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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Back in 1978, a former advertising executive unleashed upon the world a hefty text on the imminent perils implicit in the act of watching television, channeling the as-of-yet accurate prophecies foretold in the previous decade’s examination of man’s many newfound extensions. Jerry Mander’s Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television echoes the theory debuted in Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media that… Read more »

30 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

The second batch of 25 lesser known films from the 21st century starts in Heaven and ends in the ruins of Fukushima. On this wild cinematic journey, you’ll encounter the mermaids and dirty saints, feel the soft breath of wind, dance with Melancholia and have the longest stay in Japan where you’ll dream for ten nights…   1. The Discovery… Read more »

30 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

“Relationships were all [John Cassavetes] was interested in: the laughter and the games, the tears and the guilt, the whole roller coaster of love.” – Martin Scorsese   At long last love To my mind there’s something mythic and altogether magical about Love Streams, John Cassavetes’ momentous and penultimate picture from 1984. For the past twenty years or so I’ve… Read more »

29 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Released in 1999, Being John Malkovich was the debut feature film for both its director Spike Jones and scriptwriter Charlie Kaufman. Craig Swartz (John Cusack) is an out of work puppeteer who takes a job at an office, eventually discovering a portal which leads into the mind of actor John Malkovich (the actor performing as a parody of himself). Here… Read more »

29 November 2016 | Features, Other Lists

Extravagant. Tragic. Beautiful. These are the words that can describe Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty”, a movie that won him an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film of 2014. Sorrentino’s work is compared to Federico Fellini’s; this movie is thematically similar to “8½”, and with its vivid colours and circus-like imagery, it surely reminds viewers of the work of the… Read more »

29 November 2016 | Features, Other Lists

Public speaking is not just a skill, it is an art form, one that very few can master. For most, it is a source for anxiety. The sight of a large crowd and all the attention on one person can make even the most confident individual turn into a stuttering mess. However, when done correctly, they can inspire the very… Read more »

28 November 2016 | Features, Other Lists

There are many films that shouldn’t have been remade, and the backlash many of them received came from their old fanbase. Nostalgia is a tricky market. Do it right and it’s big bucks. Do it wrong and you’ll piss off a lot of people. Once you grow accustomed to character, it’s like having an old friend who you never had… Read more »

28 November 2016 | Features, Other Lists

Legend has it that Americans loathe subtitled movies, but surely no true movie fan would prove this stereotype. Every year, countries from around the world make submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film award at the Oscars, and every year that’s an opportunity to discover new and exciting work from filmographies outside of the US. Of course, hardcore film buffs… Read more »

28 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Technology continues to grow and grow, which just so happens to be the norm these days. However, the growth of technology was a lot slower until the late 20th century, specifically the 1980s and 1990s. The development of personal computers, the Internet, cell phones, robotics, and other technology got the world’s attention, and it most certainly got Hollywood’s attention, who… Read more »

27 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Sometimes it seems to film fans that every American movie is made in (or at least takes place in) NYC, produced by film companies based out of LA. Even with so many movies dick riding on New York and LA, every once-in-a-while the off brand megalopolis of Chicago busts out its crop of home grown working class cinematic John’s: Belushi,… Read more »

27 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

There is not a more divisive American actor working in mainstream movies today than Nicolas Cage. To many he is a joke, overacting his way through low quality movies that don’t have much staying power past becoming fodder for Youtube sketches and internet memes. To others, he once showed promise, but is now a has-been who is currently overacting his… Read more »

26 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Sometimes the point of view of an outsider can illuminate aspects of a culture that those within it cannot see. The United States is a vast and complex land full of diverse cultures and geography with enough subject matter for hundreds of movies. The themes and styles of the films on this list are diverse. Billy Wilder, a German immigrant,… Read more »

26 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

“The best British comedy ever made? Possibly. A masterpiece? Unquestionably.” – Ali Catterall, Film4   Where I’m calling from From the tender and impassioned sound of King Curtis’ live recorded cover of Procul Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” in the opening scene to the finishing drizzly goodbye by the wolf enclosure in Regent’s Park, Withnail and I is a… Read more »

26 November 2016 | Features, Reviews

Accomplished Québécois filmmaker Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi follow-up to 2015’s Sicario, Arrival, may well be my favorite film of 2016. It’s an ecstatic and otherworldly experience, extraordinarily romantic, deeply moving, and filled with buoyancy, and wonder. Arrival is also something of a weepie––though importantly it earns its tears in an honest manner, there’s no emotional blackmail here––and, balanced by a bold… Read more »

25 November 2016 | Features, Other Lists

The close-up is one of the most known and recognizable techniques cinema has to offer. The name refers to every shot that focuses on a person or a object by framing it closer than it is usual. The subject of this list are the best close-ups of faces, which of all the possible uses of the close-up is the one… Read more »

25 November 2016 | Features, Other Lists

Woody Allen has a lot of work in his filmography, considering he has written and directed a movie every year since the early 70s, and about half of them are dramas and the other half are comedies. While some of his films are dark and brooding and heavily influenced by Ingmar Bergman, there are still a handful of timeless comedies… Read more »

24 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists