Archive for category: by Sean Axmaker

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of March 27

27 March, 2015 (11:01) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Bruce Reid

“She’s exploring relationships that take years of self-reflection and conflict to reach a flawed but harmonious state. As a result, love at first sight doesn’t mean instant happiness; it’s simply the spark that inspires a long and thorny journey toward mutual connection, an endgame that transcends fleeting feelings like lust and infatuation.” Glenn Heath, Jr. […]

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Luchino Visconti’s Activist Cinema

25 March, 2015 (15:09) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays | By: Sean Axmaker

Luchino Visconti is one of the most fascinating artists of Italian cinema. The child of Italian aristocracy, born in a Milan palazzo with a family title that went back centuries and a family fortune built on landholdings and industry, he embraced Marxism with the zeal of a revolutionary but channeled his activism into theater and […]

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Videophiled: Battling ‘The Hobbit’

24 March, 2015 (10:08) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Warner, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, VOD), the third and final installment of Peter Jackson’s supersized take on J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy, opens with a spectacular dragon attack on Laketown and tops it with a battle that nearly dwarfs the Middle Earth-shattering war Lord of the Rings trilogy (pun […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of March 20

20 March, 2015 (11:25) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Bruce Reid

Antonioni and P. T. Anderson are the chief subjects of the new Senses of Cinema. No need here to choose age before beauty: Hamish Ford argues the early-60s quartet blend modernism and realism in a way that makes writing their subject off as “ambiguity” far too simplistic a reading (“Once more, any distinction between modernist […]

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Videophiled: ‘Vice and Virtue’ and ‘Mark of the Devil’ – Sex and sadism on Blu-ray

17 March, 2015 (20:18) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Vice & Virtue (Kino Classics, Blu-ray, DVD) is the titillating title that Roger Vadim gave to his 1963 take on two Marquis de Sade stories, “Justine” and “Juliette,” which he reframed as a morality play set in Nazi-occupied France. Annie Girardot and Catherine Deneuve star as sisters representing diametrically opposed responses to the occupation. Girardot’s […]

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Rene Clair’s Hat Trick

15 March, 2015 (13:53) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Film Reviews, Silent Cinema | By: Sean Axmaker

A triumvirate of early sound comedies—Under the Roofs of Paris (1930), Le Million (1931), and À Nous la Liberté (1931)—made René Clair’s reputation as France’s master of modern screen comedy. They explored the possibilities of the new audio dimension as an expressive element without sacrificing the fluid style and creative imagery of the height of […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of March 13

13 March, 2015 (09:22) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Bruce Reid

“With the woman’s dainty toes center screen, the foregrounded width of the image, and the lovingly worn texture of the film itself—one of Grindhouse’s gimmicks was that it would look like a crummy old 35mm print unearthed from some dusty, ill-maintained archive—Death Proof is from its very first shot the ultimate Tarantino fetish film.” Michael […]

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Videophiled: Alain Resnais’ ‘Life of Riley’

10 March, 2015 (13:14) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Life of Riley (Kino Lorber, Blu-ray, DVD) – It is curious that Alain Resnais, who was the most narratively experimental and ambitious of directors at the birth of the nouvelle vague in France, spent the last two decade of his filmmaking career melding cinema and theater in productions that are both highly theatrical and uniquely […]

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Milestones: ‘In the Land of the Head Hunters’

8 March, 2015 (17:13) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Silent Cinema | By: Sean Axmaker

In the Land of the Head Hunters (Milestone, Blu-ray, DVD) is not a documentary but it is an invaluable historical document nonetheless. Famed photographer Edward S. Curtis made a career documenting the native tribes on the west in the early 20th century, preserving the imagery of a culture that had almost entirely eradicated through resettlement […]

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Milestones: Shirley Clarke’s ‘The Connection’

8 March, 2015 (13:12) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Connection (Milestone, Blu-ray, DVD), the debut feature from Shirley Clarke, turns a stage play originally produced by New York’s revolutionary Living Theater as a play within a play into an innovative work of cinema. Clarke was a pioneering American independent filmmaker before that label was even invented and this is Volume One of Milestone […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of March 6

6 March, 2015 (11:02) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Bruce Reid

“But I like film. And I like visual storytelling. I’m sick of interviewing. I am really sick of it. I’m not gonna say I do it better than anybody else, but I do it differently than anybody else. I am good at it, for whatever reason. There are a lot of different reasons, but if […]

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Videophiled: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I’

3 March, 2015 (17:27) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Editor

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I (Lionsgate, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD), the number one box office hit of 2014, follows the lead of the Harry Potter and Twilight series by splitting the final book into two film installments, making this the third of four films. For anyone who has read the books that might seem like […]

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Videophiled: ‘The Wild Angels’ and ‘Psych-Out’

28 February, 2015 (09:44) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Before Easy Rider there was The Wild Angels (Olive, Blu-ray, DVD), directed by Roger Corman and starring Peter Fonda as Heavenly Blues, the leader of a California chapter of Hell’s Angles. This is a gang of disaffected drop-outs and scruffy road rats who live to ride in packs and parade their colors (black leather, mostly, […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of February 27

27 February, 2015 (09:11) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links, screenings, Seattle Screens | By: Bruce Reid

“Yes, extras must meet a threshold level of professionalism; they must show up on time and do what they’re told; they must own a variety of clothing items (most bring their own wardrobe). But there are thousands of them, capable of showing up on time and walking when they’re supposed to walk. It’s unskilled labor […]

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Film Review: ‘Focus’

26 February, 2015 (04:55) | by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

A good con-artist movie isn’t that much different from a good con. It’s all about distraction and sleight of hand, creating a false narrative to draw the viewer’s attention away from the real plot playing out behind the feint, and leaving behind a story that the mark can hang on to. In Focus, Will Smith […]

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