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Thursday , September 19 2019

Author Archives: Steven

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Expressing an appreciation (or lack thereof) for all sorts of films for over 25 years.

Lore (2013)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  4 For her second feature film (Australia’s submission to the 85th Annual Academy Awards in the Best Foreign-Language Picture category), co-writer/director Cate Shortland (Somersault (2004)) adapts Rachel Seiffert’s critically-acclaimed novel, The Dark Room (2001), which contemplates the effect of the fall if the Nazis upon individual Germans.  In extracting only one of Seiffert’s three narratives, Shortland opts for a vantage point that ... Read More »

Dark Skies (2013)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10)?  3  Why would aliens want to play Jenga with the contents of your kitchen cabinets?  If the answers to these sorts of questions are not necessary for you to suspend your disbelief, then Dark Skies may be right up your alley. On the other hand, if ... Read More »

Black Swan (2010): A Portrait of the Artist as Narcissist

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  9 (NOTE: The essay also includes discussions of the films, The Red Shoes (1948), All About Eve (1950), and The Tenant (1976).) Black Swan opens within a dream.  Nina (Natalie Portman) is performing a solitary sequence from Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake (1876) where the evil sorcerer, Von Rothbart, has cast ... Read More »

21st Century Love Stories: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  5   In recognition of the holiday, this article is the last installment of four published in February 2013 highlighting my favorite love stories put to celluloid in the 21st century. The title of director Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is derived from a line in the Alexander Pope poem ... Read More »

21st Century Love Stories: High Fidelity (2000)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  4   In recognition of the holiday, this article is the third installment of four published in February 2013 highlighting my favorite love stories put to celluloid in the 21st century. Top 5 Reasons I Love High Fidelity: 1. John Cusack’s Narration “One moment they weren’t there – not in any ... Read More »

Oscar-Nominated Live Action Shorts (2012)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3   Currently, the Oscar-nominated live action and animated short films are appearing for a short time in certain theaters throughout the U.S.  They will be available online and streaming through a number of outlets (including iTunes) beginning on February 19, 2013. Despite all of the opportunities offered by the new ... Read More »

21st Century Love Stories: In the Mood for Love (2001)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilerly is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  4   In recognition of the holiday, this article is the second installment of four published in February 2013 highlighting my favorite love stories put to celluloid in the 21st century. Like a secret, In the Mood for Love is the type of film that is perhaps best shared with just ... Read More »

Side Effects (2013)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10):  4  Legend has it that director Steven Soderbergh’s debut feature film, sex, lies, and videotape (1989), ushered in the rise of the indie film in the 1990s, and more specifically, the emergence of the Sundance Film Festival as an influence on American movie culture.  (The Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) is one ... Read More »

21st Century Love Stories: Secretary (2002)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  5  In recognition of the holiday, this article is the first installment of four published in February 2013 highlighting my favorite love stories put to celluloid in the 21st century. Director Steven Shainberg has described his second feature film, Secretary, as a “black comedy coming-of-age” – at least on its ... Read More »

He Said: Top 10 Films of 2012

10.  Holy Motors (written and directed by Leos Carax, and starring Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Kylie Minogue, and Eva Mendes).  At the outset, I feel obliged to say that this top 10 list tends to reward ambition more than it probably should.  In this respect, Holy Motors generally defies comparison to any other film released this year.  Director Carax follows “working actor” Lavant through a single day consisting of ... Read More »

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