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RIP Gordon Willis, 1931–2014: The View from Dallas, Texas

If you want real life, live it. If you want psychodrama, create it. If you want to fall in love, go after it. If you want to be transported, though, if you want to feel immersed in an individual’s vision of a story, a world, and the degree to which one might shape the other, go to the movies. Most specifically, Gordon Willis’s movies.
  • By Max Winter
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  • May 19, 2014 4:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Andrew Garfield’s Face; Or, How Culture Works

I find myself increasingly tired of seeing Andrew Garfield’s face these days. This feeling, however, has little to do with Andrew Garfield, and even less to do with his face.
  • By Max Winter
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  • May 13, 2014 4:17 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Of Kisses, Mirrors, and HATESHIP LOVESHIP

There’s a moment, early on in "Hateship Loveship"--a new Liza Johnson film sensitively adapted by Mark Poirier from a story by Canadian literary natural resource Alice Munro--where Kristen Wiig kisses a mirror. When I say "kisses," I suppose I mean more than that: she really makes out with it.
  • By Max Winter
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  • April 25, 2014 11:51 PM
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  • 0 Comments

On Harold Ramis, 1944-2014

I’ll miss Harold Ramis’s presence in the world because no one in my generation is getting any younger.
  • By Max Winter
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  • February 24, 2014 9:47 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Small Things Writ Large: On OMAR

"Omar" draws its greatest strength from its smallest touches: the way someone smiles, the way a love letter is folded, the small habits and quirks an otherwise frightening person might possess.
  • By Max Winter
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  • February 22, 2014 9:37 PM
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  • 1 Comment

John Cusack in ADULT WORLD: No More Mr. Nice Guy

Several times during his turn as Rat Billings, the grizzled poet at the heart of "Adult World," I wanted to punch John Cusack in the face. It’s a brilliant performance.
  • By Max Winter
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  • February 17, 2014 4:24 AM
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  • 0 Comments

On THE BLACKLIST: Why James Spader Is the Perfect Star for the Increasingly Unreal Medium of Television

The television medium, and the act of watching television, have always been remarkably surreal, and they only grow more so by the day. It stands to reason that James Spader, a shocking presence on "The Practice" and "Boston Legal" in the past, and a rousing presence in NBC's "The Blacklist," would be its ideal actor.
  • By Max Winter
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  • February 12, 2014 3:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Choose Your Own Adventure: The Allens, the Farrows, and You

What if the story here is entirely different from a tale of abuse of power, or a fable about the importance of speaking up about abuse? What if the story unfolding now points backwards, to the reasons we enter relationships, and how we need to think those reasons over carefully?
  • By Max Winter
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  • February 8, 2014 9:32 PM
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  • 5 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Women in the Works of Martin Scorsese

The first time I saw "After Hours" (the first of 9 or 10), I was 15, and I had no idea who Martin Scorsese was, or even that he had directed the movie. I was surprised to discover a man had directed it, after the fact; I had assumed it was directed by a woman. Why? Because women ruled the show.
  • By Nelson Carvajal and Max Winter
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  • February 7, 2014 12:56 PM
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  • 7 Comments

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman, 1967–2014

When great actors die as Hoffman did, revealing staggering addictions, or psyches run ragged because some unspecified demon is chasing them, the question always becomes: did the role become the person, or did the person become the role, or both?
  • By Max Winter
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  • February 2, 2014 10:01 PM
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  • 4 Comments

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