Articles

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Principles of Adaptation

Everyone, I suppose, has his private prejudices as to what makes for a good film adaptation of a literary work. Often we lapse into the habit of judging an adapted film strictly on its superficial resemblance to its source material, without bothering to weigh any other factors. We ask ourselves, “Did they film the book?”…Read On