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The Ruins of Lifta (Daum & Rudavsky, 2016)

September 25, 2016 – 11:49 am

Lifta is described in this documentary’s press materials as “the only Palestinian village abandoned during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that has not been destoryed or repopulated by Jews.”

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The Witness (Solomon, 2015)

August 18, 2016 – 12:41 pm
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The Witness is a powerfully messy film.  Read the full story »

An Art That Nature Makes: The Work of Rosamond Purcell (Bernstein, 2015)

August 10, 2016 – 10:00 am
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If I had the film on DVD, I would be seriously tempted to play it through once with no sound, just savoring the images, and then go back and listen to the commentary.

Before You Offer LGBTQ People “Thoughts and Prayers” …

August 7, 2016 – 12:46 pm
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News of the mass murder of forty-nine people at a gay nightclub in Orlando spread through social and mainstream media last month, prompting a now familiar pattern of shock, anger, denial, and accusations.

Bad Moms (Lucas & Moore, 2016)

July 28, 2016 – 4:45 pm
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The film that Bad Moms most reminded me of was — help me, Jesus — Moms’ Night Out.

Equals (Doremus, 2015)

July 26, 2016 – 3:03 pm
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Speculative fiction has always been allegorical. The alternate worlds, be they in the future or some alternate plane of existence, are meant to illuminate and comment on our own when the culture of the current moment does not invite the sort of commentary the author is looking to make.

300 (Snyder, 2006) — 10 Years Later

July 24, 2016 – 4:48 pm
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There are great films that depict the horrors of war and honor those who sacrifice themselves as part of it. Saving Private Ryan and Fury come to mind. There are many as well about civilians who sacrifice money, career, and even lives to promote the progress of a cause or idea greater than themselves. Sacrifice is a noble thing. Of the one who sacrifices his life, the Bible says there is no greater love.

Fred Zinnemann: High Noon

July 3, 2016 – 7:58 pm
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High Noon does not explain itself nor its hero. One suspects that what Tony Soprano really identified with in Will Kane was his reticence. In today’s political landscape, Kane’s insistence on taking up his gun even after he had officially resigned his position might well be questioned. Neither his wife’s arguments for pacifism nor the town’s pleas for pragmatism are clearly and effectively rebutted. Kane represents an emotional rather than intellectual (or political) argument. The way things are is stipulated, not explained. A man has to do what a man has to do. What that thing is that he must do can only be understood, not explained.

Margarita with a Straw (Bose and Maniyar, 2014)

June 14, 2016 – 12:01 am
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Because it is a film about sexual identify, it avoids many of the cliches of films about disability. Because it is a film about a woman with a disability, it avoids many of the cliches of films about sexual identity.

Cars (Lasseter & Ranft, 2006) — 10 Years Later

June 12, 2016 – 10:50 am
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While many of Pixar’s films, like Toy Story, have already become beloved classics, Cars has mostly been forgotten. And not without some reason. It’s not a bad film, but it lacks the imaginative power of Wall-E and Inside Out or the emotional resonance of the Toy Story trilogy and the opening sequence of Up. Film history will mostly remember it as a cog in Disney’s well-oiled cash engine.

How to Write a (Really Scary) Screenplay: Chad and Carey Hayes Discuss The Conjuring 2

June 9, 2016 – 6:53 pm
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To anyone wishing to break into the screenwriting business, Chad and Carey Hayes have one major piece of advice: READ SCRIPTS! Find something you like and identify with, and figure out why it works

Last Cab to Darwin (Sims, 2015)

June 6, 2016 – 8:53 pm
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Darwin’s saving grace is that it embeds the political arguments about right-to-die within a personal story.