Archive for category: by Sean Axmaker

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Videophiled: The mad passion of ‘Why Don’t You Play in Hell?’

27 January, 2015 (15:31) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? (Drafthouse, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital), Sion Sono’s filmmaking freakout about making a movie in the midst of a Yakuza war, is actually far more insane than that description suggests. For one thing, it takes almost 90 minutes to get to that filmmaking part and the sheer absurdity of the plotting […]

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Videophiled: Liliana Cavani’s ‘The Skin’

24 January, 2015 (06:35) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Skin (aka La Pelle, Cohen, Blu-ray, DVD), directed by Liliana Cavani in 1981 from the novel by Curzio Malaparte, is ostensibly a war drama, set during the American liberation of Sicily from the Fascists, but it’s really about the politics and economics of occupation. As the Allied forces (led by Burt Lancaster’s General Mark […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of January 23

23 January, 2015 (10:49) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Bruce Reid

“The problem is the six major studios that dominate the box office, the entertainment chatter and the popular imagination. Their refusal to hire more female directors is immoral, maybe illegal, and has helped create and sustain a representational ghetto for women.” Manohla Dargis lays down her sharpest attack yet on what’s become a preeminent concern, […]

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Videophiled: Preston Sturges’ ‘The Palm Beach Story’

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

The Palm Beach Story (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) – Leave it to Preston Sturges to create the sexiest and most grown-up romantic comedy of his day. Claudette Colbert has never been more desirable as Gerry Jeffers, the flirtatious pragmatist with a clear-eyed take on the realities of men, women, and sex, and Sturges turns Joel McCrea’s […]

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Videophiled: ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant’

18 January, 2015 (16:53) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) – Rainer Werner Fassbinder adapted his own stage play for this modern twist on The Women, the great all-woman Hollywood classic of sex and social conventions in high society. Margit Carstensen is successful fashion designer Petra von Kant, who lives alone in her stark apartment […]

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Videophiled: ‘Kinoshita and World War II’

17 January, 2015 (09:27) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Editor

Japanese director Keisuke Kinoshita made 50 films in a 50-year career, including Twenty-Four Eyes (1954) and the original The Ballad of Narayama (1958), both of which Criterion has released on disc. Kinoshita and World War II (Eclipse, DVD) presents his first five films and offers a rare glimpse into the propaganda films made in Japan […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of January 16

16 January, 2015 (10:48) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Editor

At The Guardian, two stories of comedians confronting a world that lives down to their expectations. Craig Brown’s article is primarily a tribute to Duck Soup, and its profound use of nonsense to attack and destroy the straight-laced and proper. (“After their arrival, nothing is allowed to remain in its rightful place, or to be […]

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Videophiled: ‘Selma’ director Ava DuVernay’s ‘Middle of Nowhere’

13 January, 2015 (17:11) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Middle of Nowhere (Lionsgate, DVD, Digital HD, VOD) – As Selma opens wide to great reviews, Ava DuVernay’s second feature comes to disc, a small story about a woman who put her aspirations on hold when her husband goes to prison. Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi) drops out of medical school and takes a nursing job so […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of January 9

9 January, 2015 (09:59) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links, Seattle Screens | By: Sean Axmaker

“It’s an attitude that hits with the opening notes of David Shire’s score, a rolling atonal jazz-funk cacophany that can legitimately be called brassy because there’s a hell of a lot of brass in it. It’s a warning that this city is an irritable, stressed-out motherfucker, and you better watch yourself. This is a city […]

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Videophiled: ‘Boyhood’ – Growing up on film

6 January, 2015 (13:40) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Boyhood (Paramount, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) is arguably the movie of 2014. Even if you don’t think it’s the best film of last year, it dominated Top Ten lists and critics groups awards and it offered a different and daring kind of cinematic experience, something rare enough in American popular cinema. It’s now common knowledge that […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of January 2

2 January, 2015 (14:10) | by Sean Axmaker | By: Sean Axmaker

We’re taking a vacation from the links this week. You can peruse the Parallax Top Ten lists here. Obituary Luise Rainer, the first performer to win consecutive Oscars for acting (for The Great Ziegfeld, 1936, and The Good Earth, 1937), passed away this week at the age of 104. The German-born actress was a member […]

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Parallax View’s Best of 2014

31 December, 2014 (23:36) | by Andrew Wright, by Jay Kuehner, by Kathleen Murphy, by Richard T. Jameson, by Robert Horton, by Sean Axmaker, by Sheila Benson | By: Editor

Welcome 2015 with one last look back at the best releases of 2014, as seen by the contributors to Parallax View and a few notable Seattle-based film critics. Sean Axmaker My list this year is light on foreign movies, largely because I didn’t get out to as many festival screenings as I have in past […]

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Videophiled Best of 2014 on Blu-ray and DVD

31 December, 2014 (17:04) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, lists | By: Editor

The death of Blu-ray and DVD has apparently been prematurely called. Streaming and cable VOD still dominates home viewing but Redbox and other kiosk-based disc vendors have kept disc rentals alive (if not quite robust) and Blu-ray remains the format of choice for movie collectors and home theater enthusiasts, keeping sales robust enough to bring […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… the Best Reads of 2014

26 December, 2014 (03:52) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Bruce Reid

Joseph McBride provided the best writing of the year on Too Much Johnson, showing how the footage looks back to Welles’s love of silent film and forward to the sexual frankness of his later films. His speculation on how the film went “missing” all those years, considering McBride’s the one who rediscovered The Hearts of […]

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Videophiled: Mike Nichols’ ‘The Fortune’

23 December, 2014 (09:13) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The timing wasn’t planned but it is fortuitous. The Fortune (Twilight Time, Blu-ray), a screwball comedy directed by Mike Nichols, debuts on Blu-ray a month after Nichols passed away. The 1975 production is set in the 1920s and stars Warren Beatty as a con man trying to get his hands on the fortune of a […]

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