance (1916), and The Birth of a Nation (1915) all contained what could be considered a shocking amount of violence. The adoption… Read more »

28 September 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Male friendships have some elements to them that kind of distance them from female friendships. Often things go unspoken and affection is underplayed. Often enough this dynamic can make for very interesting films. Though male friendship and love (in a non-sexual way) isn’t depicted too often in a way that rings true and honest, when it is and when a… Read more »

27 September 2016 | Features, Film Lists

There is a common perception that animated films are made strictly for children, and while this belief can be understood, the medium of animation provides a sense of freedom that live-action films can’t. Often times, animators use this to their advantage and tackle the provocative and existential questions that may be difficult to tackle in a live-action film. Today we… Read more »

27 September 2016 | Features, Film Lists

New from Arrow Video is the Blu-ray release of Dead End Drive-In, a true cult classic and one of the best of the Ozploitation subgenre that mixes elements of Mad Max, The Cars That Ate Paris, Australian car culture, and crazy youth subcultures. Set in a dystopian future, this one deals with the government locking up unruly youths in a… Read more »

27 September 2016 | Features, Reviews

What makes a movie funny? Zany acting and characters? Over the top one liners? A ridiculous plot? It’s all of those things and more. However, sometimes these factors pop up in movies that aren’t meant to be funny at all, and make you laugh at it rather than with it. This is the most obvious sign that the movie you… Read more »

26 September 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Predicting which classic films will be shown throughout the course of your time studying film at university is quite easy as the same classic films are likely to appear time and again. Predicting which recent films will be part of a film studies course is a little more challenging. The point of this list is to do just that however… Read more »

26 September 2016 | Features, Film Lists