Reviews

Reviews of books, music, film and other bits of culture

Dreams with Sharp Teeth: Documenting Harlan Ellison

Matthew Sorrento reviews the new documentary about famed writer Harlan Ellison

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History Lessons in The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Cinematographer Barry Ackroyd provides a warm, period look for this movie, which is saturated with subdued color, and makes good rhetorical use of the rugged landscape.

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Exterminating Angels and L’Iceberg Reviews

David Lynch has a lot to answer for. Too many directors assume that by using blue light, white noise, and incomprehensible plot twists, their film will become the next Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.

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The Hoax – Too Close For Comfort

Why do we feel blocked from our own laughter, sadness and outrage when we watch The Hoax? – This film has caught us as a society standing too close to the mirror.

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The Passion of Gary: 1982’s The Last American Virgin

The final moments of the forgotten classic The Last American Virgin are what elevate the picture from cultural curiosity to subversive brilliance.

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The Danse Extraordinaire of Ballets Russes; Hard Candy, a Bitter Pill

The story of the Ballets Russes dance company is the story of the modern cult of celebrity.

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A Nightmarish Fling with The Last King of Scotland; A Dose of Twilight Sleep in Dreamgirls

Two Film Reviews by A. Mary Murphy

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Back to the Beginning: Louis Malle’s Elevator to the Gallows

Criterion Collection presents journeyman director Louis Malle’s debut, a French exercise in noir.

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America Out To Pasture: The Good Shepherd

Is it possible to make an engaging film about a bureaucrat who carries a briefcase instead of a gun? Ask second-time director Robert De Niro.

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John Waters on This Filthy World

John Waters’ films have shown us the seedy, and revealed it as a mirror on ourselves.

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The History Boys: Ahead of the Class

We’ve
all been there, The History Boys seem to say, no matter
where we’ve come from.

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When Reagan Babies Fight Back! Another State of Mind

With punk today absorbed into the mainstream, can another alternative music culture appear? 1983’s Another State of Mind shows how it can be done.

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Her Majesty, The Queen

Helen Mirren has the goods to be the queen – all the others merely players in her court.

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Sex and the Chateau: Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette

kirsten dunst as marie antoinette

What all of this adds up to is a biography of feeling, rather than fact, and a charming one at that.

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Free Burning by Bayo Ojikutu

Moments of keen insight are buried beneath the misguided colloquial monologue that occupies the bulk of Free Burning.

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