Archive for category: Commentary

NYMPH()MANIyakking: Thoughts Prompted by Lars Von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1′

12 March, 2014 (07:18) | by Kathleen Murphy, by Richard T. Jameson, Commentary, Film Reviews | By: Kathleen Murphy

Kathleen Murphy: Plunging into the first volume of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, we’re drowned in cloacal darkness, straining to identify initially faint metallic sounds that rise in volume, odd plinks and whines and scrapes. When von Trier finally lets there be light, it’s dim, dirty looking, oppressive. Narrow passages cut through a maze of worn […]

Scarecrow Video – The Home Video Palace at the End of the Yellow Brick Road

7 December, 2013 (10:50) | by Sean Axmaker, Commentary, Industry | By: Sean Axmaker

On Friday, December 6, 2013, Seattle’s Scarecrow Video celebrates its 25th Anniversary. It’s been called the greatest video store in the country. Bernardo Bertolucci not only frequented the store while shooting Little Buddha in Seattle, he praised the store and its cinema treasures to a sold-out audience at the film’s Seattle premiere. Bertrand Tavernier explored […]

And the Oscar goes to … who, us?!

3 March, 2012 (05:24) | by Richard T. Jameson, Commentary | By: Richard T. Jameson

Yes, we’re past the point when anything more needs to be said about the 84th Oscars, and yet I’ve seen no mention of the most wackily wonderful moment of the evening. It afforded a look inside Academy ritual, and an instance of late-blooming justice being done against considerable odds. So please indulge one last Oscar […]

War of the Rings: Is the new “Lord of the Rings” Blu-ray the One True Edition?

28 June, 2011 (15:21) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Commentary, Essays, Industry, Movie Controversies | By: Sean Axmaker

Has Sauron struck again? From the furious debates playing across DVD/Blu-ray forums, where some the most passionate fans and exacting collectors can be found registering their praise and displeasures with upcoming and new releases (often in hyperbolic dimensions and a hostile tone), you might assume that there’s a new war brewing over the fate of […]

‘Shrinking Man’ reputation grows

27 June, 2011 (09:56) | by John Hartl, Commentary, Essays, Science Fiction | By: John Hartl

It’s always gratifying when a favorite film is discovered—or rediscovered in a way that creates a fresh perspective . Such is the case with 1957’s The Incredible Shrinking Man, which was enthusiastically received in its time but continues to grow in stature. Last year, it joined the National Film Registry of significant American films. In […]

2010 Academy Awards: finished business

2 March, 2011 (11:15) | by Richard T. Jameson, Commentary | By: Richard T. Jameson

Last week I told a friend I wasn’t anticipating Oscar night all that much this year. Then I immediately emended that: No, I was anticipating Oscar night all too well. There was little room for doubt who or what was going to win, and the outlook wasn’t prepossessing. As I wrote here several weeks ago, […]

Tear sheets

22 November, 2010 (03:41) | Books, by Richard T. Jameson, Commentary, Industry | By: Richard T. Jameson

In the age of Netflix, when just about any film made anywhere can be summoned painlessly to your mailbox [or streamed to your flatscreen], we do well to remember that once upon a time there were only a handful of independently operated movie theaters in the United States dedicated to showing foreign-language cinema. Prints were […]

This is Not a Watchman Review

5 March, 2009 (21:05) | by Sean Axmaker, Commentary, Essays, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

[published in conjunction with the blog] The world doesn’t need another Watchmen review. Everyone with access to a preview screening and a web page has already done one. The world is not short of opinions and the web doesn’t seem to differentiate between considered responses and emotional reflex put to words, though you can […]

The last list of Lists for 2008 – The Year in Cinema

25 January, 2009 (12:58) | by Andrew Wright, by John Hartl, by Kathleen Murphy, by Richard T. Jameson, by Robert C. Cumbow, by Robert Horton, by Sean Axmaker, Commentary, lists | By: Sean Axmaker

The reading of the Oscar nominations marks the unofficial (and long overdue) end to the season of Top Ten lists and year-in-review pieces and various awards bestowed by every group who wants to add their stamp to the passports of Oscar hopefuls. So as a postscript, I gather a few lists and remarks from Parallax […]

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Up For Sale, Up in the Air

10 January, 2009 (13:54) | by Sean Axmaker, Commentary, Industry | By: Sean Axmaker

[Published in conjunction with the blog] You could say it came as a complete surprise when, on Thursday evening, local TV station KING-TV announced that, according to unnamed sources, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer would be put up for sale. The P-I staff had no news of it and the Hearst Corporation, which owns the P-I, […]

Skolimowski: “Barrier” ( “Bariera”)

15 October, 2008 (19:09) | by Richard T. Jameson, Commentary, DVD, Essays, Film Reviews | By: Richard T. Jameson

[Originally written for the University of Washington Office of Cinema Studies Film Series "Voices and Visions," April 20, 1982] Tight shot: a man’s back, naked, bent, straining; his bands tied behind him; his head, whether yearning forward or bowed in fear and trembling, unseen. The posture faintly evokes your basic bullet-in-the-back-of-the-neck, Darkness at Noon–style execution. The […]

Art, Life and Politics

4 September, 2008 (15:22) | by Sheila Benson, Commentary | By: Sheila Benson

Art, Life and Politics With the arrival of Sarah Palin, American politics has strayed deep into Wag the Dog territory, but it wasn’t until last night, as even ad hoc members of Alaska’s First Family were lined up for her speech, that I realized that if I were Levi Johnston, I’d be very, very worried. […]

Topical Thunder: Why I Love “The Ringer”

17 August, 2008 (16:15) | by Jeff Shannon, Commentary, Movie Controversies | By: Jeff Shannon

I was tempted to title this posting “When the f**k did we get ice cream?” to honor one of the funniest, most surprising lines of dialogue from The Ringer, the underrated, frequently hilarious Johnny Knoxville comedy from 2005. Like many of the best lines in the film (and kudos to screenwriter Ricky Blitt for providing […]

George Lucas: The Last Champion of Colonialist Cinema

16 August, 2008 (13:20) | by Sean Axmaker, Commentary | By: Sean Axmaker

Way back in the original Star Wars (before it was branded with a “IV” and subtitled “A New Hope”), it did not escape notice that at the end of the film, it was human heroes Luke Skywalker and Han Solo who got the glory while the non-humans – the wookie, Chewbacca, and the two robots […]