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American Fable

American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.

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Get Out

We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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#154 February 6, 2013

Marie writes:  The late John Alton is widely regarded as being one of greatest film noir cinematographers to have ever worked in Film. He perfected many of the stylized camera and lighting techniques of the genre, including radical camera angles, wide-angle lenses, deep focus compositions, the baroque use of low-level cameras and a sharp depth of field. His groundbreaking work with director Anthony Mann on films such "TMen" and "Raw Deal" and "He Walked by Night" is considered a benchmark in the genre, with "The Big Combo" directed by Joseph H. Lewis, considered his masterpiece. John Alton also gained fame as the author of the seminal work on cinematography: "Painting with Light".

The Big Combo (1955) [click to enlarge]

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#151 January 16, 2013

Marie writes: And so it begins!  A new year and another season of Film Festivals and Award shows. The Golden Globes have come and gone and in advance of quirky SXSW, there's Robert Redford's Sundance 2013...

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2008 Dogs of the Year

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1) "Let the Right One In": Sole witness to a desanguination: This creature of the night (at right, a standard poodle?) appears out of the darkness of the barren woods, like a corporeal outgrowth of the snow and the white-barked birches themselves. The dog sits, watches, and will not leave, forcing a vampire's procurer to flee in panic and frustration. One of my favorite movie-moments of the year, and one that made me laugh (aghast) the hardest, though nobody else in the nearly full theater joined me. Was it because the movie is Swedish that the crowd didn't seem to know/think it was funny? We won't even talk about the stuff with the cats...

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