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We spout opinion, comment on the current zeitgeist and overanalyze pop culture and mainstream movies. Whether in the form of lists, survey questions or straight editorials, we hope to make thinking deeply about film a fun and stimulating activity for all.

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Short Starts: Watch Steven Spielberg's 1968 Calling Card, "Amblin'"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • December 19, 2011 10:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Have you ever wondered where Steven Spielberg got the name for his production company, Amblin Entertainment? It comes from the filmmaker's first commercially released film, a 35mm short from 1968 titled "Amblin'." As it turns out, yesterday was the 43rd anniversary of its debut.

The Doc Option: Instead of "W.E." Watch "A King's Story"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • December 9, 2011 9:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments
You may not be looking forward to Madonna's new directorial effort, "W.E.," which is supposedly quite terrible. Or, if you are interested, it's actually to see the train wreck -- what Daniel Walber excitedly called "marvelously wretched," "perhaps the most hilariously dreadful period piece ever filmed" and "destined to become a cult classic, with accompanying drinking games galore and even the occasional costume party." But this sort of celebration of camp might have to wait until after the drama opens and presumably bombs at the box office. Out of respect to those with more serious moviegoing intention.

The Doc Option: Instead of "Shame" Watch "Porndemic"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • December 2, 2011 5:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Even if you're primarily a documentary fan, like myself, I recommend seeing Steve McQueen's "Shame," a film about a sex addict (Michael Fassbender) and his troubled relationship with his sister (Carey Mulligan). I love the way it's shot, I love the way it doesn't need to lay on much back story or explicit explanation (I've developed a nonserious idea in my head that at least Fassbender's character is the son of Patrick Bateman and Jeanne Dielman) and of course as a doc nut I love that there's a reference to "Gimme Shelter" in it. But it's not playing in many theaters yet, and even when it goes wider Cinemark won't show it, so for now you might need to settle for the doc option.

Short Starts: Watch "Shame" Actress Lucy Walters in the Creepy, Kinky "Prickles" (and watch a documentary starring Steve McQueen)

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 28, 2011 9:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Short Starts is a column devoted to kicking off the week with a short film, typically one tied to a new release. Today we look at a film starring Lucy Walters of "Shame," which opens in limited release this Friday.

Short Starts: Watch Jim Henson's Oscar-Nominated "Time Piece"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 21, 2011 9:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Short Starts is a column devoted to kicking off the week with a short film, typically one tied to a new release. Today we look at an early film by Jim Henson, who created The Muppets.

Morning Pour: "Marcel the Shell" Sequel, "Space Jam" Lives On, "J. Edgar" Ingredients

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • November 15, 2011 11:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Morning Pour is your daily stop for quick links, news commentary and trend-spotting. Here are your seven topics for Tuesday, November 15, 2011: 1. "Marcel the Shell" Part 2

Short Starts: Watch "Like Crazy" Director Drake Doremus's "The Shirt"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • October 24, 2011 4:07 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Short Starts is a column devoted to kicking off the week with a short film, typically one tied to a new release. Today we look at an early film by Drake Doremus, director of “Like Crazy,” which opens in limited release this Friday.
More: Full Films

Short Starts: Watch John Hawkes Go Nuts in a Very Strange 1988 Butthole Surfers Film by Alex Winter

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • October 17, 2011 4:07 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Short Starts is a column devoted to kicking off the week with a short film, typically one tied to a new release. Today we look at an early performance by John Hawkes, star of “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” which opens in limited release this Friday.
More: Full Films

Short Starts: Watch Steve Martin in a 1956 Disney Documentary and in His Oscar-Nominated 1977 Film

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • October 10, 2011 2:06 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Short Starts is a column devoted to kicking off the week with a short film, typically one tied to a new release. Today we look at an early film by Steve Martin, who co-stars in "The Big Year," which opens this Friday.
More: Full Films

Short Starts: Watch George Clooney and Grant Heslov's "Tony"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • October 3, 2011 2:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Short Starts is a column devoted to kicking off the week with a short film, typically one tied to a new release. Today we look at a film written and directed by Grant Heslov, who co-scripted and produced "The Ides of March," which opens Friday.
More: Full Films

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