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"Rebecca" (1940)

Rebecca isn’t Hitchcock’s best film. Not by a long shot. But everything that made him a good director is visible here: the way he frames each shot, his fascination with the transformation of a girl into a woman, his willingness to trust in the strength of the original source material. (I only wish he could have hooked up with Bernard…

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Quit chugging that blue Kool-Aid!

Say it with me now: “Avatar is not the Second Coming of Christ.” Granted, other viewers have articulated this same sentiment from a variety of angles. Peter liked the film as an experience but not as a story, and Scalzi explains why that experience works. And both Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz have mined the film from a post-colonial…

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Good news, everybody!, Life, These fragments I have shored against my ruins

Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy some Wes Anderson.

Thanksgiving, as I was exhorted late last night, was October 12th. It was, according to some, the only Thanksgiving that should count. However those of us with two countries to our names sometimes get double holidays. (Japan, it should be known, has the best assortment of holidays: Christmas is for lovers, New Year’s is for family, Valentine’s Day is for…

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AMC now streaming B-movies online

Yes, now you too can watch poorly-dubbed Italian classics like Playgirls and the Vampire, for free, on AMC. This is the perfect way to celebrate Halloween, unless you a) live near abandoned barns you can explore or b) have a goodly amount of small-batch bourbon and a toolbox of Hammer films at the ready. (Parties are also good.) Also good…

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Why AMV's are great:

They totally revitalize pop songs that were overplayed in their first week by enmeshing them with meaningful content. Of course, it helps that this vid is probably the best editing job I’ve seen in quite some time. Coming from me that means something; I probably watch at least a vid or two a day on average, with frequent binge sessions…

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Please hold for unpopular opinions re: Batman

io9 sez that The Dark Knight sequel may feature Miley Cyrus. I’ll wait, while you wash the blood from your eyes. Done? Okay. Moving on. I think this is a good thing. I can wait. Again. Try rolling your abs up into your spine; it helps the vomit come a little faster. Now swish! Okay. Now that’s finished, let me…

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Star Trek: the capsule review

I commented with these thoughts over at SF Signal regarding the latest Star Trek movie. They’re the sum total of what I’ve been telling people about it since Thursday, when I saw it with my nearest and dearest: I really felt that the film was a great intertextual essay about Star Trek. While the other films/series in the franchise tried…

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post rec: Coilhouse vs. the Matrix

I can’t help but second most of what’s in this post about The Matrix ten years later, especially this bit: The movie also tapped into the anger a lot of people feel but never quite express, the pent-up resentments of our world that lead a packed theatre in the rural South to cheer a fetish-clad woman pounding the police into…

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Good news, everybody!, Otaku Academy

New publication out

I have an article in the most recent (Fall/Winter 2008) volume of Asian Cinema, and it’s called “Heim Movies: The Return of the Cyborg Double in the Ring Franchise.” I came home to find this waiting for me, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Reading the article over again gives me just the confidence I need to roll out the…

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Memories of my melancholy film course:

I’m not entirely sure what Manhattan is doing on VisionTV, home of both televangelists and Murder, She Wrote. I do know, however, that the first film released to home video in letterbox (so as to preserve the original Panavision aspect ratio) is still beautiful, still well-written, still unnervingly observant. Say what you want about Woody Allen — and there’s a…

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