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All Tomorrow's Parties: "The Great Gatsby" Meet "Spring Breakers"

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 12, 2013 9:11 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Within the span of a couple months, audiences and media have witnessed the debauched excess of the American Dream gone sour, of attractive young men and women imbibing themselves to delirium, violence and self-destruction. If there ever were a comment on the failed hopes and ideals of our current generation, "Spring Breakers" and "The Great Gatsby" – those strange fraternal twins of apocalyptic party cinema -- would not be it.

Baz Luhrmann's Glitzy "Great Gatsby": Out of Step with America's 99%

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 6, 2013 11:30 AM
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  • 14 Comments
Still struggling with the Great 2008 Depression, enduring economic inequality and Congressional intransigence, Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" looks as if it will become a major miscalculation--not only a box office disappointment, I expect, but a significance misjudgment of where the country is at.

The Post-Katrina Politics of "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • June 27, 2012 11:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Now that "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is far from the protective, progressive bubble of Sundance and venturing out into the wide, wide world of mainstream movie theaters this week, the fantastical movie is encountering increasing questions about what it says and shows about post-Katrina Louisiana. Though set in a fantastical bayou island called the Bathtub, director Benh Zeitlin has had to defend the film's underpinnings, about race, class and the displacement of the poor.

UPDATED: Is San Francisco's Castro Theatre Finished as a Movie Venue? Not So Fast?

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • December 9, 2011 9:42 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Earlier this week, it was reported the famous Castro Theatre, long a cinematic home for the queer community, art-house gems and one of San Francisco's classic movie palaces (built in 1922), was finished as a movie theatre, according to the blog, the Petrelis Files. Many staffers were fired, it was suggested, and next year, it would no longer regularly book films. But according to a new report at BayCitizen.org, the Castro isn't fading to black. Or is it?

Is Michael Moore Pro-Piracy: Illegal Copies of "Capitalism: A Love Story" Inspiring OWS?

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • December 6, 2011 8:21 PM
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  • 0 Comments
While speaking in Ann Arbor at the Michigan Theater to promote his new book, "Here Comes Trouble," Michael Moore told a crowd they could take part in the Occupy Wall Street movement without getting their hands too dirty, by moving funds from established banks to local credit unions, or pirating Moore's film "Capitalism: A Love Story" and handing it out on the street, according to a story in Heritage Media.

Will Sundance 2012 Docs Influence Debate on Poverty, Hunger, Economic Inequality?

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • November 30, 2011 4:37 PM
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  • 2 Comments
With the announcement of the Sundance competition on Wednesday, the documentary program -- as usual -- is newsworthy: 16 nonfiction films representing some of the most respected filmmakers of the form. As with past Sundance docs, there is a real chance to influence the national discussion on important topics, ranging from American healthcare to nuclear power. I'll never forget trailing Al Gore through the snowy parking lot at the Library before the premiere of "An Inconvenient Truth" some years back. Docs can make a difference, and nowhere is that more apparent than at Sundance.

Occupy Wall Street: The Movie; Will There Be a Definitive Film of the Movement?

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • November 14, 2011 10:06 AM
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  • 2 Comments
So far, Occupy Wall Street has inspired a dozen prominent filmmakers, from Haskell Wexler to Jonathan Demme to Jem Cohen, to document the rising protest movement. And a handful of Hollywood and indie films, produced after the rebellion's rise, from "Margin Call" to "Tower Heist," have capitalized on the coincidental timeliness of their stories. But is there a definitive #OWS movie out there? And what would it look like?

Celebrate Guy Fawkes this week with "V for Vendetta" and #OWS

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • November 8, 2011 9:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Over the weekend, the British celebrated Guy Fawkes Day. which honors the execution of the controversial figure who led a plot to blow up the House of Parliament, and was then caught, summarily tortured and killed in 1605. Fawkes is making a comeback in the U.S., of course: a mask of the man, made for the Wachowski's "V for Vendetta," has become ubiquitous at Occupy Wall Street protests, which aim not to vilify Fawkes, but celebrate him as a revolutionary.

Experimental Filmmaker Ken Jacobs Occupies Wall Street - in 3D!

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • November 4, 2011 1:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The number of filmmakers documenting the Occupy Wall Street is growing. After recent efforts by Jonathan Demme and Jem Cohen, veteran avant-garde luminary Ken Jacobs -- father of Azazel Jacobs -- has uploaded a 6-part series of videos to YouTube (part one is embedded below). Like many of videos to come out of OWS, the footage is verite observations of the activities of the protesters. But Jacobs goes one step further in trying to put viewers into the lively environs, by putting the footage in 3D. (Glasses not included.)

Will "Tower Heist" Help Topple Capitalism? Or Is it Too Dumb?

  • By anthony
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  • November 2, 2011 5:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments
In the last few weeks, the media has made mountains out of the economically topical movies to hit movie theaters, from "Margin Call" (obviously set during Wall Street's collapse) to "In Time" (Andrew Niccol's more sci-fi vision of haves and have-nots, battling it out for more time to survive). With their critical examinations of the corruption of wealth and power, some are arguing that there's never been a more socialist agenda at work in the movies.

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