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I never master these skills, because I am the wrong man for the job.

I killed At The Movies. The dueling critics format outlived Siskel, the more natural on-air presence of the two. So why didn’t it outlive Ebert?
posted by Sticherbeast on Jul 17, 2014 - 38 comments

Wes Anderson Analyzed

Seven video essays by Matt Zoller Seitz on Wes Anderson films. [more inside]
posted by hamandcheese on Jun 19, 2014 - 18 comments

WHAT KINDS OF MINDS CREATE A STORY LIKE THIS?

DESPITE ANY GOOD INTENTIONS, SOMETHING IS GOING HORRIFICALLY WRONG HERE. AND AS A RESULT, WE'RE DEALING WITH A WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING. A BRAND OF VILLAINY MASQUERADING AS HEROISM. The Film Crit Hulk on the problems with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and its approach to storytelling and character.
posted by dng on May 7, 2014 - 155 comments

“So… do you… do you suppose we should… talk about money?”

Introducing Sociology: Tim Kreider's influential 1999 essay (previously) on how Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut uses sex and infidelity to cover up a story of greed and murder by the elite gets a brand new afterward by the author to introduce a new site for his non-fiction writing, TimKreider.com
posted by The Whelk on Apr 23, 2014 - 51 comments

That like totally ruined the movie for me

The Realism Canard, Or: Why Fact-Checking Fiction Is Poisoning Criticism. "Every work of fictional narrative art takes place within its own world. That world may resemble our world. But it is never our world. It is always the world summoned into being in the gap between its creators and its audience. " (via)
posted by octothorpe on Oct 12, 2013 - 112 comments

We are wallowing in an atemporal zone of cultural production

Habitually verbose pontificator Will Self reviews the latest tome from Mark Kermode - Britain's Rockabilly Ebert - and in doing so, reviews the changing nature of criticism.
posted by mippy on Oct 9, 2013 - 11 comments

Chaos Cinema

By employing directors with backgrounds in drama, the studios hope action-heavy films will be infused with greater depth. The catch, however, is that drama directors are usually inexperienced at, and thus incapable of, properly handling [the] material that is the film's main selling point .... "The Wolverine" is the latest example of this burgeoning trend. To name just a few examples from the past couple of years, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (dir: Gavin Hood), "Quantum of Solace" (dir: Mark Forster), "Skyfall" (dir: Sam Mendes) ... were all brought to the screen by filmmakers whose careers were predicated on dramas or comedies, not action. That fad remains in full effect this summer .... While no studio exec would dare hand over an Oscar-hopeful drama to Michael Bay, the opposite model—Hey, Marc Forster directed "Finding Neverland," so he's obviously the ideal candidate for a Bond film!—now reigns supreme.
Nick Schager writes about action films helmed by a director who is not an action director.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Aug 10, 2013 - 59 comments

John Hodgman On Full Metal Jacket

"But The Shining speaks to what makes Kubrick such an interesting and, for a lot of people, troublesome filmmaker, because he does not give you what you want. At all. He does not give you a Vietnam movie set in the jungle, and he does not give you a horror movie that is just like Stephen King’s The Shining. He doesn’t even give you scares for a long time, [just] ominous foreboding. And it takes people a while to figure out, “Oh, maybe I don’t know what I want. Maybe this is better.” - Mefi's Own Jon Hodgman talks about Full Metal Jacket with Scott Tobias for "The Last Great Movie I Saw."
posted by The Whelk on Jul 12, 2013 - 75 comments

Maybe not the warmest color.

“This was what was missing on the set: lesbians.” [SLNYT] [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Jun 6, 2013 - 30 comments

We, The Aliens.

In Defense Of Spielberg's War Of The Worlds
posted by The Whelk on Feb 19, 2013 - 197 comments

"You might not have the talent you need. Success may no longer be available to you. Time will bury everything you care about."

Movie critic Matthew Dessem (previously) considers Edward Ford to be the greatest unproduced screenplay in Hollywood.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jan 5, 2013 - 11 comments

"The best way to honor [Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman] is not with tasteful, funereal reverence but some real attempt to measure the dimensions of the stretch of history they occupied.

