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The recent downfall of the video store and the rise of Netflix and online streaming have left a crucial element to the browsing experience in the dust. No longer can you talk to the knowledgeable and somewhat film nerdy guy behind the counter about what’s good or what’s not. The “five star” Netflix rating system gives a decent overview but… Read more »

07 April 2014 | Features, Film Lists

San Francisco’s rolling hills, fog and bridges have called out to Hollywood filmmakers for years, and many of them have ventured north the three hundred miles or so to shoot their films in ‘Baghdad by the Bay’. Here is a list of the 20 most memorable films with settings in San Francisco. I tried to favor films that were set… Read more »

07 April 2014 | Features, Film Lists

More commonly today seen as a cheap ploy in horror movies, the hand held camera technique can be an effective cinematography style. Before the days of “Cloverfield” and “The Blair Witch Project” the “shaky camera” motif used by directors was innovative and ground breaking. Difficult to master yet chronically abused, this style is exemplified in films from documentaries to Avant-Garde… Read more »

06 April 2014 | Features, Film Lists

The music can sometimes MAKE the movie. Think about a film like Jaws, or for that matter any film scored by John Williams. Think about horror movies. Would anyone consider Psycho a classic if not for the music during the infamous shower scene? Imagine Halloween without John Carpenter’s creepy tune. We leave the theatres humming the tunes and they stay… Read more »

05 April 2014 | Features, Other Lists

Both horror and comedy are some of film’s oldest and well-loved genres. It comes as no surprise then that the two merged really early on, just as they had done previously in literature. Examples of the horror-comedy hybrid genre in film can be found as far back as the early nineteen hundreds. It wasn’t until in the thirties that horror-comedies… Read more »

04 April 2014 | Features, Film Lists

If you’re a young filmmaker with an urge to make horror films, don’t let anyone dismiss you and say it’s wrong; some of the finest filmmakers have cut their teeth in the blood-soaked genre of horror. One of the most notable is horror auteur turned blockbuster filmmaker Sam Raimi. “The Evil Dead” was Raimi’s feature debut as a filmmaker and… Read more »

02 April 2014 | Features, Other Lists

Alfred Hitchcock made cameos in all of his American (1940 and later) films and many of his British films. But in his British films, the cameos are either non-existent or very obscure, although some (as in Blackmail) are quite easy to spot. For the purposes of this list, I have focused on the films from Rebecca (1940) onwards, that Hitchcock… Read more »

02 April 2014 | Features, Other Lists

Short filmmaking has always been an understated component of cinema. It contains all of the magic, escapism, and even technicality that goes into making full length feature productions. In fact some may argue that it is even more difficult to master given the short amount of time that one has to work with to get all of the aspects of… Read more »

01 April 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Many African films that remain popular deal with the parallels between Africa’s past in relations to its modern present state. From this, we view a wide range of topics such as traditions, ideological and political institutions that were set by colonizers which remain long after their dissolution, gender roles, and the significance of oral narratives and language. The films created… Read more »

31 March 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Here are 11 films which often inspire discomfort within the audience in different degrees and ways; a vague term perhaps, but most of the entries on the list manage to actually be discomforting without always having to rely on overtly violent, gory or sexually explicit scenes. None of the films could be categorically defined as clear-cut horror films and it… Read more »

31 March 2014 | Features, Film Lists

As this is written Matthew McConaughey is perhaps the most marketable male actor around. To say he has had a renaissance or McConaissance is already a dated claim. So what this list aims to do is give you a broad picture of the different types of performances the actor has given across his career and the best of them. This… Read more »

30 March 2014 | Features, Film Lists

By watching many movies, genre tendencies become expected. When you sit down to watch a baseball movie, or a basic romantic comedy, the outcome is often pretty predictable, and the film itself is reliably formulaic. In many genre movies we welcome this predictability and these clichés, as they’re what’s expected and what you want to see. Some films however, deviate… Read more »

29 March 2014 | Features, Film Lists

The 1980’s were a time of innovation and progress for science fiction films. The groundwork that had been laid in the late ’60’s with 2001: A Space Odyssey, and later in the ’70’s with Star Wars and Alien, allowed for leaps and bounds in the following decade in terms of storytelling, special effects, and subject matter. Many sci-fi films were… Read more »

28 March 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Not all great films are complicated, convoluted and stuffed with details, characters and visual grandiose. Some movies force you to look deeper and find those complexities and themes in undercurrents and symbolic motifs, while on the surface the film itself appears to be quite simple. Simplicity in film can be beautiful and poetic, and without a complicated plot or frenzied… Read more »

26 March 2014 | Features, Film Lists

When you say “foreign film” or “world cinema”, most people (at least some of the people who live in the United States) immediately think of a French or Italian film, or maybe a Japanese animation. Seldom do people think of Latin America. And it could be argued that this is because the output of films in Latin America has always… Read more »

25 March 2014 | Features, Film Lists

The high school movie is an American cinema staple, consisting of great classics from the likes of American Graffiti, John Hughes’ “brat-pack” films (The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Dazed and Confused and many others. This cinema tradition continues to this day, with movies such as Juno and The Perks of Being a Wall Flower making a big impression… Read more »

25 March 2014 | Features, Film Lists