Archive for category: by Sean Axmaker

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SIFFtings 2015 – Week Three

28 May, 2015 (05:34) | by Kathleen Murphy, by Sean Axmaker, Film Festivals | By: Kathleen Murphy

A few short takes on SIFF offerings for the third weekend of the biggest, longest film festival in the United States. PHOENIX (Christian Petzold, Germany, 2014; 98 minutes) Fresh from Auschwitz and extreme facial reconstruction, Nelly returns to the noirish backstreets and bars of bombed-out Berlin, looking for what’s left of herself—and the husband whose […]

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Videophiled: ‘Man, Pride and Vengeance’

27 May, 2015 (12:26) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

Man, Pride and Vengeance (Blue Underground, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) – There were hundreds of spaghetti westerns produced by Italian studios in the sixties and early seventies. Only a small percentage of them were particularly good, and fewer still genuinely great. You’d think we’d be running out of discoveries by now but Man, Pride and Vengeance […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of May 22

22 May, 2015 (08:51) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Bruce Reid

“Considering the very personal tone of Dreams and that Kurosawa was 80 when he finished it, it’s hardly surprising that the film meditates on the balance of life and death. Yet this thematic crux is articulated not as a simple, binary opposition, but as an intricate intertwining: death-in-life and life-in-death.” Godfrey Cheshire has a lovely […]

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Film Review: ‘Good Kill’

21 May, 2015 (04:50) | by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

What does war become in the remote-control age of drone strikes and remote surveillance? That’s what Andrew Niccol ostensibly asks in Good Kill—a film we know, after watching a few minutes, is going to spin its impersonal military-speak title into bitter irony. There we see Major Tommy Egan (Ethan Hawke) destroying military targets in Afghanistan […]

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Videophiled: ‘Day of the Outlaw’

20 May, 2015 (14:44) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

Day of the Outlaw (Timeless, DVD), a 1959 western set in a snowbound mountain town on the high frontier, is one of the toughest, most tension-filled pictures from Andre de Toth, a studio filmmaker who could be counted on to bring a savage edge to his assignments. The town is already coiled like a spring […]

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Videophiled: Two by Roger Corman with Ray Milland

18 May, 2015 (10:21) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Horror, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

Vincent Price starred in all of Roger Corman’s Poe adaptations but one. Ray Milland took the lead in The Premature Burial (Kino Lorber Studio Classics, Blu-ray, DVD), playing Guy Carrell, an aristocrat with crippling fear that he will be buried alive due to a family history of catalepsy. Corman brings the fear home in the […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of May 15

15 May, 2015 (09:27) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Bruce Reid

“So if a question that might have some pertinence for the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s, “Why do the French love Jerry Lewis”, can be superseded by a question pertinent to the next four decades, “Why do the French and the Americans love Woody Allen?”, the fact that the first question continues to get posed while […]

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SIFFtings 2015 – Opening Weekend

13 May, 2015 (13:07) | by Kathleen Murphy, by Richard T. Jameson, by Sean Axmaker, capsules, Film Festivals | By: Kathleen Murphy

A few short takes on SIFF offerings on the debut weekend of the biggest, longest film festival in the United States. SPY (Paul Feig, USA, 2015; 120 minutes) Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat) parlays Melissa McCarthy’s sly likeability and pratfalling genius into a dumb, feel-good spoof of the secret agent genre. When the jolly fat lady—an […]

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Meet the Seattle Techie Who Pulls the Strings Behind Stephen Tobolowsky

13 May, 2015 (08:26) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays | By: Sean Axmaker

You may know him as Sandy Ryerson on Glee or Stu Beggs on Californication or Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day—the overly ingratiating insurance salesman Bill Murray punches. Face come to mind now? Bing! But thanks to his popular podcast and subsequent PRI radio show The Tobolowsky Files, Stephen Tobolowsky has become almost as well-known a […]

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Videophiled: ‘Still Alice’

12 May, 2015 (23:47) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Still Alice (Sony, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD) – Julianne Moore won her first Academy Award (after four nominations since Boogie Nights in 1998) playing a renowned linguistics professor who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and starts to experience her identity, her sense of self, slipping away. It’s the kind of performance that doesn’t just support […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of May 8

8 May, 2015 (09:28) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Bruce Reid

“Where do you go from here? Obviously no place but down. Ekberg has been taking rent-paying jobs ever since Boccaccio ’70, but Tashlin in a sense used her up and Fellini brought her to unimagined heights, on a billboard on Mount Olympus from which there was no turning back. Or coming down, although she literally […]

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Film Review: ‘Lambert & Stamp’

7 May, 2015 (05:02) | by Sean Axmaker, Documentary, Film Reviews, Musicals | By: Sean Axmaker

You could be forgiven for assuming that Lambert and Stamp are some forgotten folk-rock duo of the Peter & Gordon variety. Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp were part of London’s ’60s rock scene, though not as performers but as managers, promoters, producers, and mentors. They helped transform a mod-favorite club band called The High Numbers […]

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The Trial

6 May, 2015 (19:02) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Orson Welles | By: Sean Axmaker

“[I]t’s my own picture, unspoiled in the cutting or anything else…. The producers were heroic and got it made, and there isn’t anything I had to compromise—except no sets, and I was happy with the other solution, as it turned out, even though I was kind of in love with all the work I’d done. […]

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Orson Welles goes ‘Around the World’

6 May, 2015 (08:26) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Orson Welles, Television | By: Editor

When handed the raw materials from an unfinished documentary about Elmyr de Hory, an art forger whose life was being written up by biographer Clifford Irving, Orson Welles took the opportunity to make something far beyond the concept of the traditional documentary. F for Fake has been called the Orson Welles’ first essay film, a […]

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Videophiled: Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr. Turner’

5 May, 2015 (18:28) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Mr. Turner (Sony, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, VOD) – “When I look in a mirror, I see a gargoyle.” J.M.W. Turner, as created in the Mike Leigh’s film Mr. Turner and incarnated by Timothy Spall, is not what we imagine for a grand British artist. Burly, rough-hewn, with speech punctuated by grunts and snorts, he’s […]

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