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Photo: Jay Brooks/Saga In the early 1980s, German filmmaker Werner Herzog shot a film named ‘Fitzcarraldo’ in the jungles of South America, battling against forces of nature as formidable as hostile tribes, and an egomaniacal actor. In that film a 340 ton steamship is moved up and over a hill without the aid of special effects. This ostensibly insane skirmish… Read more »

29 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

The job of a character actress is to add spice and flavor to a movie so that audiences won’t notice that they have eaten this same meal a thousand times before. They may be comic actresses, or British, or old, or they might look just look too normal. Otherwise they are too iconoclastic, too weird: rebels working within the system…. Read more »

28 October 2014 | Features, People Lists

Writer/Director John Hughes (1950-2009) was, without a doubt, one of the leading lights in cinema in relation to his depiction of teenage life. From the 1955 Nicholas Ray film “Rebel Without A Cause” onwards, the plight of being young and trying to find your way in the world has been a constant in cinema. Hughes was distinct in the way… Read more »

27 October 2014 | 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 the motivation, the joy… Read more »

27 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Deeply rooted in Haitian Folklore, zombies have become well-known horror creature spanning from literature, comic books, cinema, and more recently T.V. Zombies have prevailed in popular culture due to our immense fascination with death. It comes from a ritual in Haitian Voodoo religion in which a corpse is reanimated and controlled by the bokor (a type of priest). The word zombie… Read more »

26 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

In this day and age, it is hard to recommend a film that someone has not seen or heard of. However, it can happen given how many films are made each year and released each week; many not even making it into the cinemas, just ending up on straight-to-video release. The following 20 suggestions to y’all, my fellow cinephiles, are… Read more »

26 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Courtroom dramas have been popular for a long time. Starting off as radio shows in the 1930’s, television soon followed suit in the late 1940s, when the medium overtook radio as the most popular at home past-time. It wasn’t long before the genre was also well established on the silver screen, with the late 1950s and early 1960s being particularly… Read more »

25 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

The thriller genre was going full steam in the late 1970’s, with the large scale success of John Carpenter’s low budget film Halloween in 1978 propelling the thriller genre forward into the 1980’s. Thrillers were generally made up of more conventional crime films and murder mysteries, or slasher films such as Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street…. Read more »

25 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Due to consumer-priced digital video, a shrinking amount of grown up movies in multiplexes, increased global awareness, and a few films by a man named Michael Moore, the 2000s were a watershed moment for documentary film. From the beginning of the decade to the end, production values were on the rise, as were the sheer number of people attempting to… Read more »

24 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Since the beginning of the Great Depression and the rise of organized crime, gangsters have fascinated people around the world. Gangster films often portray a human side of the character, almost making them look like an antihero and a Robin Hood. Considerably categorized as film noir in the early days, gangster movies dealt with the mafia and tried to show the… Read more »

23 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

British film in the 90’s began much the same way as the 80’s had ended with few opportunities to gain what little funding was available. To appreciate the films of the decade, the 90’s can be understood as a game of two halves, roughly splitting into grittier more socially conscious films of the early half of the decade and the… Read more »

22 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Surrealism and dream-like imagery has been infused in various forms of visual art throughout history. In the cinema, surreal imagery is a crucial part of its distinction from other art forms as it can go further in depicting a dream-like state through montage and time-based storytelling. Stylized cinematic treatment of a hallucinatory dreamstate or a nightmare can elevate the overall… Read more »

21 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Bela Tarr, who has had a huge influence on contemporary filmmakers like Gus Van Sant and Jim Jarmusch, is one director whose films are more read about than watched. And it is not without a reason. Imagine a seven-hour-long movie made up of just 150 shots! Yes, he is capable of that. A proponent of the slow cinema movement, where… Read more »

21 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

A rabbi, a nun, a fashion mogul and even a former Prime-Minister, Meryl Streep has done it all and quite convincingly. Considered the best actress of her generation, at 65 she shows no signs of slowing down. With two of her latest films in post-production and one in pre-production for 2015, with Diablo Cody’s signature on the script and Jonathan… Read more »

20 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

If horror cinema came to fruition and experimented with all manner of wonders in the silent film era, sound didn’t so much kill it as streamline it for effect. Certain norms came into play that kept film-makers from imagining themselves all the way down the wrong blind alleys (as silent filmmakers occasionally did) and had them focus instead on a… Read more »

19 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

The first film screening in Dutch history took place in 1896. This was less than a year after the first private screening of projected motion pictures ever took place. This early, the Netherlands were already part of the film industry. Since then, the Netherlands have always played a role in the European film scene. And even, in time, managed to… Read more »

18 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Cinema’s debt of vampires cannot be underestimated; seductive, dangerous and lonely, vampires called Cinema’s attention nearly since its beginning and were crucial for Cinema´s development by writing some of its most memorable pages. Myths and historic approximations surrounding vampires are abundant. However, it was Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula the novel that settled the modern picture of vampires that eventually Cinema… Read more »

17 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Committing oneself to an ideal is a respectable goal. However, the protagonists of Darren Aronofsky’s films would benefit from keeping everything in moderation. As an emerging auteur, Aronofsky is still fairly young, but over the past two decades, he has proven himself as a director with consistent vision and mettle. His stories are warning tales of obsession, of how becoming… Read more »

17 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists

Starting his working life as a copywriter and director in advertising for over a decade, British auteur Alan Parker (b. 1944), while not the most subtle of directors to work in the industry, has created some of the most indelible, emotionally unsentimental and truthful of films over the past half century. Breaking onto the cinematic landscape with the startling, unique… Read more »

16 October 2014 | Features, Film Lists