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Eric Kohn

Brief Thoughts on "Batman: Year One."

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • October 21, 2011 6:03 AM
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While the web has been drenched with rumors and buzz about the upcoming third entry in Christopher Nolan's live action "Batman" movies, the dark knight made a comparatively quieter arrival in a new movie this week: On Tuesday, Warner Home Video released the direct-to-DVD "Batman: Year One," an hourlong adaptation of Frank Miller's seminal '80s comic. Directed by Lauren Montgomery and Sam Liu, the animated feature captures the original elegance of the source material, while at the same time proving that a transcendent experience in one medium doesn't always seamlessly translate into another one.

Robert Sklar, RIP.

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • July 5, 2011 12:00 PM
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  • 3 Comments
I was lucky enough to take one course taught by Robert Sklar, the esteemed film historian and scholar who passed away over the weekend in an unexpected accident, but wish I could have taken many more. Sklar's most influential work, "Movie-Made America," first came out over thirty years ago but remains one of the most important texts for the study of American cinema. (After all, he helped invent the field.) Its thesis, that American film culture owed much to the lower class and the struggles against capitalist interests rather than efforts to sustain them, echoed the egalitarian nature of Sklar's writing: Although primarily an academic, he had the capacity to speak to movie lovers of all stripes. In doing so, he was essentially an activist, capable of making the inarguable case for taking movies seriously--not only as an art form, but a socio-economic force that helps us understand the world.

Interactive Theater Blows My Mind: "Sleep No More."

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • May 4, 2011 12:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Art, particularly when it takes the form of a story, typically encourages a passive experience; the sensational interactive theater production "Sleep No More" works against that tendency. Loosely adapted from "Macbeth," the traveling show is currently housed at a warehouse in Chelsea, where it has been held over through June due to the hugely positive reception. I finally got a chance to try it out last Friday.

My Dad Explains the Science of "Source Code."

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • April 4, 2011 4:12 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Ever since I caught "Source Code" at an early screening last month, I haven't been able to get its time-spinning, reality-defying concepts out of my head. The movie works quite well no matter how hard of you try to understand it, but since it deals with an imaginary technology that could--if it actually existed--prevent all kinds of disasters from taking place, it's hard not to wonder what it would take to bring its underlying concept to fruition. Partly inspired by these detailed attempts to decode the movie's ending, as well as a video produced by Wired about the science behind the movie, I turned to the one person whose opinion about these things I usually trust more than any other: My dad.

D.A. Pennebaker Discusses Richard Leacock and Leonard Bernstein.

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • March 25, 2011 2:57 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Yesterday's obituary for documentary icon Richard Leacock included quotes from some of the people he affected in his life who have since obtained influence roles in film culture, including Mira Nair, Albert Maysles and D.A. Pennebaker. That last source, the director of such cinema verité classics as "Don't Look Back," ran the production company Leacock-Pennebaker for several years, and shared a number of remarkable anecdotes about meeting and working with Leacock during the early stages of their careers. In the following excerpt, Pennebaker recalls his experience with Leacock during the production of "Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in Moscow" in 1958. Bernstein was a friend of Leacock's in Harvard, but that didn't keep the documentarian from applying a true hands-on approach to the shooting process.

Please Cast Christopher Dennis in "Superman."

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • February 28, 2011 5:24 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Wandering around a hectic Hollywood Boulevard last night on my way to meet indieWIRE colleagues Peter Knegt and Dana Harris for an Oscar viewing party at the Egyptian, I ran into Superman himself. That would be Christopher Dennis, one of the compelling subjects from Matthew Ogens's disarmingly thoughtful 2007 documentary "Confessions of a Superhero," which I reviewed here.

Meet the Mike Lacher, the Man Behind the Film School Thesis Generator.

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • February 10, 2011 1:22 AM
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  • 2 Comments
There's a difference between thinking long and hard about something and only thinking that you're thinking long and hard about something; therein lies the brilliance of the Film School Thesis Generator, a vastly amusing work of interactive satire that popped on the web a few weeks back. Matt Singer offers an eloquent rundown of its appeal.

A Premature Defense for Olbermann.

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • February 9, 2011 3:15 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Tim Goodman is wrong. I think.

Tura Satana, RIP. 1938 - 2011.

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • February 5, 2011 9:08 AM
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  • 24 Comments
Above: Shade Rupe and Tura Satana.

An Alternative Top Ten for 2010.

  • By Eric Kohn
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  • December 30, 2010 6:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Today indieWIRE announced a group of top ten lists submitted by industry friends and contributors to the site. Since I already listed my favorites from 2010, I decided to offer a separate list of titles that in another year could just as easily serve as my favorites. After the jump, the alternative list and trailers to accompany each entry.

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