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by Jason Gargano 10.02.2010
at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: The Flowering of David Fincher

What's up with David Fincher? After giving us only one film (2002's Panic Room) in the eight years following 1999's gleefully subversive, zeitgeist-capturing Fight Club, the notoriously meticulous filmmaker is back with The Social Network, his third effort in four years following 2007's excellent Zodiac and 2008's out-of-character — it's essentially a straight-up love story — The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And he's not done yet: Fincher's American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is currently in production and will be out by the end of 2011.

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by Jason Gargano 02.25.2011
at 05:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Oscar Predictions Edition

The Academy Awards, Hollywood's annual self-congratulatory wankfest, take place Sunday night. Yet, in the Academy's defense, this year's batch of nominees is actually pretty discerning. Here are my predictions in the major categories...

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by Jason Gargano 10.06.2008
at 01:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Bush Wacks Cinema

Longtime film critic/historian Jonathan Rosenbaum has been staying busy since his departure/retirement from the Chicago Reader. In addition to his ongoing DVD column for CinemaScope, Rosenbaum recently wrote a lengthy piece on 100-year-old Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira (yes, he’s still making movies!) for Film Comment, he took part in a “Criticism in Crisis” panel at the New York Film Festival and unveiled his new Web site, JonathanRosenbaum.com.

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Presented essentially in blog format, the site features many of his archived Reader reviews (with more coming every week) as well as new musings on myriad film topics, including an essay on cinema trends during the George W. Bush years entitled “Bushwacked.” Incisive on a number of the levels, the piece — originally written for the latest edition of the Time Out Film Guide — discusses how our rapidly fracturing cultural sphere has impacted movies (and moviegoing) before moving into an investigation of how this development parallels President Bush’s own bubble mentality. (It’s a dismaying turn of events I like to call the Death of Context.)

Of course, Rosenbaum’s diagnosis is often dire, effectively linking Bush’s blissfully ignorant governing techniques with the rapidly changing landscape of serious film culture. Fittingly, he also writes about the various Iraq War-based films that have sprung up in recent years, most of which have garnered disinterest from the public at large while nevertheless providing a vital history the mainstream media has either glossed over or ignored altogether.

And, ever the contrarian, Rosenbaum couldn't help but get in another dig at No Country for Old Men, which he considers the most overrated film of 2007.

That last opinion aside, “Bushwacked” is essential reading.

 
 
by Jason Gargano 08.10.2011
at 03:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Wednesday Movie Roundup: Where'd the Summer Go?

Another summer is rapidly winding down, which means it's almost time to assess the relative quality of the movies that have graced our screens over the past three months.

I said almost because there are still a few weeks left (the season traditionally runs Memorial Day to Labor Day) and, more importantly, there are still a handful of movies I've yet to catch — from high-profile studio stuff (like Cars 2, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the latest Harry Potter) to smaller indie offerings (like Buck and Project Nim, not to mention a host of titles that have yet to open here — most notably Miranda July's The Future, Michael Winterbottom's The Trip, Azazel Jacobs' Terri and Raúl Ruiz's Mysteries of Lisbon).

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by Jason Gargano 11.13.2009
at 05:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Dig Deeper

I know we’re in the midst of an economic recession not seen since before The Wizard of Oz — but we only have one Hollywood studio release this week? And the one is 2012, the latest effects-driven, apocalyptic nonsense from Roland Emmerich?

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by Jason Gargano 01.07.2011
at 04:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Friday Movie Roundup: Land of Misfit Movies

Another calendar year has turned, and you know what that means — a smattering of awards season fare that already opened in larger markets in order to qualify for Oscar consideration (Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine, Sofia Coppola's Somewhere and John Cameron Mitchell's Rabbit Hole, all of which open here this month) mixed in with stuff that studios have jettisoned for one reason or another (the most obvious being that they suck) to the cinematic dead zone known as The Land of Misfit Movies (aka the months of January and February).

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by Jason Gargano 10.28.2011
at 02:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Friday Movie Roundup: Oscar Jockeying Edition

A friend recently asked my opinion about what films the Academy might nominate for Best Picture this year.

“Uh, I have no idea,” I responded.

It's pretty late in the year to be saying that, but, of course, I rarely think about the Oscars until I absolutely have to. Then there's the fact that few of the films released so far this year seem to possess what typically piques the Academy's interest (note that anywhere from five to 10 films can now be nominated).

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by Jason Gargano 04.06.2011
at 12:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Last Chance for 'Red Chapel'

Cincinnati World Cinema's final screening of The Red Chapel occurs tonight at 7:30 p.m. For the uninitiated, Chapel is an odd documentary about a Danish filmmaker and a pair of young Danish-Korean “comedians” who travel to North Korea to get back in touch with their homeland and to perform for an audience that includes various dignitaries.

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by Jason Gargano 10.18.2011
at 11:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Cincinnati World Cinema Visits Britain

Just a heads up that Cincinnati World Cinema tonight continues its screenings of The British Arrow Awards, a collection of British television commercials (or, as they're called across the pond, adverts) that put their American counterparts to shame.

In fact, as I wrote the other day, there is often more creative energy in one of these 90-second British adverts than in a two-hour Hollywood effort.

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by Jason Gargano 04.21.2011
at 03:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Chunk Lives!

Ever wonder what happened to the kid who played Chunk in The Goonies

Wonder no more.

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