In a lengthy back-and-forth discussion about Django Unchained, critics Steven Boone and Odie Henderson discuss the subtleties of Tarantino's racial commentary (as well, as, of course, the more blatant commentaries), their thoughts on Spike Lee's criticism of the film, and Tarantino's vast and nuanced range of inspirations. Elsewhere, Tarantino responds to a critic who called a plot point in Django "harebrained", and what ensues offers an interesting insight into how Tarantino thinks about his characters.
posted by Rory Marinich on Jan 3, 2013 - 169 comments

"It's basically about a Hannibal..."

Someone named Casey Couture wants to tell youall about his 50 favorite movies. Perhaps you've heard of some of them?
posted by hermitosis on Sep 28, 2012 - 56 comments

The magnificent Andersons

Paul Thomas 'The Master' Anderson or Paul WS 'Resident Evil 5' Anderson... who's the best? There's only one way to find out... ask Armond White
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 19, 2012 - 56 comments

Bat Crap.

Anthony Lane cattily encapsulates Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy in a review for the New Yorker
posted by The Whelk on Jul 28, 2012 - 170 comments

Every Hollywood Movie Is A Children's Film

Essayist and cartoonist Tim Kreider is no stranger to film criticism ( previously) but his thoughtful, surprising, detailed analysis of Lynch's The Straight Story and Spielberg/Kubrick's AI deserve special attention.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 23, 2012 - 42 comments

But it has some nudes/ So if that does it for you

The art house review/criticism series Brows Held High decided to tackle Nicolas Roeg/David Bowie's 1976 The Man Who Fell To Earth by reviewing it as a karaoke medley of Bowie's greatest hits.
posted by The Whelk on May 21, 2012 - 12 comments

HULK SMASHES THE PUNY PARADIGMS OF FILM CRITICISM

Loudly and with much smashing, FilmCritHulk has become a major presence in the world of online film criticism with his semiotical essays on storytelling, cinematic principles, and media theory. Starting first on his personal blog, Hulk now writes for Badass Digest [previously] (the lifestyle blog corner of the Alamo Drafthouse empire [previously, previously]) [more inside]
posted by kcalder on Jan 26, 2012 - 24 comments

J. Hoberman Fired by Village Voice

Yesterday, the Village Voice fired J. Hoberman, long-time champion of independent and experimental film (and its senior film critic of 24 years). Hoberman promises that there's a blog in his future. The Voice has an archive of his writing for them since 1998. Here are his Top 10 lists for the years 1977 to 2006, and here they are for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Here is a compilation of his advice for aspiring film critics. A critic who came of age in an era when the lines between "film critic" and "film scholar" were blurrier, Hoberman has also written books about American movies and the Cold War and the forgotton history of Yiddish cinema. Here are some interviews with him about his work.
posted by bubukaba on Jan 5, 2012 - 42 comments

Chance, chaos and coincidence in three films

A short look at the role of chance, chaos and coincidence in three films: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Run Lola Run, and Three Colors: Red.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 29, 2011 - 20 comments

Who voted for the tire from Rubber?

Christopher Plummer, playing a man who comes out of the closet in his 70s, might have won Best Supporting Performance, but at least four people voted for a dog. The results for the crazy free-for-all that is the Indiewire Annual Survey, which polled 168 critics this year, came out today. The Tree of Life swept Best Film and Best Director, but the choices that only got a handful of votes are often the most interesting, including three different cast members from The Three Musketeers for Best Supporting and a vote for Transformers: Dark of the Moon for Best Film. You can see the complete results and links to all of the critics ballots here. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Dec 19, 2011 - 24 comments

“Nothing she does is memorable, because she does so much.”

"The rigorous division of websites into narrow interests, the attempts of Amazon and Netflix to steer your next purchase based on what you’ve already bought, the ability of Web users to never encounter anything outside of their established political or cultural preferences, and the way technology enables advertisers to identify each potential market and direct advertising to it, all represent the triumph of cultural segregation that is the negation of democracy. It’s the reassurance of never having to face anyone different from ourselves." – Charles Taylor, The Problem with Film Criticism
posted by Rory Marinich on Nov 24, 2011 - 56 comments

What Is Middlebrow?

