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Life in movies (and vice versa)

Or: This IS my beautiful life! How did I get here? The deaths of Andrew Sarris and Bill Sweeney on the same day last week got me to ruminating about my own life with movies and what drew me to…

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Alien in "3D": Just one frame

(or, Who put the mise in the mise en scène?) UPDATE: Here's a new, more color-accurate frame grab -- an unmodified screen capture from the new-ish Blu-ray set of the "Alien Anthology." Look at the frame-grab above from Ridley Scott's…

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Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson's miniatures

Tilt-shift photography was made for Wes Anderson, even if he doesn't actually use it. His pictures often look like they were filmed that way, because they are exquisite miniatures. Keith Uhlich and any number of others have referred to his…

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Andrew Sarris, auteurism, and his take on his own legacy

"All of us will always owe him everything." -- Glenn Kenny on Andrew Sarris, quoting Jean-Luc Godard on Orson Welles Andrew Sarris, "who loved movies" (as Roger Ebert described him), was long considered the "dean of American film critics." Reading…

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Adam Sandler's house of cruelty

"Through my films I'm eventually trying to one day tell the truth. I don't know if I'm ever going to get there, but I'm slowly letting pieces of myself out there and then maybe by the time I'm 85, I'll…

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Mad Men: Memories, doppelgängers & phantoms

"It's the greatest curse that's ever been inflicted on the human race, memory." -- Jed Leland (Joseph Cotten), "Citizen Kane" (1941) Nearly every scene in "The Phantom," the Season 5 finale of "Mad Men," conjures a ghost from the show's…

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Well-Shot and Needs Editing

The other night I had dinner with some longtime film critic friends (mmmmmm, homemade Rogan Gosht!) and we got to talking (and laughing) about the dumb things you overhear people say in movie theaters -- whether at critics' screenings or…