Author Archives: Mike Wood

Mike Wood

Mike Wood is a novelist, painter, and music critic whose work has appeared and just as quickly disappeared in many magazines and galleries. He is a teacher at homeless resource center in Providence, and lives with his wife and cats.

DVD Review: Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi poster

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a subtle meditation on art and the price it exacts from those who would seek its peaks, in the fascinating context of the sushi world.

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Film Review: Sergei Loznitsa’s My Joy

My Joy film poster

This Ukrainian film set in Russia and directed by documentary filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa offers no reason or explanation for why the boring, the tragic, the senseless and the funny happen in our daily lives.

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Film Review: Square Grouper

Square Grouper poster

Square Grouper is pretty even-handed in its telling of the exploits of a Florida religious group who funded their faith by moving piles and piles of its main sacrament.

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Film Book Review: Every Night the Trees Disappear: Werner Herzog and the Making of “Heart of Glass” by Alan Greenberg

every night the trees disappear

Every Night the Trees Disappear: Werner Herzog and the Making of “Heart of Glass” gives a portrait of an artist even more enigmatic and frantically creative than his films make him seem.

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The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers

Dude Abides cover

The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers makes a mostly successful case for the brothers’ classic films as a treasure trove of teachable moments about the human condition.

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Book Review: Plague Town: An Ashley Parker Novel

Plague Town

Dana Fredsti, novelist and former swordswoman in charge of training on Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness, manages to squeeze some fresh juice out of an idea that Buffy did better on the small screen.

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Film Book Review: Shade Rupe’s Dark Stars Rising: Conversations from the Outer Realms

No one would argue with calling this massive, invaluable tome “exhaustive,” though there might be a few who would squawk with using the word “definitive.”

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DVD Review: The Exterminator

One of the first exploitation films to be shown endlessly during the early days of cable, 1980’s The Exterminator is also one of the more grim entries in the genre. Gory, jaded and ambivalent on the merits of the vigilante, it anticipated Bernard Goetz by a few years.

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The Ruse of Tribute: Vanity and Legacy in The Belly of an Architect

Memory is only important to the living; preservation of art or artifice, while living, is only preparation for possible legacy.

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DVD Review: Adua and Her Friends (Adua e le Compagne)

Antonio Pietrangeli’s 1960 film Adua and her Friends (Adua e le Compagne) explores the end of an era and points to future cultural upheaval.

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IN/FLUX: Mediatrips from the African World

The first in a projected three DVD series, IN/FLUX is a collection of ten short films and videos from Africa.

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DVD Review: The Who, The Mods and the Quadrophenia Connection (MVD)

Finally, an unauthorized peek at a crucial period of a classic band that doesn’t suck! You’ve surely seen the recent Dylan and Beatles videos that feature still photos, lame background music in keys that suggest the artists’ music but can’t use it because of copyright. The Who, The Mods and the Quadrophenia Connection is actually […]

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DVD Review: Know Your Mushrooms (2009 Sphynx Productions)

Those expecting this documentary to be about the mind-expanding, space-travel inducing, true sacred portal to the gods types of mushrooms, you have to wait until the latter half of the film. The first part is about plain old yummy wild mushrooms, and the people who love them, hunt for them, and hold festivals in honor […]

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Book Review: The American International Pictures Video Guide by Gary A. Smith

Shame on any film fan who doesn’t have a warm spot in their soul for AIP. American International Pictures was, if not consistently good, at least consistently inventive. From 1954 through the late 70s, the studio cranked out eccentric and sometimes brilliant B-movies, employing the likes of Roger Corman, Vincent Price, and Michael Landon, as […]

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DVD review: One Love: Words Sounds & Powah (1988/2009; MVD)

In the late 1980s, documentary filmmaker Howard Johnson was given unprecedented access to the Rastafarian community in Britain, resulting in a 10 part series, Rockers Roadshow. Some of his wealth of material, shot in London and Nottingham, also was also collected in the One Love series, three short films that even today are riveting in […]

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