Inside a Scene: The Social Network

The Social Network is as taut a drama as any murder mystery. Its dark campus shots and broody soundtrack with nary a short-short co-ed or frisbee in sight announce a break from the college movies the old era. It’s a fictionalized account of the rise of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, from neophyte tech…Read On


Undefended: The Top Five Screenwriters Working Today

Undefended is posted every Friday. All FilmFisher writers are given a prompt and respond with a list of five items, none of which are explained or rationalized. This week… The top five screenwriters working today? James Banks 1. David Webb Peoples 2. William Goldman 3. Vince Gilligan 4. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck 5. Michael Mann  …Read On


The Metaphysics Of Moving Pictures And Still Images.

While no longer in fashion, during the 1960s and 1970s, many films concluded with a still frame as opposed to a moving image which faded to black. The expression “moving picture” (from which we get the term “movie ) is something of a misnomer, though, because the “moving” nature of “movies” might be understood as…Read On


Inside A Scene: The Remains of the Day

As a first viewing of The Remains of the Day unfolds, the story seems merely to involve two stuffy old Brits who can’t admit their love for one another until it is too late, although the film lingers in the imagination too long to dismiss it so simply. The film begs for a second viewing…Read On


Inside A Scene: The Dallas Buyer’s Club Rodeo

“I am rodeo!” -Ron Woodroof Every movie tells its story using symbols. At the very least, a movie will invoke cultural symbols and tropes, but a more attentive filmmaker will build new symbols specifically tailored to the story through repetition. These symbols embody the underlying themes of a movie and will shape the attentive viewer…Read On


Undefended: The Top Five Overrated Films Of All Time.

Undefended is posted every Friday. All FilmFisher writers are given a prompt and respond with a list of five items, none of which are explained or rationalized. This week… The top five overrated films of all time? Remy Wilkins: 1. The Shawshank Redemption 2. The Godfather 3. 2001: A Space Odyssey 4. Pulp Fiction 5…Read On

Wes Anderson

Obsolete Vernacular: A Wes Anderson Retrospective

Wes Anderson has another movie coming out March 7th, 2014, The Grand Budapest Hotel, his eighth. A couple of weeks ago the trailer hit the internet, and provided much fodder for anyone inclined to call Wes Anderson twee or pretentious or prone to self-parody. Of course, it’s useless to make judgements about whether or not…Read On


A Discussion of Gattaca

Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca was released in 1997 and despite an underwhelming performance in theaters, it gained critical praise and continues to garner interest due to its glimpse into future bioethical issues. Both Joshua Gibbs and myself have a long history with the film and decided to collaborate on an extensive discussion of the film’s rich…Read On


The Tree of Life

I tried several times to compose a response to this film, although found the essay a poor medium in which to do so. Instead, I tried writing a Malick-like story, but failed because the narrative blabbed everything. I chose a different medium wherein the blabbing would seem more natural, less intrusive. I wrote a sketch…Read On


An Experiment in Criticism For Film

C. S. Lewis, the famous Christian writer and scholar, was no fan of the cinema. He once described himself as “rather allergic to films” and after attending one he added in a letter to a friend, “Do not worry it shall not become a habit.” Though he was quick to dismiss films, his fruitful discussion…Read On


Philip Seymour Hoffman, Memory Eternal.

It is both fitting and ironic that Philip Seymour Hoffman died Super Bowl Sunday. On that great feast day devoted to ersatz glory and false heroism, one of the realest of real people plaintively bowed out. If it turned out we were not alone in the universe, and aliens came to earth looking for just…Read On


24 Questions on The Terminal

“Cinema is truth at 24 frames per second.” -Jean-Luc Godard “Cinema is lies at 24 frames per second.” -Michael Haneke The following twenty four questions are prompts for a critical engagement of the film. Some can be answered immediately after watching, while others might require further research. The Terminal (2004) Director: Steven Spielberg Writers: Andrew…Read On


The Chief Cornerstone Of Film

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surly you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted…Read On


Tomas Alfredson

Tomas Alfredson’s first major international release was 2008’s Let The Right One In, based on a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, and his second was the 2011 adaptation of John le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Both films are appropriately bookish. Both films are quiet, almost entirely droll affairs with a library-like atmosphere. Everyone tends…Read On


What is Comic Acting? Part II

Here’s the second part of an article on comic acting. The first covers some definitions, and the second gets into the weeds. Part II Aight. Previously, we formed some basic ideas about how to define good acting, and sorted out some of what makes comedy work. This leaves a question wide open: What makes a…Read On

What is Comic Acting? Part I

Here’s an article on comic acting in two parts. The first covers some definitions, and the second gets into the weeds. Part I I grew up in a time when “being funny” meant impersonating first Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura and then Mike Meyers as Austin Powers. Later, Sacha Baron-Cohen as Borat entered the canon…Read On


On Why You Should See The Horseman on the Roof

The Horseman on the Roof possesses many of the necessary ingredients of a popular adventure film without being especially popular. It compares not poorly with The English Patient, a much more successful and acclaimed film released in the same year. The Horseman on the Roof, which stars Juliette Binoche and Olivier Martinez, is a period…Read On

Fritz LANG

Fritz Lang

Of the great directors of Hollywood’s classical era, Fritz Lang is among the most difficult to sum up in a neat critical epitome. There is much to be accounted for in the considerable changes that mark his maturing style from his early work in Weimar Germany to the later film noir genre pieces of his…Read On


Joe Versus The Volcano

When I was eleven years old, I watched ten minutes of Joe Versus the Volcano on HBO and was dumbstruck. A Saturday morning, I woke early to watch cartoons and, during commercials, flipped around until the image of a sad man in a trench coat arrested me. I watched the man stop, stoop and prop…Read On

Inside A Scene: Bob And Charlotte Meet In Lost In Translation.

Sofia Coppola movies tend to have that “dreamy” quality the narrator of The Virgin Suicides ascribes to the Lisbon girls, by which I mean there are many passages, but not many scenes. A scene might be three minutes long and represent three minutes in the lives of the characters. A passage, on the other hand…Read On