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Month: August 2009

Home Movies (photo)

Home Movies

The decades-old cliché goes, watching other people’s home movies is hell frozen over. Strangely, this is true only if you know the people, and it’s their vacation in Tahoe that you’re forced to sit through after a few cocktails and a bellyful of spinach lasagna, as they narrate the landscapes and sigh at their own […]

Summer 2009: but what does it *mean*? (photo)

Summer 2009: but what does it *mean*?

Clearly someone at Variety was crunching numbers every Sunday night and waiting for the moment they could announce that this was the highest-grossing summer EVER; late Monday afternoon, with all the box office estimates confirmed, it was time to drop the good news. Yes, this summer set records all over. $4.17 billion grossed over last […]

What “Inglourious Basterds” Owes to History (photo)

What “Inglourious Basterds” Owes to History

[Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t seen “Inglourious Basterds.”] There have been two moments in film this year that have moved me to my cine-loving core. Both involved individuals stirred by the power of image, art and mythology. And both illustrated a personal investment for each character (some, real-life characters), revealing a potent significance and […]

The Five Worst Films Based on Comedy Sketches (photo)

The Five Worst Films Based on Comedy Sketches

When it comes to the family of films based on comedy sketches, “Saturday Night Live” is Don Corleone, though in terms of quality, a more apt analogy might be Fredo, as the venerable late-night staple is responsible for some of the most inept cinematic yukfests of the past two decades. In the ’90s alone, a […]

The Five Best Films Based on Comedy Sketches (photo)

The Five Best Films Based on Comedy Sketches

Stretching a brief comedy sketch into an 80-plus minute feature is not a task for the timid, as the process of fleshing out quick, self-contained bits is rife with inherent risks — the two main ones being that such an endeavor usually makes little sense and can spoil the original joke. Yet despite these pitfalls, […]

Black Dynamite, Wax Poetics (photo)

Black Dynamite, Wax Poetics

File this Soul-Fu flick, “Black Dynamite,” under blown out in your blaxploitation library. The one thing I’ve always dug about the genre as a whole is the music and when the story is too vapid to hold you between laughs, it can be a reason to keep watching along with the hilarious get ups everyone’s […]

The fine art of YouTube curation and hypemanship. (photo)

The fine art of YouTube curation and hypemanship.

Killian Fox’s Observer article about the current state of up-and-coming UK filmmakers is called “Digital: a short cut to the cinema,” which makes it sound like a decade-old article just now predicting the rise of digital movies, but don’t be fooled. It’s a bleak little piece in which Fox profiles four up-and-coming British filmmakers working […]

“Chloe” and Canadians (photo)

“Chloe” and Canadians

The Toronto International Film Festival starts next Thursday! September 10! Who’s excited? Well, you should be: even if you (like me) can’t attend, Toronto unveils much of what devoted filmgoers can look forward to over the next half-year or so. I’ll be keeping an eye on the festival’s high-profile premieres (and perhaps even more so […]

Do Spoilers Spoil Movie Discussions? (photo)

Do Spoilers Spoil Movie Discussions?

Spoiler etiquette is getting ever more complex, but honestly, if knowing a plot twist in advance can ruin a movie, is it that good a movie to begin with? This week on the IFC News podcast, we discuss the definition and rules of spoilers, when and why critics and advertisers have deemed it acceptable to […]

Drowning in Work (photo)

Drowning in Work

If Labor Day’s coming up, that must mean there’s a new Mike Judge movie on the way. It’s also that time of year when a few distributors dust off some well-traveled festival films as the summer winds down and the start of the school year is underway. Download this in audio form (MP3: 12:03 minutes, […]