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In the Cut, Part II: A Dash of Salt

Click here to watch larger video on Vimeo. In the Cut: Piecing together the action sequencePart I: Shots in the Dark (Knight)Part III: I Left My Heart in My Throat in San Francisco (Bullitt, The Lineup, The French Connection) From…

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In the Cut, Part I: Shots in the Dark (Knight)

Click here to watch larger video on Vimeo. Annotated full transcript of the video here, for easy reference. In the Cut: Piecing together the action sequencePart II: A Dash of SaltPart III: I Left My Heart in My Throat in…

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CinematoGIFs: Living, breathing movie stills

Each of these astonishing "cinematoGIFs" (animated .GIF files) by Gusaf Mantel distills the essence of a cinematic moment into a living, breathing "movie still" -- an indelible moment preserved in time. Once you start gazing into them, you'll find it…

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Agents of chaos

Chaos Cinema Part 1 from Matthias Stork on Vimeo. Matthias Stork, a German film scholar now based in Los Angeles, has created a most stimulating two-part video essay on a subject near and dear to my heart: "Chaos Cinema." At…

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Did Sean Penn really pee on The Tree of Life?

You've probably read that Sean Penn, in an interview with Le Figaro, said this about working with Terrence Malick on "The Tree of Life": "I didn't at all find on the screen the emotion of the script, which is the…

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As plain as the scar on Helen Mirren's cheek

I've never understood the pleasure (or the disappointment) some people seem to get out of trying to spot continuity errors in movies. Such a waste of time and attention. But I've seen this 30-second TV spot for "The Debt" starring…

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Paradise Lost 3: Coming Soon

UPDATE: Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, known as the "West Memphis Three," were freed from prison Friday, August 19, 2011. They were incarcerated for 18 years for the murders of three young boys in 1993. Filmmakers Joe Berlinger…

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Scorsese and music as storytelling: Shine a Light

Watching Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones concert movie "Shine a Light" (2008) for the first time the other night, it struck me that Scorsese has always been extremely good at shooting and cutting musical sequences not only as if they were…

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Apes and allegories: What is the meaning of this?!

A horror or science-fiction movie without subtext is like Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory without electricity. The inner metaphor is what gives it life and resonance. Otherwise, it's just a story about stitched-together people parts. Or take David Cronenberg's "The Fly," a…