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VIDEO ESSAY: Reel Islam

With tragic violence and a media firestorm surrounding scurrilous ‘film’ INNOCENCE OF MUSLIMS, it’s time to look at the many quality films that actually deserve our attention in exploring the world of Islam.
  • By Kevin B. Lee
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  • September 29, 2012 1:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments

The Mystery of Werner Herzog: Two Video Essays and One Text Essay

One of the most revealing statements in the book "Herzog on Herzog" appears early on, when Werner Herzog tells interviewer Paul Cronin that from the time he was a young child he has suffered a particular "communication defect": he has no sense of irony.
  • By Nelson Carvajal and Matthew Cheney
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  • September 28, 2012 8:55 AM
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  • 15 Comments

Clint Abides: TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE

In one of his great essays about baseball, the late A. Bartlett Giamatti famously called the game “our best invention to stay change.” Giamatti (who, besides being president of Yale University, was briefly commissioner of Major League Baseball) added, “I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun.”
  • By Peter Tonguette
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  • September 28, 2012 8:21 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Animating the Classics

The inimitable American humorist James Thurber once proposed that Walt Disney should animate Homer’s "Odyssey." “(Disney’s) 'Odyssey' can be, I am sure, a far, far greater thing than even his epic of the three little pigs,” Thurber wrote in 1934.
  • By Lee Price
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  • September 27, 2012 8:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments

RAISED IN FEAR: Midnight Movie Revivals and DAWN OF THE DEAD

It's midnight. A horde of glassy-eyed teenagers descends upon the brightly lit multiplex. They look almost like normal film-goers but their gait is shuffling, awkward. “What are they doing? Why do they come here?” “Some kind of instinct. Memory . . . of what they’ve seen before and crave again.”
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • September 27, 2012 8:55 AM
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  • 1 Comment

THE GAME (1997): Fincher Flips MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE on Its Head

Long unavailable (domestically) in a proper home edition, David Fincher's unsung puzzle thriller "The Game" finally gets its due this week thanks to Criterion's shiny new Blu-ray upgrade of their own 1998 laserdisc release.
  • By Tony Dayoub
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  • September 25, 2012 9:25 AM
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  • 0 Comments

From Brooklyn With Love: Notes on Unsophistication

When I dashed off a little rant about snarky commenters who annoyed me during a revival screening of "From Russia With Love," I didn't expect it to strike a nerve. Apparently it did. I wouldn't take back any of it—I said what I said, and meant all of it. But I would like to clarify a few points in this follow-up post.
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • September 20, 2012 11:23 AM
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  • 13 Comments

250 Great Animated Shorts: The List

In 2008, I and a team of animation enthusiasts created the list “100 Important Directors of Animated Short Films.” The list was formally published on Kevin B. Lee’s blog "Shooting Down Pictures" and Fandor’s "Keyframe" and currently resides on my cultural history blog, "21 Essays."
  • By Lee Price
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  • September 20, 2012 10:49 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Raised in Fear: Coping with Excess in Larry Cohen's IT'S ALIVE

It started with a poster.
  • By Jed Mayer
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  • September 20, 2012 8:55 AM
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  • 3 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Mapping the Long Take: Béla Tarr and Miklós Jancsó

Bela Tarr is considered one of the supreme directors of our generation and an all-time master of the long take. But he didn't come from out of nowhere. Here's a comparison of his technique with that of his mentor, Miklos Jancso, using maps to track their camera movements.
  • By Kevin B. Lee
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  • September 17, 2012 12:46 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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