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Friday , September 22 2017

Category Archives: Film Essays

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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 »

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 »

My Favorite Film of 2012: Moonrise Kingdom

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  5   What does it really mean for a director to be considered an “auteur” – the artist who is most responsible for the final product that is a feature film?  Films are such a collaborative effort.  The screenwriter provides the source material, the actual producers serve as the gatekeepers between the resources and ... Read More »

Killer Joe and All of the Places You May Not Want to Go

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10)?  8   Director William Friedkin will probably best be known for his exemplary career trajectory as an alumnus of the New Hollywood movement of the 1970s – starting with the Oscar-winning The French Connection (1971), continuing with with the shocking The Exorcist (1973), and ending with the self-indulgent flop/masterpiece Sorcerer (1977).  Much like director Sidney Lumet’s black swan song, Before the ... Read More »

She Said: Antichrist (Can our beliefs and fears about ourselves manifest in a self-fulfilling prophecy?)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10)?  10  Antichrist is a beautifully shot and deeply disturbing film in which “He” (Willem Dafoe) and “She” (Charlotte Gainsbourg) attempt to find what’s at the top of this triangle diagram: what She pathologically fears. After their child jumps out a window to his death while the ... Read More »

My Five Favorite Film Adapations by the Master of Horror: Stephen King

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  3  I am not aware of a single living author who has generated more big and small screen adaptations of his work than Stephen King.  By my count, King’s novels, novellas, and short stories have been made into 34 feature-length films (including a Bollywood production), three TV series, 11  TV miniseries, and 18 separate short films (most of ... Read More »

We’ll Always Have Paris … Texas

Spoiler Scale (How spoilerly is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  8   Paris, Texas (1984) arose from the unlikely pairing of New German Cinema director Wim Wenders and the American award-winning playwright/poet Sam Shepard.  Set entirely in the American Southwest, the film opens with mythological overtones as an eagle in flight spies the lone Travis (Harry Dean Stanton) traversing the expanse of Big Bend.  Ry Cooder’s slide guitar chimes in with a rendition ... Read More »

Revisiting David Fincher’s The Game (1997)

Spoiler Scale (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  8   In September 2012, the Criterion Collection released the director approved edition of director David Fincher’s The Game (1997) on BD and DVD.  The package features an essay by David Sterritt, Chairman of the National Society of Film Critics. Director David Fincher’s oft-forgotten The Game (1995) was notably released between his breakthrough hit, Se7en (1995), and the cinephile ... Read More »

The Anti-Bildungsroman: An Appreciation of Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret

Spoiler Rating (How spoilery is this article on a scale of 1 to 10?):  8    A Tale of Two Cuts   Hopes were high after playwright and screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan had experienced his first bit of critical and commercial success with his directorial film debut, You Can Count on Me (2000), including Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress (Laura ... Read More »

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