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“I’m the Love Witch, I’m your ultimate fantasy!” — Elaine (played by Samantha Robinson) I Put a Spell on You With two resolute and original features to her name (2007’s Viva, 2016’s The Love Witch), a third in the early stages, not to mention a wealth of wonderful art-film 16mm shorts, Los Angeles-based firebrand filmmaker Anna Biller…

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The Irrevocable Tumble into Dystopia It’s been forty years since surrealist auteur David Lynch unleashed Eraserhead upon American audiences and this crucial anniversary celebrates the moment where a director single-handedly transformed the face of independent film-making through an ambitious passion project. Capturing the existential nightmare that comes with premature fatherhood, Lynch’s debut feature is a tale of internalised…

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When A Face in the Crowd (1957) was initially released, the film received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, along disappointing box office returns. Director Elia Kazan, hot off of Academy Award winning films such as A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and East of Eden failed to net the film a single Oscar nomination, despite an electric lead performance…

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  At the beginning of 2016, talk show host Bill Maher came under fire because he blamed the Chinese box office for the continued practice of “Whitewashing” in Hollywood. “The dirty little secret is most movies are made now with an eye to the foreign market, and Asians really are racist.” The internet subsequently dragged…

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Based on its premise, Toni Erdmann (2016) sounds like a typical Hollywood comedy-drama: an oddball father attempts to reconnect with his uptight daughter. Winfried Conradi (Peter Simonischek) is a retired music teacher who loves pulling pranks involving costumes, props, and even the timeless whoopie cushion. His daughter Ines (Sandra Hüller) is distant, now living in Romania and working…

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seems almost like destiny that the legacy of James Baldwin would one day be preserved in the form of a documentary. He was, after all, the kind of man who documented much of everything that happened. More importantly, Baldwin knew the value of documenting life, or what he called, “witnessing.” And witness is what both…

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They often say that history is written by those who win. That is to say, truth — what is considered factual is often not as simple as we would like it to be. Get Out is all about the way that truth is shaped by those in power. From the very beginning, Jordan Peele’s Get Out makes the audience question…

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Science fiction cinema can be a pretty rewarding and rip-roaring genre, particularly when handled with insight and speculation. Within the sci-fi genre exists many sub-genres for enthusiasts and nerds to fawn over, dissect, and dork out upon. It’s here that we come across one of popular culture’s most enduring categories of doom and gloom; those…

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  The film opens with a metaphor in plain sight: the crumbling of an apartment building in Tehran, Iran. Our protagonists are the married couple Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) and Emad (Shahab Hosseini) whose relationship will soon be threatened by destruction; or so this is what Asghar Farhadi chooses to paint the attention grabbing introduction as.…

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“A single Chaney close-up can feel like seeing a whole life lived before your eyes, from birth to death, with all of the hope, love, hate and despair in between.” — Dan Callahan The Birth of a Monster One of a number of expressive performers whose influence can still be felt in the cinema of today, Lon Chaney…