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Unique and stunning visuals marked Russian cinema since the earliest days. From the phantasmagories of Starevich and Protazanov, to the giddy montage days of Eisentein, Vertov, and Dovzhenko, to visual poetry of Paradjanov and Tarkovsky. Sadly, visionary visual artists in Soviet days had to deal with being told what and how to do by the ever-reaching Communist Party officials and… Read more »

26 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

One of the more interesting aspects of many political thrillers is how they capture a unique moment in our sociocultural political history. One does not have to be a policy buff to really appreciate an engaging political thriller. Whether it’s looking at it through a revisionist lens or using firsthand accounts of the most pressing political issues of the day,… Read more »

25 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

Born November 6, 1970, Ethan Hawke’s debut as an actor was in the 1985 film “Explorers”, alongside River Phoenix as teenage schoolboys who build a spacecraft to explore outer space. His breakthrough, though, wasn’t until four years later in “Dead Poets Society”, which granted him numerous roles in following years. In the 90s, he became Generation X’s sweetheart by taking… Read more »

25 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

Many films make you ask questions. Many films make you wonder what you would do in a similar situation. But few leave you wondering “What if…?” “What if life worked like that?” “What if I had the power to do that?” Et cetera, et cetera… Here are thirty films that just might leave you sitting in the theatre after the… Read more »

25 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

Kim Jee-woon is a filmmaker who not only adores the cinema, but tries to push his style a bit farther than his contemporaries. While other filmmakers that are uniquely South Korean — a strict theme, sensibility, or historical importance — Kim makes films that are unique love letters to the genre films, commenting and elevating the material beyond parody or… Read more »

25 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

Sequels must be the most commonly attempted type of films that are scarcely pulled off in the history of cinema. It is hard enough creating a decent movie that is still worth watching a year or two after it is initially released, let alone a classic that is still good after decades or a masterpiece that remains timeless. Creating a… Read more »

24 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

The term “masterpiece” holds a rather floating definition. True enough, one man’s masterpiece is another man’s garbage; women ditto. However, one term constantly associated with the term masterpiece seems to be “bold.” Critics seem to fall back on this terms time and time again. In retrospect, it does quickly become clear that most cinematic gems hold one distinct common characteristic… Read more »

23 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

Born in South Africa, Charlize Theron moved to the US when she was a teenager. She was previously a dancer, but after knee damage could no longer carry on dancing. This apparently devastated her at the time, but she decided to become an actor and moved to Hollywood. According to rumour she was then discovered by an agent whilst having… Read more »

23 May 2015 | 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 one’s motivation, the joy… Read more »

23 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

With an ever-growing portfolio of critically acclaimed films and a host of award wins, Mexican D.O.P Emmanuel Lubezki has recently begun to solidify his place as one of cinematography’s all-time greats. Known to his friends as ‘Chivo’, he was born and raised in Mexico City, where his love for cinema was perhaps inherited from his part-Russian father, Muni, who was… Read more »

22 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

College is one of the most formative and exciting times in many people’s lives, representing the transitional stage into adulthood. Similar to many coming-of-age films set in high school, college movies focus on the new responsibilities of the young students and the pitfalls that they encounter only these events are blown up to magnified proportions due to the increased freedom… Read more »

22 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

Have you ever clicked with a crazy movie or seen something weird and wonderful that seemed made just for you? Odds are this sort of cinematic caprice was a cult film, perhaps one that led you to an almost unhealthy obsession with something stylishly strange. The cult film experience differs from mainstream movies by appealing to unique sensibilities, be it… Read more »

22 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

Ireland’s film industry has been booming in recent years, with productions such as Penny Dreadful, Ripper Street, Love & Friendship, Game Of Thrones, The Lobster and even (briefly) the latest Star Wars filming on these shores in the past year among others, not to mention indigenous projects such as Brooklyn and The Secret Scripture. Factors such as tax breaks, the… Read more »

22 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

The twenty first century has seen movies become progressively less important to popular American culture with every passing year. More films have been made in the last fifteen years than even the most thorough film buff would ever have time to see in one lifetime. The ones that did get noticed would often be forgotten within a year of their… Read more »

21 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

War is an artistically rich topic and many noted cinematic artists have produced works concerning war and a war backdrop. World War II is perhaps and most familiar and fertile of war period settings in the filmmaking universe. The war which inaugurated the atomic era and in which an accumulated 60 million persons died is considered to be the largest… Read more »

21 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

During an evening commute through LA traffic, a friend and I listened to a podcast featuring screenwriter C. Robert Cargill (“Sinister”). In the episode, the writer briefly mentioned that if it weren’t for “Titanic,” 1997 would be considered a great year for films—up there with 1977, 1999, and 2008. Once the episode was over, my friend had me guess which… Read more »

20 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

Alfred Hitchcock is known worldwide as the Master of Suspense, and it is probably an unanimity that this title should not belong to anybody else. With an astonishing filmography of more than fifty movies – from primordial silent black and white to colored ones –, he has become a reference on both technique and narrative. His films never get old… Read more »

20 May 2015 | Features, Other Lists

Beneath artistic controversy lies a debate surrounding the nature of Art: its mimetic powers and its goals. Positions toward these topics are several. Plato moved from banning the artists to approve them under certain institutional conditions. In one of his most famous aphorisms, Nietzsche insinuated that controversial figures were nothing but means for the strengthening of the status quo. Such… Read more »

20 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists

The year is 1977. CBGB. Ramones. Sex Pistols. Mohawks, ragged clothes, crazy hair colors, leather jacket and boots. DIY. Three-Chord songs. Teen angst. Anarchy. Everywhere political tensions are growing – society is reaping the transformations that started in the 60’s, while the hippie revolution gains a more mature façade – and the anger felt by the neglected youth is channeled… Read more »

19 May 2015 | Features, Film Lists