Archive for category: by Sean Axmaker

Contributor

Blu-ray: ‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’

29 July, 2014 (09:35) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Film history is filled with legends and stories of what could have been great (or at least interesting) films but were never made for one reason or another. Such projects are all potential, giving fans the chance to dream of masterpieces that could have been without having to face the reality of compromise and transformation […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ (1920)

26 July, 2014 (07:48) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Silent Cinema | By: Sean Axmaker

Stage and screen legend John Barrymore took on the good doctor and his vicious alter ego from the famous Robert Louis Stevenson novel in this silent horror classic, adapted as much from the stage play by Thomas Russell Sullivan as from Stevenson’s original book. It wasn’t the first adaptation of the story but it became […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of July 25

25 July, 2014 (08:45) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Sean Axmaker

Noting there’s nothing all that wrong about auteurs making themselves a known brand, David Bordwell breaks down the impeccable Wes-Andersonness of Moonrise Kingdom, finding some unremarked subtleties amidst the fussiness, including a looping chronology that can slip by you the first time through and a drift away from his trademark center-frame shot-reverse-shot that marks the […]

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Sex in Cinema: Surprises from the Archives

24 July, 2014 (17:46) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays | By: Sean Axmaker

How much sex can you handle? We were overwhelmed by just how much we found in our odyssey to create a Sex in Cinema infographic for Fandor. Who knew the rich history of sex in the cinema that went all the way back to the first short films shown to audiences? Okay, a little context […]

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Videophiled Classic: ‘The Wind Will Carry Us’ at 15

24 July, 2014 (15:08) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

We didn’t know it at the time but The Wind Will Carry Us (1999) was the end of a distinctive mode of cinematic engagement for Iran’s Abbas Kiarostami. He had won the Palm d’or at Cannes in 1997 for A Taste of Cherry and had become the figurehead for Iranian cinema for his unusual mix […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Trans-Europ-Express’

23 July, 2014 (16:59) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Alain Robbe-Grillet is best known as an experiment novelist in the nouvelle roman movement of the fifties and as the screenwriter of Alain Resnais’ elegant yet conceptually daring French nouvelle vague landmark Last Year at Marienbad. But Robbe-Grillet was also a filmmaker in his own right. He directed ten features in a career that spanned […]

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Videophiled: ‘Transcendence’ and ‘Sabotage’ fail

22 July, 2014 (18:36) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Transcendence (Warner, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, Cable VOD) marks the directorial debut of Wally Pfister, Oscar-winning cinematographer to Christopher Nolan. His visual intelligence, however, doesn’t transcend the dead weight passing as a script in this confused science fiction thriller starring Johnny Depp as a computer science genius whose mind is uploaded to an experimental computer […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Performance’

22 July, 2014 (08:37) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Festivals | By: Sean Axmaker

To many fans, Performance (1970) is legendary as the dramatic feature film debut of Mick Jagger. Though released in 1970, the film–about a short-fused punk of a London gangster named Chas (James Fox) who hides out from the cops and the crooks alike in the basement flat of a reclusive rock stars’ (Jagger) dilapidated mansion–was […]

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Blu-ray: ‘The Big Gundown’

20 July, 2014 (10:15) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

Sergio Leone is unarguably the godfather of spaghetti westerns. He directed its first international smash of the genre, defined the spare, savage style and mercenary sensibility, and made stars of journeymen actors Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef. But he was far from the only director who made his mark in the genre. Among the […]

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Blu-ray: ‘The Wind and the Lion’

19 July, 2014 (17:17) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

John Milius occupies a curious place in the culture of American filmmakers of the seventies. In the age of new, young, maverick voices, he’s the rugged American individualist with conservative politics and iconoclastic heroes. He’s fascinated with military culture and imperialist adventure, caught up in the tension between American isolation and intervention, in debt to […]

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Blu-ray: ‘The Man From Laramie’

19 July, 2014 (12:15) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

James Stewart roughed up his all-American nice guy image in five westerns he made with director Anthony Mann, the best of the seven films they made together in the 1950s, most of them for Universal Studios. The Man From Laramie (1955), their final collaboration, was made for Columbia and it was the first film that […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of July 18

18 July, 2014 (10:28) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Sean Axmaker

The new (and newly re-designed) Senses of Cinema offers plenty to explore, including Stuart Bender on how Gravity’s sound design convincingly fakes reality and, sticking with Cuarón, Ben Ogrodnik trying to free Children of Men’s narrative use of the camera from overly politicized critical readings; Marc Saint-Cyr describing the humanist sympathy for the underclass that […]

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Videophiled: Scarlett Johansson gets ‘Under the Skin’

15 July, 2014 (18:08) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

Under the Skin (Lionsgate, Blu-ray, DVD, Cable VOD) isn’t a film that wants to make things easy for the viewer. The experience is not unlike that which I suppose its unnamed protagonist, an alien reborn in the body of a human host (Scarlett Johansson), goes through as it (she?) settles in to its new body […]

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Barry Jenkins: Long Story Short

15 July, 2014 (08:45) | by Sean Axmaker, Interviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Barry Jenkins currently calls San Francisco home but he was born and raised in Florida and attended the filmmaking program at Florida State University, where he made his first films. Inspired by his friend and collaborator James Claxton, the director of photography on most of his films, he moved to San Francisco after graduation. That’s […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Sleep My Love’

14 July, 2014 (22:46) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Douglas Sirk, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

A romantic thriller in the Gaslight vein, Sleep, My Love (1948) is a shadowy melodrama with an atmosphere of Gothic thriller by way of high society film noir, and it grabs your attention immediately with a kicker of an opening: a train speeding through the night, Claudette Colbert waking up in a sleeping car with […]

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