Christ In Concrete, City Priest, Chomsky

Some assorted viewing updates…

Christ in Concrete (Give Us This Day) (1949)

All Day Entertainment seems to be a company with its act together. Not only do they intentionally distribute films on video that have slipped through the cracks of history (a more common fate for movies than one might realize), they also lavish their polished DVD releases with plenty of supplemental material. Their multi-volume collection of films directed by Edgar G. Ulmer is one such example. The unsung German filmmaker who emigrated to the US in the ’30s–along with directors like Fritz Lang (Metropolis) and …

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Tragic reflections

One of the pleasures of a regular regimen of video watching is the unexpected tributaries and whirlpools that gather around commonalities which might otherwise go unnoticed. This last week, for example, I watched the Region 2 DVD of 11’09″01 as well as the Criterion Collection’s latest DVD releases, Alain ResnaisNight and Fog (1955) and Hiroshima mon amour (1959). In general terms, these films address three significant human tragedies: the killing of US civilians in New York and Washington, the Nazi extermination of Jewish civilians, and the US atomic bombing of Japanese civilians. Watching all three films, I couldn’t …

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The Hulk

From time to time, I’d like to spotlight reviews by some of the site’s regular participants. This one is from David, who was surprised by just how much he enjoyed Ang Lee’s latest superproduction, Hulk. And if you’re not up on your comic lore, peruse this informative primer for a historical overview.

By David Shepherd

When I first heard the announcement, some two-odd years ago, that Ang Lee, fresh from the critically acclaimed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), would be helming the theatrical debut of The Incredible Hulk, I was excited. I didn’t read comics much growing …

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Cineaste, Dardennes, Russian Ark, Tarkovsky

So I picked up the new Cineaste today at Borders and it’s a great issue. One of the more serious magazines on film widely sold in the US, Cineaste tends to emphasize political readings, but also expands to encompass a variety of commentary. Here are some excerpts:

ïAn interview with Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the Belgian filmmakers who have been making documentaries since the ’70s, but whose first three fictional works (1996’s La Promesse, 1999’s Rosetta, and 2002’s The Son) have made significant waves in recent international cinema:

Jean-Pierre: “[The Son] is a story

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Miyazaki, Kiki’s Delivery Service

Several years ago when I was a student at the University of Arizona, a friend of mine named Toru–an international student from Japan and also an incorrigible film buff–invited me to a Hayao Miyazaki film festival that was being put on by the campus animation club. Not having anything better to do and always being game for exploring the work of unknown filmmakers, I cheerfully tagged along.

Nothing prepared me for what I encountered. As I recall the festival, the exact plots and narrative details of the fantasy films elude me, but the colors and compositions, the visual sweep and …

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Cinema: A Critical Dictionary

The publication industry surrounding film studies is incredibly constrained by time. Books go in and out of print faster than you can look up last weekend’s box office gross. Because of this, I’ve enjoyed purchasing the bulk of my film books from used and second-hand bookstores. There has been a lot of good critical and historical analysis written about the movies, especially since the ’60s and the rise of film academia, and many wonderful books still exist in dark, dusty corners of neighborhood bookstores.

Recently, I came across one such findóCinema: A Critical Dictionary edited by Richard Roud, which …

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