REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog

See It Big: "Play Time"

  • By robbiefreeling
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  • November 3, 2011 6:07 AM
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  • 8 Comments
The first clue is in the title. Not in its meaning exactly, but in the fact that when Jacques Tati’s 1967 cri de coeur, three painful years in the making, was finally released in French cinemas, the title was in English. Gasp!
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Castles Made of Sand: Genevieve Yue reports from the 2011 Abu Dhabi Film Festival

  • By robbiefreeling
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  • November 3, 2011 1:00 AM
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bu Dhabi isn’t exactly a superlative city, save, perhaps, for its interest in superlatives. As the glitzy, modern capital of the UAE, a country that gained independence only 40 years ago, Abu Dhabi is an exceptionally recent invention, having constructed much of its air-conditioned environment within the past five years. While it can’t claim distinction through ancient cultural heritage, it has aggressively tried to make up the difference through grandiose titles designating things as largest, tallest, or most opulent. Take, for example, the Emirates Palace Hotel, the most expensive hotel in the world, and site of last year’s Abu Dhabi Film Festival, or, the plasma signs in the Marina Mall prominently displayed during the fest, which read “Guinness World Record Achievement for Road Safety Awareness,” whatever that means. Sadly, many of the honors have ceded to neighboring Dubai or Doha, including, at the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, what used to be the largest (and, possibly, the most bedazzled) chandelier. Luckily the mega-mosque can still lay claim to the world’s largest rug.

A Few Great Pumpkins VI—Seventh Night: Fear(s) of the Dark

  • By robbiefreeling
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  • October 31, 2011 6:58 AM
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It’s commonplace to bemoan the sad reality that animation has been so long considered a children's medium. The limitless possibilities for expression and beauty and terror and surreality offered by the form make it frustrating that it has been co-opted by the gatekeepers of kids’ entertainment. Every once in a while, a Persepolis or a Waltz with Bashir comes along and reminds people that animation is, shockingly, not just for tots.
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A Few Great Pumpkins VI—Sixth Night: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

  • By robbiefreeling
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  • October 31, 2011 2:07 AM
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Because Fredric March won the best actor Oscar for his double-role as the twin protagonists in the 1931 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the film is primarily remembered for his performance. Yet to ignore the astonishing filmmaking on display by the great Rouben Mamoulian is to miss one of the most elegant, technically audacious Hollywood horror films of all time, not to mention one of the most truly dangerous. This is definitely pre-Code stuff: a flash of nudity, sure (from madman's prey Miriam Hopkins, in bed), but also a surprising rawness in its violence and a vivid anger permeating its every shock. It feels particularly fresh today in the way it dares to go deep—not into the psychology of its two-faced protagonist, but into the animalistic undertones that permeate Robert Louis Stevenson's original story and that influenced every "dual side of man" tale that popped up in its wake.
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A Few Great Pumpkins VI—Fifth Night: The Howling

  • By robbiefreeling
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  • October 29, 2011 4:41 AM
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“Repression is the father of neurosis,” chides Patrick MacNee in the first clearly audible moments of The Howling (1981). Fortunately, Joe Dante’s never been one to hold it all in. This is, after all, the guy who unleashed not one but two sets of crazed Gremlins (and a squadron of homicidal plastic G.I. Joe knock-offs) on multiplex audiences, the guy who first made his named with something called The Movie Orgy. If the werewolf genre is all about giving over to the beast within, then movie-brat Dante would seem to be an ideal to candidate to helm an all-out howler.
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A Few Great Pumpkins—Fourth Night: Kill List

  • By robbiefreeling
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  • October 28, 2011 4:48 AM
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Some horror movies send you off into the dark night giddy with fear and pleasantly reeling from revulsion. Others give you a glimpse of something so dark and bleak that you’re left with a queasiness in the pit of your stomach. What you witnessed was not in any traditional sense enjoyable (outside of the momentary thrills one can get from the exhilaration of shock), yet you’re moved. It managed to burrow to someplace not only grim but that you hadn’t really thought of before. Films like this are so rare—Psycho, The Wicker Man, Salò, The Blair Witch Project—that they tend to be later regarded as benchmarks for the genre. Who knows if Ben Wheatley’s phenomenally upsetting Kill List will ultimately follow in their forbidding footsteps, but from my point of view it has the potential.
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[VIDEO] Reverse Shot Talkies #32: Todd Rohal, Robert Longstreet, Steve Little

  • By clarencecarter
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  • October 27, 2011 4:46 AM
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East meets west on the high seas in Reverse Shot's first Talkie/Direct Address mutation. Watch as DA host Damon Smith and filmmaker Todd Rohal canoe Austin's Town Lake and grapple with even discussing his hilariously bizarre new comedy, The Catechism Cataclysm.

A Few Great Pumpkins VI—Third Night: Whistle and I’ll Come to You

  • By robbiefreeling
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  • October 27, 2011 1:44 AM
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Third Night:Whistle and I’ll Come to You
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A Few Great Pumpkins VI–Second Night: Lost Highway

  • By robbiefreeling
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  • October 26, 2011 11:51 AM
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David Lynch is not often thought of as a director of horror films, yet for the past 30-plus years he has given us some of the most genuinely terrifying imagery in American cinema. Taking into account all the horror movies that have come and gone in the past decade, and all the momentarily effective genres that have had their moment to cast their long shadow (J-horror, torture porn, shaky caught-on-camcorder mockumentaries), was there a scene more pit-of-your-stomach-and-soul dreadful than the one set at Winkie’s diner in Mulholland Drive? It’s not merely the scene-punctuating emergence of the monstrous man lurking out back—it’s the entire buildup, which functions on a palpable dream logic better than any I’ve ever seen attempted in a film. The two mysterious men at the booth; the haunted-looking one letting the straight-arrow know he asked him here just to talk about his nightmares; the fear that the man of his dreams is out there and the vague declaration that “he’s the one who’s doing it” (doing what?! ); the camera that seems to haphazardly float around them as they talk; the moment when the straight-arrow’s specific position when paying his bill at the counter brings to fruition the man’s dream world; and finally the inexorable walk out back: we know he will be there. He pops out, ghost-like, the sound sucks out of the scene save a muffled pulse, and we feel we’re having a heart attack along with the terrified character.
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See It Big: "The Shining"

  • By robbiefreeling
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  • October 26, 2011 2:49 AM
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When Stanley Kubrick announced he was planning on making his first horror movie, people had the right to be afraid. Too often tagged as a cool modernist, the New York–born director (living for many years in England a life that had been somewhat mischaracterized as overly remote and isolated) had in fact been responsible, despite his predilection for clean lines and damning irony, for some of the most heated, visceral images in cinema. Consider Colonel Dax’s impassioned dressing-down of the top brass (after it’s too late to save his men) in Paths of Glory; General Ripper’s dangerous, tobacco-haloed delusional behavior in Dr. Strangelove; HAL’s slow dismemberment in 2001: A Space Odyssey; any of the gut-churning spectatorial discomforts of A Clockwork Orange; the agonizingly protracted duels in Barry Lyndon—take-no-prisoners moments all. A Kubrick film doesn’t just make you feel what you’re watching, it forces you to watch helplessly as the world spins into controlled chaos.
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