Dorothy Gambrell of Cat And Girl fame spends an awful lot of time talking about education, class, debt, money, and the hollow promise of aspirational media to discuss how much she hates Good Will Hunting
posted by The Whelk on Sep 22, 2011 - 108 comments

The Siskel & Ebert Vault

Starting tonight, Ebert Presents At the Movies will begin airing full episodes of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert’s original PBS show, Sneak Previews. Taking a break from reviewing movies, co-hosts Christy Lemire and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky will introduce and discuss the episodes. Hungry for more classic Siskel & Ebert? Try the invaluable, Ebert-approved SiskelandEbert.org, a growing archive of home-taped episodes of Sneak Previews and At the Movies. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Aug 5, 2011 - 21 comments

"...the way of nature, and the way of grace."

For Roger Ebert, it's a prayer that made him "more alert to the awe of existence." For Rober Koehler, it's a kitschy New Age con. For Richard Brody, it perfectly captures the essence of a generation by depicting a character thinking "back to the musings and fantasies of childhood, which are the product of a wondrous and fantastic view of science formed by popular-science books for children and by the commercial artists whose illustrations adorned them." For Stephanie Zacharek, it's "a gargantuan work of pretension." For Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, it's "a creation myth in the guise of a crypto-autobiography" that invents a universe of its own only to destroy it. For J. Hoberman, it's lifeless and dull, "essentially a religious work and, as such, may please the director's devotees, cultists, and apologists." It spent thirty years in development, three in editing and, yes, it contains dinosaurs. The Tree of Life, written and directed by famously reclusive Zoolander fan and "JD Salinger of American movies" Terrence Malick , won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Tomorrow, it comes out in the United States. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on May 26, 2011 - 64 comments

The Master of the Capsule Review

Long before he wrote DVD reviews for The New York Times, Dave Kehr spent 11 years at the Chicago Reader perfecting the 100-word capsule review into a vehicle for his succinct, astute writing on a wide variety of films. All of them can be read for free at the Chicago Reader's website. Additionally, his long-overlooked long reviews have just been collected and published. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Apr 19, 2011 - 26 comments

Christian Clemmensen's Filmtracks

Prickly, idiosyncractic and unashamedly pro-Goldsmith, Christian Clemmensen has reviewed modern movie scores at Filmtracks since 1996.
posted by Iridic on Jan 25, 2011 - 7 comments

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

Hearing him discuss films one day in the Lake Street Screening Room used by Chicago critics, Ebert said, "I was struck by the depth and detail of his film knowledge, and by how articulate he was." After reading his work online, Ebert was sold.
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, 24, will co-host the revival of At the Movies with Christy Lemire. [previously] [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jan 4, 2011 - 35 comments

"Serge Daney was the end of criticism as I understood it."

Serge Daney (1944 - 1992) is often cited as one of the greatest film critics. After joining the legendary film magazine Cahiers du cinéma (which he would eventually edit) at age 20, Daney wrote extensively on the changing place of movies in culture, on directors new and old and on television, war and even sports. He founded the film magazine Trafic before dying of AIDS in 1992.

Though some of his essays have been officially translated and a small book of his writings has been published in English, the vast majority of his work remains untranslated into English. That hasn't stopped a devoted group of cinephiles from taking matters into their own hands. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Dec 13, 2010 - 12 comments

Chris Stangl's Exploding Kinetoscope

This may only occur to the obsessive student of The Parent Trap, but once the subtleties are noticed, hints start stacking up, and a creeping sense of the mythic pervades the film...
Join Chris Stangl, King of the Beanplaters, as he obsessively studies The Parent Trap, Little Shop of Horrors, Beetlejuice, Teen Wolf, the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and more.
posted by Iridic on Oct 28, 2010 - 33 comments

A Postgraduate Year at Rushmore Academy

Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style. A video essay in five parts by Matt Zoller Seitz. (Links go to the text of the essay; click on the embedded video to view.) [via]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 14, 2009 - 36 comments

"R, and G, and B", a well-curated (and seemingly undiscovered) film blog

"R, and G, and B" is a very well-curated — and, seemingly as yet undiscovered — film review blog by the video artist Blake Williams covering pictures by filmmakers like Werner Herzog, Chris Marker, Chantal Akerman, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Carl Dreyer, Michael Haneke, Stanley Kubrick and, best of all, Abbas Kiarostami.
posted by colinmarshall on Mar 15, 2009 - 17 comments

Your Favorite X Sucks. Or Not.

