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Steven Spielberg, Hollywood Historian: A Debate Between Matt Zoller Seitz and Tom Carson

Publisher’s Note: I’ve been arguing with film and TV critic Tom Carson for over a decade, over all sorts of issues. One is the relative merit, or lack thereof, of the films of Steven Spielberg, about whom I’m quite enthusiastic; Tom, not so much.
  • By Tom Carson and Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • March 19, 2013 8:30 AM
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  • 12 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Gliding Over All: The Cinematography of BREAKING BAD, Season 3

Dave Bunting Jr.’s video essay on Season 3 of "Breaking Bad" opens with time-lapse landscapes, which are de rigueur establishing shots in TV these days. Here, though, they are uniquely awe-inspiring, in part for their exotic nature, and in part for how they seem to breathe life into everything.
  • By Dave Bunting, Jr. and Gary Sullivan
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  • March 15, 2013 8:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Why FX’s THE AMERICANS May Feature the Most Compelling Romance on TV

Though it is as flush with moral ambiguity as its predecessors, Joe Weisberg’s creation offers an altogether different breed of protagonist. What separates "The Americans" is its foregrounding of the simplest device in the history of narrative: love. In effect, The Americans is an extended remarriage plot.
  • By Jesse Damiani
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  • March 14, 2013 9:03 AM
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  • 3 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Three Reasons: Kazuo Kuroki's THE ASSASSINATION OF RYOMA

In a time when social media allow us to be constantly inundated with discoveries of unsung heroes and their unappreciated films, please allow me to harangue you with praise for one such director who belongs among the pantheon of Japanese masters.
  • By Robert Nishimura
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  • March 13, 2013 8:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: The End of Violence: The Conclusions of Clint Eastwood

It took me years to learn how to watch a Clint Eastwood movie. For one thing, I tended to watch them far apart and to rely on memory of earlier films to prepare myself for current ones. But given the gaps in time between viewings, I should have been more suspicious of how I remembered them.
  • By Matthew Cheney
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  • March 8, 2013 9:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Breaking the Fourth Wall

Oh, hello there, reader. I know why you’ve come. You’re here at Press Play to watch Leigh Singer’s awesome supercut of fourth-wall-breaking moments in cinema, aren’t you?
  • By Leigh Singer and Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • March 7, 2013 9:30 AM
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  • 32 Comments

The Acting Personality: Just How "Authentic" Is Jennifer Lawrence?

Last Sunday, Jennifer Lawrence, the twenty-two year old actress and star of "Silver Linings Playbook," won her first Oscar for best actress. In addition to the credit given her work on the big screen, much attention has been paid to the refreshingly “authentic” way Lawrence handles the press, fame, and herself.
  • By Masha Tupitsyn
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  • March 4, 2013 8:45 AM
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  • 49 Comments

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