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Time Is Illmatic

An excellent documentary that focuses more on why the Illmatic album came to be than how successful it became. Prepare to be schooled in many…

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Men, Women & Children

A potentially interesting premise is handled so badly that what might have been a provocative drama quickly and irrevocably devolves into the technological equivalent of…

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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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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Thumbnails 5/28/2014

1.

"A love letter to classic movie villains and thoughts on Angelina Jolie as Maleficent": by Vanessa Buttino of Verité, featuring classic characters such as Ellen Berent and Lina Lamont. 

“Sure you've attempted murder before but when it comes down to it, you're only after one thing: RESPECT. And I respect that about you. Oh, and power. All villains crave power. But doesn't everyone in some way, shape or form? In my opinion, you're the coolest character in any story, fairy tale or otherwise. You're what makes a film exciting. More often than not you're the only character worth paying attention to. Who cares what the fair maiden gets up to or how long she spends moping about her imperfect life? You've got flawless skin and thick, lustrous hair that is seemingly impervious to the elements, shut up and stop complaining Ariel!”

2.

"Seth Rogen Is Not A Victim of the Santa Barbara Killings": Jessica Goldstein of ThinkProgress.org provides a level-headed analysis of Ann Hornaday's controversial critique of modern cinema in light of the recent tragedy, and Seth Rogen's angry rebuttal via Twitter.

“For the love of Judd Apatow movies, GIRLS ARE NOT A THING YOU GET. They’re not a goody bag at the end of the frat party. It honestly feels like Rogen could not miss the point more if he were participating in some kind of point-missing contest. To quote Hornaday: ‘For generations, mass entertainment has been overwhelmingly controlled by white men, whose escapist fantasies so often revolve around vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfillment (often, if not always, featuring a steady through-line of casual misogyny).’ This is the point at the heart of the op-ed that really matters. Neighbors is just referenced as the latest in a long, long line of movies in which men are granted what they desire, always and without question, even if what they desire is not a what, but a who.”

3.

"In Memoriam: Jeff Michael Vice": Bryan Young of Big Shiny Robot remembers the late film critic, Jeff Vice. Related: Eric D. Snyder also pens an affectionate obit. See also: Jeff's review of "Blended" for Cinephiled.

"When many of us first met Jeff, he was the longtime film critic for the Deseret News, which, after they laid him off to stop being a news organization, he not-so-affectionately referred to as the Voldemort News. That's certainly where I first encountered him, trying to get him to review a documentary I'd produced. He was a generous man for his help in the film community here locally. His film reviews were always astute and well thought out. I think of his loss as one more nail in the coffin of true film criticism. He had a way of pointing out the flaws in films from a very knowledgable place, but still passing on an enthusiasm for film in a way that very few critics had ever mastered. I felt much the same way about Roger Ebert's passing (and so did Jeff) but this time it's much more personal."

4.

"What It's Like to Play Every Ethnicity Hollywood Throws Your Way": Slate's June Thomas interviews character actor Cliff Curtis of TV's "Gang Related," who has played African-American, Arab, Latino and Indian characters (not to mention the Maori father in "Whale Rider"). 

“The last two TV shows I did, one for ABC and one for NBC, those were leading-type roles that were not ethnically specific. The problem is that you can't dig too deeply into those characters, because what's fascinating about human beings is what's culturally specific that is culturally universal. If you can't get specific about who they are, you're going to be in this ambiguous universe where you can't quite pin anything down.”

5.

"Who Is a Feminist Now?": In The New York Times, Marisa Meltzer analyzes the controversy following actress Shailene Woodley's comments regarding feminism.  

“The writer Jessica Grose took a more laissez-faire view, writing on Elle.com that journalists should stop asking actresses whether they’re feminists. ‘It feels like a game of gotcha,’ Ms. Grose, 32, said in an interview. ‘She’s not the enemy here.’ Whether a woman in the public eye calls herself a feminist is an exercise in semiotics, she said, and the hesitation among celebrities to fully embrace the cause is a fear that: ‘’If I don’t say the exact right thing or express it in the right way, I’ll be rejected.’ It makes the movement seem judgmental or unwelcoming.’” 

Image of the Day

25-year-old filmmaker Xavier Dolan won the Jury Prize at Cannes for his drama "Mommy," tying with the legendary Jean-Luc Godard, who garnered laughs with his 3D effort, "Goodbye to Language." This photo was included in The Guardian's album for the 2014 festival's closing ceremony.

Video of the Day

 

Quentin Tarantino gave an entertaining press conference at the Cannes Film Festival prior to hosting a special screening of Sergio Leone's 1966 classic, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," the film that he said contains his "favorite moment in cinema." He also discussed his Palme d'Or-winner, "Pulp Fiction," in light of its 20th anniversary this year and his plans to turn "Django Unchained" into a four-part miniseries utilizing 90 minutes of never-before-seen footage. With time running short, Quentin told the moderator, "Let's not forget Chaz over there, okay?" pointing to Mrs. Ebert in the audience.

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