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Fantasia: An Easter Meditation

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." The closing sequence of Fantasia (1940), Walt Disney’s daringly conceived “concert feature,” may be the zenith of the studio’s animated output. In what the film’s narrator describes as “the struggle between the profane and the sacred,” the grotesque, hellish revels of Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” give way to the majestic solemnity and quiet holiness of Schubert’s “Ave Maria.”…Read On

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Wonder Woman and the Bronze Serpent

Richard Donner, who became the grandfather of contemporary superhero cinema with 1978’s Superman, lamented in a recent interview, “There are so many people that make superheroes so cynical, it’s depressing. When they’re dark and bleak and angry with themselves and the world, I don’t find it entertaining. I think there’s enough reality going on for…Read On

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Love in the Galaxy Far, Far Away

In Love in the Western World, Denis de Rougemont mounts a remarkably probing investigation into the origins of our modern notions of romance. His startling thesis: for the last thousand years, the overwhelming majority of poetry and literature in the west has glorified passionate love – which is necessarily unhappy – over and against marriage…Read On

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The Spirit of Star Wars

From time to time, I will scroll past blog posts with sweeping titles like, “The Mandalorian is the Best Star Wars Since the Original Trilogy”. These articles will often rely on the rather dramatic claim that The Mandalorian captures some esoteric “spirit of Star Wars” which is, apparently, possessed by less than one third of…Read On

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Undefended: Cities and Towns

Every now and then, people will say that such and such a city or town "becomes a character" in such and such a film. Usually, this means the locale is depicted in a particularly vivid way or has an especially striking bearing on the plot or atmosphere of the film. For this month's Undefended, FilmFisher's writers picked the five best cinematic depictions of cities and towns onscreen…Read On