• “Visual Drone”: Slowing Down with Tarkovsky & Tati

    by Ashley Naftule Solaris “It’s so slow.” That’s one of the most common and damning critiques you can hear about a movie – that it’s slow. Slow is often used as a synonym for boring. Telling someone that a film is slow is probably the quickest and most effective way to convince them NOT to […]

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  • Who Needs Story When You’ve Got Kung Fu?

    by Ashley Naftule Mystery of Chessboxing The thing about genre movies is that you have to take them on their own terms. You can’t watch a giallo film with the same set of expectations you’d bring to an Oscar bait movie. It’s comparable to going to a concert: a jazz or noise show won’t flow […]

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  • Not So Bitter After All: “Killer of Sheep”

    by Ashley Naftule A married couple dance in their living room as a record player spins Dinah Washington’s “This Bitter Earth.” They dance for the entirety of the song: the husband shirtless and grim-faced, the wife in a dress. She kisses his neck and tries to coax affection out of him, but he’s too numb […]

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  • Shut Up, You’re Ruining It!

    by Ashley Naftule You know what’s one of the biggest problems plaguing Hollywood films over the last ten years? They don’t know when to shut the hell up. A common complaint lodged against the movie industry is that they don’t care about storytelling. That plot takes a backseat to star casting and CGI fireworks. I […]

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  • 3 By Demme

    by Ashley Naftule Jonathan Demme died today, at the age of 73, from complications from heart disease and esophageal cancer. An Academy Award-winning career, Demme has had a long career as a filmmaker. Starting off in the Roger Corman grindhouse factory, he went on to direct gritty thrillers, prestige movies, music videos, concert films, documentaries, […]

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  • An Overheated Kettle That You Can’t Turn Down: “Daisies”

    by Ashley Naftule MARIE: “Everything’s going bad in this world.” MARIE 2: “What do you mean, everything?” MARIE: “Well, everything.” MARIE 2: “In this world…” MARIE: “You know what? If everything’s going bad-” MARIE 2: “-so?” MARIE: “We’re going…” MARIE 2: “… bad…” MARIE: “… as….” MARIE 2: “… well!” Bored girls in bikinis, wearing […]

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  • Michael Ballhaus (1935-2017): One Of The Cinema’s Sharpest Eyes

    by Ashley Naftule Michael Ballhaus Michael Ballhaus died today. Found dead in his Berlin apartment after passing away due to an illness. Ballhaus was 81 years old. His name might not ring a bell at first, but it’s a safe bet that you’ve been exposed to his work. A cinematographer and director of photography for […]

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