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"Rebecca" (1940)

"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 Herrmann before 1955, because a Herrmann score for Manderley would have been both lovely and appropriately eerie. The real score…

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Quit chugging that blue Kool-Aid!

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 perspective. And still, I see thread after thread of comments declaring the film as the best of the year, the…

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Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy some Wes Anderson.

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 men, White Day is for women, Golden Week is a whole week long, and there’s Obon and Halloween. But I…

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AMC now streaming B-movies online

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 is the fact that AMC is streaming episodes of the original Prisoner series, to tie-in with their upcoming adaptation starring…

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Why AMV's are great:

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 when I’m trying to figure out something in a story without consciously thinking about it. In fact, the one con…

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Please hold for unpopular opinions re: Batman

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 explain. I really love Batman. The character, I mean. I love what he stands for — fucked-up people making the…

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Star Trek: the capsule review

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 (and sometimes failed) to make a comment about exploration or the Other, this one confined itself to a comment about…

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post rec: Coilhouse vs. the Matrix

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 pulp. It fed the part in all of us that not only felt there was something deeply wrong with the…

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New publication out

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 next chapter of my thesis, and polish up the existing ones.

Memories of my melancholy film course:

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 lot to say — but this bit slays me every time: Isaac: On my prom night I went around this…

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