Faces Places Agnes Varda documentary

The 15 films up for the Best Documentary Oscar, and a few they missed

When we were young, we used to have Oscar contests just like the kids do today. This was before the internet, and there were no websites which would simply tell you what to pick for Animated Short or Costume Design. You needed some other methods for choosing winners in categories you knew absolutely nothing about.…

By Jonathan Eig
MY FRIEND DAHMER 2017

Fourteen Amazing Films You Might Have Missed in 2017

2017 was a pretty good year for American film. Sure, there were plenty of head scratchers, disappointments, and outright train wrecks, but that’s for another column. (Which will be called “Head Scratchers, Disappointments & Outright Train Wrecks” – it’s all about the ampersand.) Today, we celebrate the minor gems. “Minor” only in the sense that…

By Jonathan Eig
In the Fade - European Union Film Showcase

American Film Institute: 2018 European Union Film Showcase

The American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre held the 30th edition of its European Union Film Showcase this December. Always a highlight, the 2017 Showcase screened 44 new movies from the 28 EU member nations. Here is a brief recap of this year’s Showcase. THE SUBLIME The Workshop (Laurent Cantet, France) On Body and Soul (Ildiko…

By Jonathan Eig
Dirty Harry

Siding with ‘Dirty Harry’ on the Use of Violence in Movies

Think anyone in the history of movie-watching ever felt sorry for serial killer “Scorpio” in the 1971 Don Siegel policier Dirty Harry? What, no one at all? Not even when Clint Eastwood’s Inspector Harry Callahan tortures the guy by stepping on his injured leg after shooting him on a football field? Or when he stabs…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Blade Runner

Nudity, ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and the Hollywood Gaze

The biggest problem with Denis Villeneuve’s misfire of a sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017) is not its sizeable length. Nor is it the fact that the music at the climax misguidedly referenced Vangelis’ wistful primary theme from Ridley Scott’s original 1982 film Blade Runner—a melody that calls attention to the fact that Hans Zimmer…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Spider-Man: Homecoming

Puppet the Critic Show – Spider-Man: Homecoming

I’m back everybody – your favourite sock puppet has returned from a brief hiatus. And I’m hear to talk all about the recent Spider-Man: Homecoming in my latest video. Homecoming satisfied audiences around the world by introducing a friendly, neighbourhood super-villain; one that not only cathartically related to the working man, but also placed Spidey…

By Puppet

Why the Space in Outer-Space Movies Should Be Silent

In space, the tagline for Alien (1979) once noted, no one can hear you scream. Apparently, everybody can hear Death Stars and intergalactic starships explode, though, while laser beams pew-pew-pew through the ether. Someone, please, someone give the world a film where the no-atmosphere environment is nice and quiet. Hollywood offers a culture of standards.…

By Simon Hardy Butler