Pop Culture Blind Spots, Guilty Pleasures, Guilty Displeasures and Sacred Cows from The A.V. Club
posted by Navelgazer on Jan 30, 2009 - 44 comments

Some articles about Blade Runner

Some articles about Blade Runner
posted by nthdegx on Jan 29, 2009 - 59 comments

Thumbs down. No stars.

What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Movies by Armond White. Premiere.com critic and cineaste blogger, Glenn Kenny responds. Movie reviewers across America lose their jobs. Hachette Filipacchi follows suit at Premiere.com. Kenny blogs about The End of an Era - having written reviews for the site and the previously cancelled Premiere magazine for nearly fifteen years.
posted by crossoverman on May 8, 2008 - 53 comments

Trying to rape the viewer into independence

17 Notorious Living, Working Cinematic Provocateurs. The Onion A/V Club strikes again.
posted by chuckdarwin on May 5, 2008 - 32 comments

Faster Roger! Write! Write!

Roger Ebert to return to writing movie reviews. Love him, hate him, disagree with him, worship him, whatever, but Pulitzer Prize winning movie critic Roger Ebert, after several operations that have left him without the power of speech, will return to writing movie reviews shortly after his 10th Annual movie festival, Ebertfest. Me, personally, I'm happy as heck about this.
posted by willmize on Apr 2, 2008 - 56 comments

The New Comedy of the Sexes

David Denby and Joe Queenan on Knocked Up and the new genre of romantic comedy.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Oct 6, 2007 - 89 comments

Siskel & Ebert & Roeper & You

On At The Movies this past weekend Richard Roeper announced: 1) The past 20 years of At The Movies (formerly Siskel & Ebert & the Movies) is going to be archived for free download online. That's several thousand reviews -- from Adventures in Babysitting to Zodiac. Unfortunately, the first ten years of of the show was poorly preserved. Ebert writes, "Starting Thursday, Aug. 2, visitors will be able to search for and watch all of those past debates, including the film clips that went along with them, plus the “ten best” and other special shows we did. The new archive will be at www.atthemoviestv.com, and will be the web’s largest collection of streaming reviews." 2) Roger Ebert will be a guest for an online chat Thursday at 8:00 Eastern (7:00 Central). You can submit questions in advance here. The chat will be at this link.  (Until the actual archive shows up online, you can enjoy these links.)
posted by McLir on Aug 1, 2007 - 75 comments

Love The New World or Die!

"It is nothing less than a generation-defining event.... It is this era’s 2001: A Space Odyssey." Even as the second, shorter cut of Terrence Malick's Pocahontas epic is slinking out of theaters, The New World is dividing and confounding critics, audiences, and bloggers: "The New World is my new religion." - "The New World separates the wheat from chaff." - "The first necessary film of this young year." The Village Voice's J. Hoberman observes the growing cult, Dave Kehr of the New York Times weighs in and gets testy. Matt Zoller Seitz responds. In the meantime, Malick is reportedly preparing a third, longer cut for the DVD.
posted by muckster on Mar 14, 2006 - 55 comments

"I'm voting for Dukakis!"

Donnie Darko in his mind's eye. (One little boy, one little man) A pretty rad article on Donnie Darko, one of my favorite movies.
posted by hughbot on Oct 27, 2004 - 29 comments

Real Cinephiles Prefer Reading "Cahiers du Cinema" to Going to the Movies:

Real Cinephiles Prefer Reading "Cahiers du Cinema" to Going to the Movies: I stopped reading Cahiers du Cinema - the famously dogmatic French film journal where Godard, Truffaut, Resnais and Rohmer cut their teeth - a few years ago, when it got too arty-farty for its own good. Well, it's slowly becoming essential again. Their website is trés chic, intelectually challenging and a welcome antidote to the usual online movie-reviewing clowns. Or is it still a load of pretentious rubbish? (In French, but with a lovely intro, lots of cool stills and a Quicktime interview, in English, with underrated director Paul Verhoeven)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Dec 5, 2001 - 22 comments

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