Blog Archives

VIDEO: Jeff Nichols Talks About Mud, Hud, and Michael Shannon’s Missing Mustache

“I was tired of being so cool”: Leah Churner talks to Jeff Nichols about the idiosyncratic inspirations for his new film Mud in this SundanceNOW exclusive video interview.

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Viva Mabuse! #35: Growing Up Absurd

Taken on its face, Volker Schlöndorff’s The Tin Drum is a spirited, lavish adaptation of a great postmodernist novel, style-free, geared for award-winning and only as distinctively strange—when it is strange instead of commonplace—as Gunter Grass’s book. But looking at it again, via Criterion’s new restored edition, we must recognize its vitality as a historical marker, sounding the beginning of what we could call Holocaust pop culture.

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On the Couch: Simon Killer

Hey there—yes, you in the sweatpants, weeping into your couch cushions. Looks like you’re going through a pretty tough breakup, but I’m here to tell you that you look great. Especially when you consider that this scenario could have been a lot worse. You could have, say, pulled a Simon Killer: leave the country, take up with a hooker and start maybe-murdering people, all in the name of your crappy ex-girlfriend. (Okay, drama queen, whatever happened to the classics: crying, … Read More

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Docutopia #44: Plumbing the Depths of Character at Tribeca 2013

During the actual ten days of the Tribeca Film Festival, with its red carpet star sightings—Naomi Watts! Zac Ephron!—and celebrity talks—Ben Stiller! Clint Eastwood!—it’s easy to forget that the fest has become one of the country’s preeminent launching pads for documentary films. Jesus Camp, Taxi to the Dark Side, and Jiro: Dreams of Sushi are among the stellar nonfiction films that have premiered at Tribeca. While these docs might have gotten shorter shrift from the paparazzi, their legacy has endured … Read More

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Films vs. Movies #65: Bradley vs. Ryan

Gosling or Cooper? This week, Films vs. Movies goes hunk.

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Here & Now & Then: 1966

The next year we’d have that first trickle of American films that willfully catered to a younger, increasingly rebellious audience ready to toss out old Hollywood with delight. But in 1966, we seem to have a perfect example of that middling middle ground between the bloated behemoths and international coproductions that had finally subsumed the American movie scene, keeping audiences away in droves, and the aggressively youth-minded, politically oriented films on the horizon.

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Bombast #89

As Terrence Malick stays aloof from the fray, the debate over his Art rages on: Does the Emperor have no clothes, or is he resplendent in ermine-lined royal finery? I’ve long been inclined towards the latter answer and, much to my surprise, someone was paying attention to my exhortations. Last Tuesday, at 12:38 EST, I received a phone call from an unlisted number. A muffled voice, possibly speaking through a handkerchief, asked me if I would be interested in “Talking … Read More

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Viva Mabuse! #34: Childhood’s End

How and why the design assault of something like The Thief of Bagdad seems so bewitching is something of a mystery, open for creative speculation and theorizing. When we’re hypnotized by what might be called an “overdesigned film,” an epithet that could be applied to everyone from Melies to Tim Burton, it’s not a response we cinephiles are very good at articulating, or understanding. What exactly are we bowled over by?

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On the Couch: Dark Circles

The new spooky film Dark Circles tells the tale of two new parents whose home may be haunted by restless spirits of the recently deceased. Or maybe they’re just super tired. (Word on the street is new babies are quite the life-suck.) It’s a tricky business sorting the ghosts in your house from the bats in your belfry, but I’m here to help—just as soon as the lights stop flickering and this transparent gentleman leaves.

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