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VIDEO ESSAY: ON THE QT # 1: RESERVOIR DOGS

Press Play launches its new director series "On the Q.T.," about Quentin Tarantino, with a look at his debut "Reservoir Dogs" (1992). Although it earned plenty of acclaim, the film also sparked two kinds of controversy.
  • By Aaron Aradillas, Matt Zoller Seitz & Ken Cancelosi
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  • June 20, 2012 8:58 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Art That Speaks to Everybody: A Father and Daughter Chat About E.T.

[Editor's note: The following is an iChat between Press Play founder Matt Zoller Seitz and his daughter Hannah, a film student, about Steven Spielberg's "E.T.," which was released 30 years ago this week.]
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz and Hannah Seitz
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  • June 14, 2012 9:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: A Death Foretold: Foreshadowing in MAD MEN

"Mad Men"'s season-five death obsession dominated recaps and comments threads throughout the last 12 weeks—with good reason, as it happened.
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz, Deborah Lipp, and Kevin B. Lee
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  • June 13, 2012 9:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment

VIDEO ESSAY: Cruel Summer: ROCKY III (1982)

This video essay is part of the "Cruel Summer" series of articles; this series examines influential movies from the summers of the 1980s. The previous entries in the series covered THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980) and STRIPES (1981).
  • By Aaron Aradillas & Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • May 31, 2012 8:46 AM
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  • 2 Comments

For the love of Yul, please re-cast the MAGNIFICENT SEVEN remake

So apparently Tom Cruise is going to "star" in a remake of The Magnificent Seven, which itself is a remake of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. What does "star" mean? The Variety story doesn't say. But you have to wonder whose shoes is he going to fill, or try to fill. Yul Brynner's? Steve McQueen's? Charles Bronson's? James Coburn's? I can't get my mind around any of those possibilities -- not just because John Sturges' first remake is still vivid in my mind, but because Cruise basically played man-boys until he was pushing 40, and it wasn't until very recently that I got used to the idea of him playing a character with any gravitas at all.
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • May 22, 2012 12:25 AM
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  • 16 Comments

Nicolas Cage is big; it's the pictures that got small

The pictures may have gotten small, but Nicolas Cage is still BIG. More often than not, he acts in CAPS LOCK mode.
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz and Adam Lucas
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  • April 24, 2012 10:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Spike Lee's free-floating, dolly shots collected, stitched together and deconstructed

This video essay by Richard Cruz collects Spike Lee's loopy, free-floating dolly shots into a music video. In the process, it makes them less jarring and problematic than they were when they first appeared in Lee's films. You know what I'm talking about: a shot where a major character is still, or perhaps moving subtly, while the background moves at an unrealistically fast speed or whirls wildly, creating the sense that the character is sort of hovering through the air, or perhaps moving along on a conveyor belt or turning on a merry-go-round.
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz & Richard Cruz
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  • April 21, 2012 7:07 AM
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  • 28 Comments

VIDEO - Motion Studies #1: The Substance of Style

A sampling of exemplary works from the emerging genre of online video essays on cinema. What better way to kick off the series than with an opening credit sequence, unpacked in such a way that can only be done via video essay?
  • By Volker Pantenburg and Kevin B. Lee
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  • March 19, 2012 12:05 PM
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  • 3 Comments

LUCK RECAP: A Herd of Two

Episode seven of "Luck" at first feels like a placeholder, until you look back over it and realize that the universe is reordering itself beneath the surface of things. In the pilot, most of the characters seemed detached from life, or isolated; but now, with just two episodes left to go until the end of the season, they've formed or deepened relationships. More importantly, given the show's seeming belief in kindness as good karma, a lot of the characters have taken responsibility for another human being or fellow creature.
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • March 13, 2012 3:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: A close analysis of the Season 1 title sequence from THE WIRE

Analysis of the opening credits of the first season of "The Wire," exploring how the images highlight the overall themes of each season and offer predictive snippets of future plot twists.
  • By Andrew Dignan, Kevin B. Lee and Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • March 11, 2012 1:40 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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