Skip to content

Perhaps more than any decade before or since, due largely to the home video market, the 1980s was a great time for cult films. Part of the attraction with these movies designated with cult status is that they are decidedly different and much more provocative than mainstream populist fare. The cult film experience differs from conventional cinema by appealing to… Read more »

05 June 2017 | Features, Film Lists

Weird films have a magic to them of sorts: it takes a wholly unique vision–and a steadfast confidence in that vision–to bring it to life. Often not commercially promising, the stranger films that are produced are also the ones that have something to say, and whether important, comical, or just disturbing, due to the uncompromising nature of these visions they… Read more »

05 June 2017 | Features, Film Lists

“A complex and ultimately moving essay on the privileges of victimhood and the nuances of what it means to suffer for love.” – Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice   Love’s melody lost The Duke of Burgundy, which is a reference to the hamearis lucina butterfly found only in Europe, artfully details the love story of two lesbian sadomasochistic entomologists (scientist who… Read more »

04 June 2017 | Features, Reviews

There are few directors in film history as polarizing as Peter Greenaway. Initially trained as a painter, Greenaway has a terrific mind for visual framing and composition. This inspired stylistic mind and passion for details make his filmography like no other, with each frame a calculated painting, and sometimes several paintings in one. Not only does Greenaway use his mastery… Read more »

04 June 2017 | Features, Film Lists

Warner Brothers’ biggest cash cow has the edge over most franchises because it’s based on such strong source material. Whatever your opinion on J.K. Rowling’s writing, no one can deny her impressive world building and well thought-out storylines that provided the series with a consistency rarely seen in a franchise. Beginning in 1997 with the publication of the first book,… Read more »

03 June 2017 | Features, Film Lists

Primer is an independent movie produced by first-time director Shane Carruth on that most micro of micro-budgets, $7000. After winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004 it recouped a modest 200x return on investment at the box office. But the temporally-displaced fun was only beginning. Primer’s DVD release coincided with the early days of YouTube, and as high-level… Read more »

03 June 2017 | Features, Other Lists

The New Tens continue the trend of experimentation, genre mixing, and innovations that the film world began to heavily produce in the 2000s, and with the new and unseen quickly becoming de rigeur for emerging filmmakers to test their mettle and stand out among the increasingly crowded field of indie filmmakers, this decade has been an exciting one for cinephiles… Read more »

03 June 2017 | Features, Film Lists

As the past showed, the Academy isn’t averse to skipping brilliant works of art in order to give the award to the most obvious or least deserved choice. In particular, the category of Best Original Score provides an opportunity to pay tribute to artistically valuable and one-of-a-kind works simply because the soundtrack shapes the movies identity en masse, no matter… Read more »

02 June 2017 | Features, Other Lists

Surrealist Luis Buñuel once stated, “Film seems to be the involuntary imitation of the dream.” This of course is of particular interest when it comes to Leos Carax’s 2012 French-German film Holy Motors, in which the French film director uses a metaphysical dreamscape to channel life as it is experienced while deliberately calling attention to the film’s construct of itself… Read more »

02 June 2017 | Features, Other Lists

David O. Russell has a certain reputation for being, to put it lightly, hard to work with. From leaked YouTube videos to some less-than-kind interviews from people he has worked with, Russell’s unconventional directing techniques have been criticized for years. While his negative attitude has put a dent in reputation, Russell continues to wow critics and audiences with each new… Read more »

01 June 2017 | Features, Film Lists

American filmmaker Darren Aronofsky has never been the kind of writer-director who shies away from controversial qualities in his films, or to sidestep surreal flourishes as well as story elements that may confound or confuse audience expectations, and his third and arguably most ambitious feature, The Fountain (2006), exemplifies such considerations. A psychedelic science-fiction fantasy and a historical romance that… Read more »

01 June 2017 | Features, Other Lists

Set design, like any other creative department in filmmaking, can make or break a movie. It is curious, however, that unless the sets in a film are breathtaking and gorgeous, they will seldom even be mentioned. That’s the unfortunate facet of being an art director/set designer. If your work isn’t stellar, then you’ll most likely come and go without a… Read more »

01 June 2017 | Features, Film Lists

Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s influential fantasy saga was one the most ambitious film projects ever made. Regarded as one of the most unfilmable book series ever written (including an alleged attempt by The Beatles with Stanley Kubrick), it took about eight years of continuous work for Jackson and his team to prove everyone wrong. Beginning in the early… Read more »

31 May 2017 | Features, Film Lists

In recent years, those who have an avid interest in vintage Hollywood films are inevitably drawn to two movements or periods in the history of American pictures. One is now tagged the “pre-code” era, the roughly five years of relaxed censorship at the dawn of sound in the very late 1920s and early 1930s. The other, which has been of… Read more »

31 May 2017 | Features, Other Lists

Some of the best, and most obvious, advice to give anyone trying to get into cinema is to just be patient, and pay attention at all times. It is axiomatic for sure, but this advice is even more prevalent when considering slow, meandering cinema. It can be tempting to wander off and lose focus, but remaining diligent is what is… Read more »

31 May 2017 | Features, Film Lists

Who doesn’t enjoy a good weird movie every now and then? When properly done, a strange film can excite the viewer who has grown accustomed to the standard mainstream fare to re-engage their passion for the medium or else encourage neophytes into delving deeper down the rabbit hole of more bizarre fare. The 90s was a boom time for film,… Read more »

30 May 2017 | Features, Film Lists