Articles

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Motif: Sofia Coppola’s Car Rides

  Depending on how narrowly you define “drama,” I’m not sure Sofia Coppola has ever made one, though all her films get classed as such. When I think of a drama, I think of Ordinary People or Rain Man, something with a little high-vaulted emotion, a confession, dynamic characters and perceptible change. Someone gets judged…Read On

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Undefended: The Five Greatest Hitchcock Movies Hitchcock Never Made

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 five greatest Hitchcock movies Hitchcock never made. A single caveat: no Clouzot movies allowed.   Justin Spencer: 1. Talented Mr. Ripley 2. The Usual Suspects…Read On

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Objectionable Content: The Preface

Over the next month or so, we’ll publish a series of articles on cinematic “objectionable content”: one article on vulgar and obscene language in film, another on sex and nudity in film, and a final article on violence in film. I am not content that the Christian conversation about objectionable content has been particularly sophisticated; while…Read On

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Undefended: The Top 5 Films Practically No One Has Seen

Undefended is posted every Friday. All Film Fisher writers are given a prompt and respond with a list of five items, none of which are explained or rationalized. This week… …the five greatest films which practically no one has seen. What are those films which have slipped through the cracks? Those films you always want someone’s…Read On

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Undefended: Pop Music’s Top 5 Greatest Gifts To Cinema

Undefended is posted every Friday, but we’ll be closed tomorrow for Good 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… …scenes from films which use previously released music to the greatest effect. James Banks 1. “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive”…Read On

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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