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VIDEO ESSAY: Monsters Are a Child's Best Friend

Most responsible parents will tell you that using the television as a surrogate nanny is bad for kids. My own experience as a child would argue against this. My parents knew that they couldn't raise me alone, and the only reliable guides were creatures of the night.
  • By Jed Mayer and Jeffrey Canino
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  • October 31, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

A Video Essay on THE X-FILES: Home Is Anywhere You Hang Your Head

What is the American Dream? Is it wealth? Power? Or it is something more existential like raising a family with a particular set of values?
  • By Ken Cancelosi and Serena Bramble
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  • October 30, 2013 12:36 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Self-Projected Artifice: The 49th Chicago International Film Festival

It was almost like a movie. Amat Escalante’s harrowing and unapologetically bleak film "Heli"—which looks at the crooked law enforcement and low-totem pole players of Mexico’s drug cartel scene—came to a hopeless closing shot before dipping to white for the end credits.
  • By Nelson Carvajal
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  • October 30, 2013 9:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

VIDEO ESSAY: Rob Zombie and the Cinema of Cruelty

The feature films that Rob Zombie has made between 2000 and 2013 create new styles of emotional and perceptual disturbance from the corpses of cultural products past. True to his name, Zombie reanimates dead tropes, turns, and troubles into powerful attacks on our expectations and desires.
  • By Matthew Cheney
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  • October 25, 2013 12:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments

"Mwahahahaha": The (Vincent) Price of Condescending Viewership

Vincent Price was a singular cult movie star, synonymous with a grandiloquent yet bygone form of cinematic Gothicism that offered moviegoers inexpensive thrills. Whether for good or ill, Price, a versatile actor, is shackled to the horror genre.
  • By Lincoln Flynn
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  • October 22, 2013 9:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Viva Los Hijos de la Noche: The 1931 Spanish Version of DRACULA

Everybody knows the iconic 1931 "Dracula." Even if they’ve never seen the film, most people can call up images of Bela Lugosi waxing poetic about wolves on a ruined abbey staircase, or a coffin slowly opening as a very white hand emerges. But does the phrase “hijos de la noche” resonate in the same way?
  • By Amber Sparks
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  • October 18, 2013 9:25 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Dons the Jerk Gear for DON JON

If "Don Jon" is successful in its satire of contemporary living, it is primarily in reminding us—as if any reminder were needed—just how invasive and insidious gender typecasting is in America.
  • By Seth Abramson
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  • October 17, 2013 9:26 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Gregarious and Kind, Dark and Mysterious: Greg Sestero on THE ROOM

There’s no way to talk about "The Room" without talking about irony. The theater 2003 release of the movie—funded mysteriously by its writer/director/self-proclaimed vampire Tommy Wiseau—failed to outlast the Hollywood billboard Wiseau purchased to advertise it.
  • By Mike Scalise
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  • October 14, 2013 9:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Alice Munro, Meet Kristen Wiig

Many writers breathed a huge sigh of... something happy, recently, when famed-but-thought-underappreciated Canadian fiction writer Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • By Max Winter
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  • October 11, 2013 2:12 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Abraham Zapruder, Errol Morris, the Umbrella Man, JFK, and You

Smithsonian Magazine recently printed a wonderful piece about a short film Errol Morris made in 2011, in which he placed a few seconds of Abraham Zapruder's famous film of the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy under a critical microscope.
  • By Max Winter
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  • October 11, 2013 9:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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