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Undefended: Needle Drops

It has become increasingly common for films to fill their soundtracks with pop music, though this is often done very poorly. The songs can be too obvious, too on-the-nose, or the soundtrack can become so reliant on them that they lose all impact. Nonetheless, a good needle drop can be immensely satisfying. For this month’s Undefended…Read On

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On Yorgos Lanthimos: A Conversation

Over the last ten years, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, whose credits include The Favourite, The Lobster, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, has persistently carved out a place for himself as one of the most distinctive and peculiar directors working today. In the following conversation, Timothy Lawrence and Joshua Gibbs delve into Lanthimos’ eccentric…Read On

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Ten Westerns

Six-shooters and ten-gallon hats, homesteads and horses, frontier towns and Monument Valley – these are the icons of the western, though they do not quite describe its essence. The western is the American mythology, the drama of the frontier: man against nature, yes, but also man against man, trying to master himself through sheer force…Read On

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Undefended: Westerns

For this month's Undefended lists, FilmFisher's writers picked their favorite westerns of all time – though of course there was some creative interpretation of what exactly constitutes a western…Read On

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On David Cronenberg: A Conversation

No filmmaker balances the visceral and the cerebral quite like David Cronenberg, the director of modern horror classics like The Brood, Videodrome, and The Fly, as well as acclaimed dramas like A History of Violence and A Dangerous Method. Cronenberg is best known as the maestro of gross-out body horror, but his films are driven by their ideas as much as their icky…Read On

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Inside A Scene: Unbreakable

The father/son movie is practically a genre unto itself. For heaven’s sake, all of Star Wars could plausibly be described as a story about fathers and sons; even the spin-offs, every one, are rife with surrogate dads. Touching father/son scenes in films are a dime a dozen, and because I am a total sap, I…Read On

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Undefended: Animation

For this month's Undefended lists, FilmFisher's writers picked the best animated films (not quite the same as "best-animated films") of all time. Chime in with your own selections in the comments!Read On

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Undefended: Against Type

For this month's Undefended lists, FilmFisher's writers picked their favorite performances by actors playing against type. Feel free to chime in with your own picks in the comments section!Read On

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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

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Season’s Greetings from Fargo, North Dakota

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, I made my way through Fargo – not the Coens’ 1996 opus, but the television series it later spawned. Though Joel and Ethan themselves have no creative involvement in the series, and the idea of spinning a beloved film off into a TV show sounds like a dreadful, creatively…Read On

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Undefended: Hitchcockian

Brian De Palma. Steven Spielberg. M. Night Shyamalan. David Fincher. Over the years, any number of filmmakers have been hailed as "the next Alfred Hitchcock," though the title rarely sticks for long. This month, FilmFisher's writers picked the best Hitchcock films Hitchcock never made…Read On

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Undefended: Monsters

This year, in the spirit of Halloween, FilmFisher's writers picked their favorite movie monsters – though they were given leeway to define the word "monster" as loosely as they wanted. Chime in with your own selections in the comments section!Read On

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Undefended: Old Age

Autumn is upon us and the year begins to draw to a close. In keeping with the season, this month, FilmFisher's writers picked the five best cinematic depictions of a somewhat underrepresented subject in mainstream movies: old age…Read On

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24 Questions on Catch Me If You Can

Often, the best way to begin interpreting a work of art is to ask good questions of it. The following questions are not trivia prompts with open-and-shut answers to test one’s knowledge of the film; instead, they are meant to spark and sustain thoughtful engagement with the film, whether through individual reflection or discussion in a group setting…Read On