Author Archives: Phil Hall

In Search of Beethoven (DVD)

While the title of Phil Grabsky’s latest documentary may suggest a focus on the life of Ludwig van Beethoven, the focus is primarily on the music.

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Interview: Judah Thomas and the Challenge of Faith-Based Filmmaking

JudahThomas

Within the independent film world, Christian-themed cinema has been a vibrant undercurrent that has been quietly growing for a number of years. One of the newest filmmakers within this genre is Judah Thomas.

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DVD REVIEW: The Lark Farm

The Lark Farm

Credit should be given for putting a long overdue spotlight on this atrocious chapter of 20th century history.

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DVD Review: Alice in Wonderland (1966)

Alice in Wonderland

The most significant aspect here is reinventing Wonderland as a warped parallel universe to Victorian England

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Review: Mid-August Lunch

Mid August Lunch

“Lunch” feels more like an unsatisfactory appetizer than a satisfying main course.

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Retro Cinema: Pink Flamingos

The problem with cult movies is that the viewer is who not part of the cult following is often left confused at what the fuss is all about.

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Retro Cinema: On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

Vincente Minnelli’s 1970 adaptation of the Alan Jay Lerner-Burton Lane musical “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” has widely been dismissed as a failure, although the film has generated a small cult following that consider it to be an overlooked gem.

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DVD Review: The Best of Match Game

Match Game

For those who survived the 1970s intact, or for those who weren’t around and have no clue why any mention of that decade still raises smirks, this DVD is a godsend.

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DVD Review: An Englishman in New York

Englishman in New York

Quality roles for John Hurt must be at a severe minimum if the greatly underutilized actor needs to revisit his 1975 triumph as gay icon Quentin Crisp in “The Naked Civil Servant.”

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Review: Word Is Out

Word is Out film

“Word Is Out: Stories Of Some Of Our Lives” made an unusual impact when it was first released in 1978.

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Retro Cinema: "Georgia O’Keeffe" (1977)

It is a major shame that Perry Miller Adato’s 1977 documentary “Georgia O’Keeffe” is no longer in circulation. An award magnet when it was first released – including a history-making Directors Guild of America Award for Adato, the first female filmmaker to win the honor – this production has yet to find its way onto […]

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Review: "Pop Star on Ice"

In many ways, the title for David Barba and James Pellerito’s documentary profile of ice skater Johnny Weir is inappropriate. Weir is less of a pop star than a diva – after all, a pop star is a relatively benign personality who is widely loved, but a diva is a considerable talent that has been […]

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DVD Review: Chevolution

Chevolution

Chevolution focuses on what might be the single most famous photographic portrait of the 20th century: Alberto Korda’s image of the beret-wearing Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

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DVD Review: Into the Storm

Originally broadcast on HBO, Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s re-imagining of the rise and fall of Winston Churchill’s wartime government is fueled by Brendan Gleeson’s wonderfully irascible interpretation of the celebrated leader.

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DVD Review: “Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh”

The extraordinary story of Hannah Senesh (1921-1944) is not very well known to most people, so there is reason to be grateful for Roberta Gossman’s wonderful documentary.The daughter of a prominent Jewish family in Budapest, Senesh fled her native country for British-mandated Palestine prior to the outbreak of World War II. In 1943, she joined […]

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