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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

Many films that are considered great today were praised upon their initial release and gained recognition as a classic over time, however many works that are now considered classics opened to unenthusiastic reviews or poor box office results. In this list we’ll look at 15 of those films.   15. A Christmas Story (1983, Bob Clark) Based on the short stories of… Read more »

24 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Holiday season is officially here now that we’re upon Thanksgiving Day, one of the oldest American traditions. As a foreigner, I can say that people outside of the United States don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving, so most of my contact with the holiday was through movies, TV series and other American products – it’s fascinating to see how the tradition pushes… Read more »

24 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

In 2007, director Zack Snyder took on the task of adapting Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons magnum opus “Watchmen”. Famous for revolutionizing DC Comics, “Watchmen” had had a troubled history making it to the big screen, but in 2009 was finally released to the public. The movie opened up to polarizing reviews, with some critics loving the film for its… Read more »

23 November 2016 | Features, Other Lists

There’s a classic saying that no one sets out to make a bad movie – unless you’re a talentless hack, then it goes without saying. Still, if you skim through some of the highest-regarded filmmakers around, with a little patience you’ll find that awkward stinker. It’s rare, but it happens, some times due to behind-the-scenes turmoil, or an elder statesman… Read more »

23 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Female sexuality is one of those mysteries that will never quite be solved and that is why it will always be a hot topic in cinema. A female character that is at the peak of her sexuality- whether she is just constantly craving more sex for the purpose of pleasure or if it’s a more serious psychological addiction, such women… Read more »

23 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

Nicholas Winding Refn is a director with a very fixed vision. Some people will inevitably be in awe of it. Others may reject it as ‘style over substance’. Refn’s most recent film, The Neon Demon, is an attempted examination of the modelling scene in L.A. While this has certainly been done before, Refn calls upon his distinct approach to visual… Read more »

22 November 2016 | Features, Other Lists

The landmark 1987 book Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsh argued that people should have a comfortable degree of knowledge concerning aspects of general culture which help to enrich and broaden the minds and lives of those who process that knowledge. There are many facets of culture which inform a person’s life and, in the modern world, film is one which… Read more »

22 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

What does it mean to utilize a filmmaker’s style as an adjective to explain another filmmaker’s work? The comparison can give a sense of admiration toward the referee filmmaker. It’s an admiration that is not necessarily felt and consciously applied by the mentioned authors in this list; it is merely a similarity that a spectator may find in confronting the… Read more »

22 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

There are countless articles on the internet about sequels that were (arguably) better than their predecessors. We’ve heard all about how Aliens, The Godfather Part 2, and The Dark Knight are fantastic sequels to already great movies. It’s a bit harder to find good sequels to bad, or at least below average movies. That’s because very few of them actually… Read more »

21 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

People use the word “conservative” to mean many things. There are the George W. Bush-style “neocons,” in favor of foreign interventions and not opposed to big government. There are Rand Paul-supporting libertarian types, more isolationist, and vehemently anti-welfare state. There are free market conservatives, religious conservatives, traditionalists, and even protectionist semi-environmentalists in the style of Pat Buchanan. There are many… Read more »

21 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists

It might sound like a truism, but in the era of hyperproduction, every year brings the myriad of films and it is virtually impossible to watch all of them. Actually, even when you stick to certain genres or genre-defyers, you are likely to miss dozens of titles. So, long story short, the following list sheds some light on the first… Read more »

21 November 2016 | Features, Film Lists