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In the Future We Will Have Less of Everything: On HOW I LIVE NOW and Its Predecessors

Has there ever been a film about the future that advocated in favor of progress, rather than against it? "How I Live Now," in its own quiet way, works beautifully and admirably against this trend, pervasive as its gloom might be, in suggesting that the sanctity of human relationships can create a barrier between the self and the crumbling world.
  • By Max Winter
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  • November 20, 2013 7:35 PM
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SUNLIGHT JR. and American Film's Misunderstanding of Poverty

American filmmakers don't understand the poor. From Charlie Chaplin's Tramp films on through "Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire," the portrayal of impoverished people in films has settled into a comfortable group of cliches.
  • By Max Winter
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  • November 18, 2013 4:04 PM
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The Good Struggle: ILYA AND EMILIA KABAKOV: ENTER HERE

"Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here" is less a documentary than a study of the ways we react to tragedy, to trauma, to past suffering--in Kabakov's case, the trauma was the time he spent living under Soviet rule, from 1933 to 1987.
  • By Max Winter
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  • November 16, 2013 4:37 PM
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The Tragic Absorption of THE MOTEL LIFE

There are times, during THE MOTEL LIFE, when it seems as if the film is sustaining itself on pure mood.
  • By Max Winter
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  • November 9, 2013 10:37 PM
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  • 0 Comments

The Axis of Cool in DRINKING BUDDIES, and How It Tilts

Joe Swanberg, as has been duly noted elsewhere, is building a portrait of a generation with his body of work. It's easy to imagine that, as Swanberg's films expand in scope, the crisis his characters face, the crucial question--can my plaid, my organic coffee, and my iPod survive my larger life crisis?--will become a more and more resounding issue.
  • By Max Winter
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  • September 3, 2013 8:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Gliding Over All: The Cinematography of BREAKING BAD, Season 1

The sense that a man, when faced with a problem, be it the legality of his enterprise, death, the ineptitude of other humans, or all three, might flail in the desert air, and find nothing giving resistance, moving him forward.
  • By Dave Bunting, Jr. and Max Winter
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  • August 13, 2013 9:52 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Can't See the Movie for the Screen: THE CANYONS and the American Worship of Celebrities

I could write an entire essay about "The Canyons"--1000-2000 words, at least--without ever having seen it.
  • By Max Winter
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  • August 5, 2013 1:28 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Age of Counter-Intuition: What Thomas Vinterberg's THE HUNT Might Tell Us About the George Zimmerman Verdict, Iraq, McCarthyism, and Other American Mistakes

You wouldn’t necessarily think of The Hunt as a film that might speak to American life, whatever that is, but there is quite a bit in it that might appeal to the growing American longing for justice, denied perpetually by the seductiveness of counter-intuition.
  • By Max Winter
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  • July 29, 2013 8:35 AM
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  • 3 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Beautiful Nightmares: David Lynch's Collective Dream

David Lynch could be a wonderful stage director. Crazy to say, perhaps, but perhaps not.
  • By Nelson Carvajal and Max Winter
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  • February 12, 2013 8:22 AM
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  • 4 Comments

REMEMBERING ANDREW SARRIS, 1928-2012

This is a remembrance of film critic Andrew Sarris (1928-2012).
  • By Press Play Contributors and Staff
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  • June 21, 2012 9:37 AM
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  • 8 Comments

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