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Monday , July 16 2018

Category Archives: Film Essays

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My Favorite Film of 2017: A Ghost Story

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  5 A trailer (allegedly) portraying an Oscar-winning actor covered in a white bed-sheet with eyeholes cut out; raves from the quirk-worshipping Sundance Film Festival set; a low budget; a glacial pace: this is not a recipe for my favorite film of the year.  Nor would I ... Read More »

My Favorite Film of 2016: La La Land

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  5    In perusing the year-end lists and reviews, I noticed a trend whereby professional and non-professional cinephiles alike seem to register a measured – if not, suspicious – appreciation for writer/director Damien Chazelle’s awards-bound musical, La La Land.  Chazelle certainly offers up plenty of familiar ... Read More »

My Favorite Film of 2015: Ex Machina

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?): 9    I resisted designating Ex Machina as my favorite film of the year, seeing as how I had picked its kinder gentler sister (Her) for the top spot only two years ago, but resistance is futile … “When God created the first man alone, God said ‘It is not ... Read More »

Counterpoint: Mommy (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3    In Mommy, a widow named “Die” (Anne Dorval) retrieves her 16 year-old son, Steve (Anton-Olivier Pilon), who has just been ejected from a juvenile center, and informally enlists the help of her neighbor, Kyla (Suzanne Clement), to cope with his volatile behavior.  As the ... Read More »

A Non-Believer’s Musings on Stations of the Cross (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3    To be sure, at this moment in history, the obvious choice for examining religious fundamentalism would be Islam (see, e.g., Timbuktu (2015)) – that is, notwithstanding the efforts of regressive liberals in the West to insulate that particular faith from critique, the undeniable fact ... Read More »

A Non-Feminist’s Musings on The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?): 3 Truth be told, we non-feminists find most self-proclaimed feminist cinephiles to be alienating –  perhaps deliberately so, considering the tendency to use terms like “institutional” in such a manner and to such a degree that one would get the impression that we live in a world where ... Read More »

A Nightmare on 8 Mile Road: It Follows (2015)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  8   * * * “[N]ightmares exist outside of logic, and there’s little fun to be had in explanations; they’re antithetical to the poetry of fear.” – Stephen King, “Why Hollywood can’t do horror,” ew.com (7/7/2008) * * * Writer/director David Robert Mitchell’s sophomore feature announces its ... Read More »

Revisiting Gimme Shelter (1970) and the End of an Era

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  8 “Time: the final month of the decade that spawned that unprecedented and probably insupportable contradiction in terms, mass bohemia, popularly known as the counterculture.  Occasion: On America’s ultimate frontier some three hundred thousand bohemians come together with their chosen images, five formerly lower- to middle-class ... Read More »

Revisiting The Thin Blue Line (1988) and Its Missing Pieces

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  7 I loved university life – an intellectually welcome space where one could study the bounds of knowledge and experience.  Eventually, however, I was expected to go forth into the “real world” and be productive.  I went right to work in a cubicle as a “professional,” ... Read More »

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