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Masters of Cinema Cast – Episode 55 – Vampyr

22 February 2017 5:00 AM, PST

Joakim is joined by Adam Gonet from The Art Shelf  to discuss this spooky classic. Enjoy.

From Masters of Cinema:

The first sound-film by one of the greatest of all filmmakers, Vampyr offers a sensual immediacy that few, if any, works of cinema can claim to match. Legendary director Carl Theodor Dreyer leads the viewer, as though guided in a trance, through a realm akin to a waking-dream, a zone positioned somewhere between reality and the supernatural.

Traveller Allan Gray (arrestingly depicted by Julian West, aka the secretive real-life Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg) arrives at a countryside inn seemingly beckoned by haunted forces. His growing acquaintance with the family who reside there soon opens up a network of uncanny associations between the dead and the living, of ghostly lore and demonology, which pull Gray ever deeper into an unsettling, and upsetting, mystery. At its core: troubled Gisèle, chaste daughter and sexual incarnation, »

- Tom Jennings

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Criterion Now – Episode 5 – May 2017 Announcements, Flash Sales, Wooden Clogs

21 February 2017 10:30 PM, PST

Aaron is joined by David Blakeslee and Robert Taylor to talk about that massive May haul that Criterion announced, the titles leaving FilmStruck, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, Flash and Target sales, punk rock in the 1970s, and various other Criterion oddities.

Episode Notes

4:00 – May 2017 Criterion Releases

38:45 – Flash Sale Discussion

43:00 – Target Sale

46:30 – The Tree of Wooden Clogs

53:00 – Preview of Upcoming Releases & Misc News

1:00 – Films Leaving FilmStruck

1:06 – FilmStruck including Speed Round

1:16 – Short Takes (Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One, The Uninvited, À Nos Amours)

1:23 – What We’ve Been Doing

1:26 – Piece of Flair

Episode Links Pure Cinema Pod Criterion – Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles Criterion – Othello Criterion – Good Morning Criterion – Dheepan Criterion – Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project 2 Criterion – Ghost World Scott Reviews Tree of Wooden Clogs Trevor Reviews Tree of Wooden Clogs Movies Leaving FilmStruck Criterion Reflections – Symbiopsychotaxiplasm, Take One Wrong Reel 233: »

- Aaron West

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Trevor Reviews Pedro Almodóvar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown [Criterion Collection Blu-Ray Review]

21 February 2017 9:30 PM, PST

It’s only February, yet The Criterion Collection has already released two exceptional screwball comedies this 2017. The first, His Girl Friday, released last month (and reviewed by David Blakeslee here), is a film that comes to mind whenever the term “screwball comedy” is bandied about. The second is Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

Almodóvar, particularly at this early point in his career, was better known for dark comedies that did all they could to confront and provoke and remind everyone that with the demise of Franco’s regime Almodóvar intended to utilize a newly discovered freedom of expression, so the film’s provenance, combined with the film’s dark premise, means that the delirious, escalating light comedy of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown will come as a surprise (a pleasant surprise, I think) to first-time watchers familiar with the rest of Almodóvar’s work. »

- Trevor Berrett

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Joshua Reviews So Yong Kim’s Lovesong [Theatrical Review]

21 February 2017 8:31 PM, PST

Sundance 2017 may have already wrapped up, but some of the highlights from last year’s festival are still, slowly, making their way to theaters across the country. Sure, Oscar may be on everyone’s mind, and cinephiles are either catching up with nominees that are finally making the rounds or anxiously awaiting those films we’ll be talking about one full year from now, but there are a cavalcade of new releases that, sadly, went underrated during their festival runs.

One such film is the newest feature from Treeless Mountain director So Yong Kim. Entitled Lovesong, Kim’s picture is now making its theatrical debut in New York, with a rollout imminent.

The film stars Riley Keough as a mother of one and a wife to a husband who is less than present. We watch as she tends to her energetic youngster and yet slowly become less and less sure »

- Joshua Brunsting

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Moma’s Doc Fortnight Shines A Light On Latest And Greatest In Non-Fiction Filmmaking

21 February 2017 7:26 PM, PST

Throughout the year, film festivals pop up across the country highlighting everything from future Oscar nominees like Sundance or Toronto, to avant garde works that will likely make waves on the art scene, like Ann Arbor or Locarno. And that’s no different for non-fiction cinema.

One of the most intriguing festivals looking at documentary cinema is now nearing its conclusion, and has brought to light some truly superlative pieces of work. At NYC’s Museum of Modern Art, the museum’s latest installment of their Doc Fortnight series is about to conclude, and has included some great documentaries both new and old.

Opening the festival is one of its greatest discoveries. Entitled Machines, the film marks its New York premiere as part of this series, and is the debut film from documentarian Rahul Jian. An Indian/German/Finnish co-production, Machines centers around a large textile factory in Gujarat, India »

- Joshua Brunsting

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David Reviews Michael Curtiz’s Mildred Pierce [Criterion Collection Blu-Ray Review]

21 February 2017 5:00 AM, PST

With the new release of Mildred Pierce, the Criterion Collection appears to be solidifying a trend over the past couple years of providing a showcase for some of the greatest female actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Since late 2014, stars like Claudette Colbert (It Happened One NightThe Palm Beach Story), Rita Hayworth (Gilda, Only Angels Have Wings) and Rosalind Russell (His Girl Friday) have made their first appearances in the Collection, in what can be considered career-defining roles. These additions seem to be addressing a notable blind spot for Criterion. As impressive as their reach has been in bringing many of the most iconic women from the past hundred years of world cinema to the forefront, the continuing absence of silver screen legends like Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Greta Garbo and Elizabeth Taylor, just to name a few, seems like a lingering oversight, a problem yet to be »

- David Blakeslee

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