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With the Academy Awards, it’s an old adage that it’s an honor just to be nominated. And that’s true: out of the scores of films produced and released this year, only a few receive the honor of an Oscar nomination. But even the winners of these awards can be debatable; more so are the losers, whose work was perhaps, in… Read more »

16 February 2017 | Features, Other Lists

The Coen brothers are the directors who brought us “Fargo”, “No Country for Old Men”, and other striking achievements that follow their distinct cinematic and narrative style. In their films, they manage to meticulously portray unique and intriguing characters. The dialogues are masterly crafted, often containing witty and black humor; they explore various philosophical themes; and the cinematography is mesmerizing…. Read more »

16 February 2017 | Features, Other Lists

At the root of the horror genre lies a proclivity towards hyperbole in manifesting our fear of the unknown. For writers like David Cronenberg, domestic dramas about custody battles and marital unrest are simply too inexpressive to represent the dismal reality of dissolving the family unit or falling out of love. Such emotions, instead, deserve to be treated with shocking… Read more »

16 February 2017 | Features, Film Lists

The golden age of Polish film is often connected with the period of peak achievements of most famous directors in Polish film school in the 50s and 60s – Wajda, Munk, Kawalerowicz, Has, Konwicki – or with the “cinema of moral anxiety” that occurred in the 70s and early 80s with Zanussi and Kieślowski. The year 2014 brought the cycle… Read more »

16 February 2017 | Features, Film Lists

It’s an inevitable declaration in any conversation about the Academy Awards: “I hated it when they gave an Oscar to….” (insert undeserving film/director/actor). And why not? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts has shown alarmingly poor taste when it comes to celebrating films. This is, after all, the organization that doled out its highest honor to “Slumdog Millionaire,” Danny Boyle’s… Read more »

15 February 2017 | Features, Other Lists

Roman Polanski’s 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby is a product of a time of not only social upheaval in the United States, but one of massive artistic upheaval as well. Based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Ira Levin, the film came about during a time when American cinema was undergoing a period of modernization marked by a… Read more »

15 February 2017 | Features, Other Lists

This article may contain spoilers. In his twenty years as a film director, Denis Villeneuve has won dozens of awards and been nominated for dozens more. With the eagerly awaited upcoming release of Blade Runner 2049, and having just signed on to direct a new feature film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic novel Dune, Villeneuve is poised to enjoy the… Read more »

15 February 2017 | Features, Film Lists

Steven Spielberg’s 1998 epic war drama “Saving Private Ryan” is known as a film that shakes its audience by using editing and storytelling in a realistic way. It sucks you into the battlefield with great performances from a stellar cast, yet it also shows you hope within the savagery of war. Written by Robert Rodat, “Saving Private Ryan” details one… Read more »

15 February 2017 | Features, Film Lists

If you were to ask someone their definition of an emotionally harrowing film, chances are you’d get some different answers. Many would point out obvious tearjerkers like Broken Circle Breakdown while others would give a shout out to realistic depictions of relationships gone astray like, say, Scenes From a Marriage or Blue Valentine. None of these answers are wrong, really…. Read more »

15 February 2017 | Features, Film Lists

As made clear by all the articles and think-pieces on the “Oscar curse”, winning an Academy Award doesn’t guarantee that Hollywood will treat an actor with more respect or opportunities. Most of all, if the actor’s instinct (and agent) doesn’t tend to more prestige roles, they tend to take a steep fall from grace after winning the statuette. The 10… Read more »

14 February 2017 | Features, People Lists

I’m not sure that there is as enjoyable a film genre as the musical, and it’s one that is often derided more than any other, except maybe for horror films. Even when a joyful and technically dazzling pastiche picture like La La Land appears there’s an almost instant backlash from cynical types determined not to enjoy a picture that celebrates… Read more »

14 February 2017 | Features, Film Lists

The Oscars have chosen their five picks for the Best Documentary category. While they’re not too shabby, it’s obvious that they left out quite a few stellar choices. It’s not hard to see why. 2016 has graciously gifted us with so many fantastic documentaries. With streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu swooping up as much content as they… Read more »

14 February 2017 | Features, Film Lists

Throughout history, filmdom has seen its fair share of horrific on-the-set tragedies. Who could ever forget the fatal accidental shooting of Brandon Lee during The Crow and the litany of deadly stunts gone wrong in films like The Dark Knight and The Expendables II? While some of these mishaps led to long and costly wrongful death trials (a stunt person’s… Read more »

14 February 2017 | Features, Film Lists

Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann is one of those brilliant movies that you have to see for yourself in order to understand where all of the talk about it has been coming from – and once you do, you’ll realise what ‘the fuss’ was all about. On the surface, Toni Erdmann is a relatable story of a retired father, Winfried (Peter… Read more »

14 February 2017 | Features, Other Lists

It is no mean feat to make a movie from start to finish. We’ve all heard stories of Terry Gilliam’s “Don Quixote” or even Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon project, proving that you can be one of the most admired directors in history and still fall short of putting your vision in front of the cameras. And that’s not to mention the… Read more »

14 February 2017 | Features, People Lists

2017 is filled with Oscar-nominated actors and actresses from a group of high-quality films. But that’s not always the case. While most of the names on this list were at least nominated at some other time during their careers, their nominations in these specific movies seem peculiar. It’s not because they don’t deserve it, but that such performances came within… Read more »

13 February 2017 | Features, Film Lists