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Tilda Swinton on the State of Cinema, 2006

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Recording this week’s Oscar Podcast, we touched briefly on Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes. We speculated about the jury that year, 2004. Craig Kennedy found the the jurors on a list online and named them: Quentin Tarantino, (President), Kathleen Turner, Tsui Hark, Peter Von Bagh, among others, and Tilda Swinton. This morning trying to decide how to approach Only Lovers Left Alive, I stumbled upon…

film history

History of Cinema, Speed View, 1878 – 2013

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Fast forward through 135 years of film history in 3 minutes.

USC

Steven Spielberg Predicts ‘Implosion’ of Film Industry

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Steven Spielberg and George Lucas describe dire developments at the unveiling of USC’s School Of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Complex (photo via Zimbio) No need for me to editorialize. Whether I agree or disagree, these ominous remarks deserve more than an offhand reaction. I will say it’s interesting to see the two men often credited with formulating the modern blockbuster template for the high concept franchise mentality with Jaws, Close Encounters,…

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Paul Schrader and Steven Soderbergh – The State of Cinema

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Is there anything worthwhile left to say in movies? More and more it feels like the end of something beloved and the beginning of something else. So much has changed so quickly. Doors have closed and new ones opened. Some will embrace the change – adapt or die. Some will reject it, turn away from the new and lament the changing times, dreaming the impossible dream that things will return…

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Cinema of the Uncomfortable: Dream Homes, Secret Rooms and the American Nightmare

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As we fumble towards some kind of symbolic permanence in our lives we sometimes land where we shouldn’t, in places that have long since belonged to someone else. We call those places ours but they aren’t really; they are rooted sometimes in darkness, inhabited by ghosts, or corpses, or bad memories. The dark side of our American past is juxtaposed with our endless reach for the dream — but our…

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101 years of gay cinema

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  This week the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on two historic cases that seek to expand the scope and definition of equal rights in America to include gay people. In honor of The Supreme’s two rulings that most of us hope will declare Prop 8 and DOMA to be unconstitutional in a few months, it might be interesting to look at how far the depiction of LGBT characters in…

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Kubrick brainstorms subtitles for Dr Strangelove

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Soon after completing Lolita in 1962, Stanley Kubrick, Peter George and Terry Southern took a straight-laced Cold War thriller novel published in 1958 as Red Alert, renamed all the characters for maximum absurdity, and created the satiric masterpiece Dr. Strangelove.  But Kubrick needed a subtitle to give the movie a mockumentary sting. By the 1960s, the formula for non-fiction subtitles was well-entrenched.  Among the biggest self-help bestsellers in mid-century American bookstores…

All-Time Top Ten Lists from Scorsese, Coppola, Del Toro, Mann & many others

All-Time Top Ten Lists from Scorsese, Coppola, Del Toro, Mann & many others

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Nick James’ introduction to the Sight & Sound poll results gives us some insight into their methodology: As a qualification of what ‘greatest’ means, our invitation letter stated, “We leave that open to your interpretation. You might choose the ten films you feel are most important to film history, or the ten that represent the aesthetic pinnacles of achievement, or indeed the ten films that have had the biggest impact…

How to Mentor an Aspiring Cinephile?

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Indiewire’s Criticwire addressed today this question from a reader: “I mentor a 14-year-old from Harlem and nothing would make me happier then to have her enjoy ‘art house’ movies.  She goes to Hollywood movies in chain theaters, and doesn’t particularly like what she sees.  Of course, the fact that she’s African-American makes it even harder for me to find movies that I think would speak to her. She is sophisticated…

Martin Scorsese celebrates his 69th birthday on The Daily Show

Martin Scorsese celebrates his 69th birthday on The Daily Show

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