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LIFE'S WORK: THE FILMS OF ROMAN POLANSKI - Chapter 1: Polanski's God

I think people who go to see [Roman Polanski's films] for escapism are not going to be necessarily disappointed, but they're going to have to tweak their understanding of what entertainment is. When you watch a Polanski film, you're watching this sense of abundance in them. They have very cheerful settings — deceptively cheerful. You get the sense that you're watching the seasons change from this brightness to this inner gray that takes over. Violence in Polanski's film is psychological. It's largely implied and it's rarely explicit, and when it is explicit, it's for comedy's sake. When Jake gets his nostril slit in Chinatown, he looks ridiculous for the rest of the film, with the bandage on his nose.
  • By Serena Bramble & Simon Abrams
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  • September 26, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 14 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: COWARDS BEND THE KNEE, directed by Guy Maddin

EDITOR’S NOTE: Fandor's blog site, Keyframe, begins its Director of the Month series today with a week long tribute to Canadian director Guy Maddin. In addition to specially commissioned articles and an exclusive interview with the director himself, Fandor editor-in-chief and Press Play contributor Kevin B. Lee has collaborated with Matt Zoller Seitz to produce this video essay discussing the technical and thematic achievements of Maddin's 2003 feature Cowards Bend The Knee. But the centerpiece of the weeklong tribute is Fandor's first blogathon hosted on Keyframe called The Maddin-est Blogathon in the World. From September 19-23, Keyframe invites writers, video editors and artists to discuss Maddin's body of work on their own sites. Fandor will cross-link to newly published blog posts and give a special prize to the most creative endeavor. Click here if you would like to participate.
  • September 19, 2011 10:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: The Mystic: the films of Nicholas Ray

The Mystic: An Appreciation of Nicholas Ray from Serena Bramble on Vimeo.
  • By Serena Bramble
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  • September 2, 2011 1:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: The New Wave and the Left Bank, or A Certain Tendency in Modern French Cinema

A Certain Tendency in Modern French Cinema from Jose Gallegos on Vimeo.
  • By Jose Gallegos
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  • August 26, 2011 1:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Critic Manohla Dargis on Poetry by Lee Chang-dong

EDITOR'S NOTE: To commemorate today’s release of Lee Chang-dong's Poetry on the site Fandor, Fandor editor-in-chief and Press Play contributor Kevin B. Lee has produced the following video essay on the film. This text for the narration comes from Manohla Dargis' review of the film for the New York Times. So with all due acknowledgments to the author and the Times, here’s the video inspired by her words inspired by the film.
  • By Kevin B. Lee
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  • August 23, 2011 5:33 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: CHAOS CINEMA: The decline and fall of action filmmaking

Chaos Cinema Part 1 from Matthias Stork on Vimeo.
  • By Matthias Stork
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  • August 22, 2011 8:30 AM
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  • 109 Comments

DEEP FOCUS: Sidney Lumet's PRINCE OF THE CITY (1981)

"Prince of the City" was released on August 19, 1981. Like so many of Sidney Lumet's movies, this one lives and breathes New York City, showing us everything from tenements to court rooms and everyone from drug addicts to district attorneys. The film has well over a hundred speaking roles and what I would consider one of the best casting of authentic New Yorkers in film, mixing professional and non-professional actors throughout. The look and feel of the movie would influence many films and television shows in subsequent decades, ones that strove for realism and a more procedural approach to the cop genre. One of those shows, "Law & Order", even used one of the film's most prominent cast members, Jerry Orbach.
  • By Steven Santos
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  • August 15, 2011 11:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

VIDEO ESSAY: The Inception of Movie Editing: The Art of D.W. Griffith

By Michael Joshua Rowin Press Play Special Contributor
  • July 23, 2011 1:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment

VIDEO ESSAY: THREE REASONS why Criterion should release THE MAN WITHOUT A MAP

Three Reasons: The Man Without a Map from For Criterion Consideration on Vimeo.
  • By Robert Nishimura
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  • July 20, 2011 3:48 AM
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  • 4 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Robert Nishimura's THREE REASONS series is a Criterion buff's fantasy

The Criterion Collection is known for delivering the highest quality standard in video distribution. Their mission statement says it all; it sells “important classic and contemporary films” to cinephiles of all genres and interests. For many DVD collectors, having the Criterion edition of certain titles justifies throwing other versions in the bin. From digital transferring to final package design, Criterion strives to bring the best possible elements to their buyers, often with the director’s own seal of approval. Naturally this kind of attention to detail inspires fanatical devotion among the company's audience. -- and in the sincerest form of flattery, it has inspired imitators. Part of the appeal in seeing a Criterion release is its ornate packaging. The company has an amazing team of in-house designers, as well as a keen eye for independent illustrators who are brought in to give their own unique spin on projects. It truly feels like the golden age of DVD cover design, and with that, Internet forums and tumblr blogs sprang up seemingly overnight with their own fake Criterion covers; simply typing those three words in any search engine will provide hours of visual enjoyment (or disgust, if you are a cover art snob like myself).
  • By Robert Nishimura
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  • July 15, 2011 11:21 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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