American Empire (1942) - News Poster


John Oliver Tells Stephen Colbert He’s ‘Slightly Concerned’ About His Immigration Status After Trump’s Travel Ban — Watch

  • Indiewire
John Oliver Tells Stephen Colbert He’s ‘Slightly Concerned’ About His Immigration Status After Trump’s Travel Ban — Watch
Last night on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” John Oliver dropped by to discuss the state of the country ahead of the return of his HBO late night show “Last Week Tonight.” Oliver and Colbert talked about a host of topics, including Steve Bannon (“He’s a terrifying individual”), Betsy DeVos’ confirmation as Secretary of Education (“[Schoolchildren] are about as well qualified now as she is, and they’ve arguably spent longer in a public school”) and the decline of the American empire (“Enjoy the descent”). Watch the full interview below.

Read More: ‘Last Week Tonight With John Oliver’ Season 4 Promo: Larry David and ‘Game of Thrones’ Take Center Stage

The two eventually landed on President Trump’s travel ban and the fear it has instilled in immigrants nationwide, legal or otherwise. When asked if he’s worried about his immigration status as a green card holder, Oliver says he’s “slightly concerned.
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Red Sonja’ #1 critiques imperialism through sword and sorcery

Red Sonja #1

Written by Marguerite Bennett

Art by Aneke

Colors by Jorge Sutil

Letters by Erica Schultz

Published by Dynamite

Marguerite Bennett takes over as the writer of Red Sonja after an impressive run by Gail Simone, which included the spectacular Swords of Sorrow crossover and even a team-up with Conan. Sonja’s core personality of loving fighting, brawling, and a good roll in the hay with a beautiful man or woman is intact, but Bennett and artist Aneke put their mark upon the She Devil Sword immediately by changing the environment around her. The aging king of Hyrkania has died, and Red Sonja, who is afraid she would not make a good king because she was spend all day fighting and having a good time, refuses to succeed him as queen and rides off to have her usual adventures. Then, a year later she returns to Hyrkania and finds
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Best of Enemies documentary review: “the practice of malice”

A brilliant, hilarious, exhilarating look at the Gore Vidal v. William F. Buckley paradigm-busting 1968 debates that changed TV journalism for the worse. I’m “biast” (pro): Gore Vidal is one of my heroes

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

This is how much the world has changed (or at least how much America has changed): In 1968, the lowest-rated TV network, ABC, decided to come up with a stunt that would boost ratings of their coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions, in the run-up to that autumn’s Presidential election. And what they came up with was this: They gave two of the nation’s most prominent public intellectuals, Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr., ten nights of juicy evening airtime to debate the election and the state of the nation. And it worked: ABC’s ratings soared.
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Wine of The Month: Fabio Viviani Wants To Bring Italy Stateside, Wines, Recipes

May 2015 Wine of The Month: Fabio Viviani Excels In Vino Too.You cannot help but fall in love with the affable, self-deprecating Chef Fabio Viviani, who came here with a focused vision, insane work ethic and virtually no English to communicate. Chef Fabio Viviani grew up in Florence, Italy, and at age 11, he worked nights at a local bakery and as a teenager he held several positions in the restaurant industry, even serving under the mentorship of Simone Mugnaini, an iconic figure in the Italian restaurant scene. Fabio has since built an American empire of fame, culinary achievements, entrepreneurial […]
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

3D in the 21st Century. Flash Forward: Four 3D Works by Ken Jacobs

  • MUBI
Seeking the Monkey KingIt is all too fitting that a film series focusing on “3D in the 21st Century” should feature the work of Ken Jacobs. More than any other single avant-garde filmmaker, Jacobs has explored the pulsating, tremulous frontier where images hit the eyes, and a great deal of his exploration over the last 30+ years—beginning with his experiments with the Pulfrich filter and his development of the dual projection “Nervous System”—has involved three-dimensional illusionism, that ambiguous perceptual space where flatness and depth wrestle in the optical mind. Historically, aesthetically, and technologically, it would make no sense to consider cinema in three dimensions without including Jacobs’ contributions.But there’s more at stake in Jacobs’ presence in the Bam’s 3D series. No mere formalist, Jacobs has been a tireless artistic whistleblower, documenting and cataloging the ugliest aspects of American culture. From blackface and animal torture in Star Spangled to Death,
See full article at MUBI »

River of Fundament | Review

All that Glitters: Barney’s Operatic, Caterwauling Art-house Epic

Those familiar with the work of Matthew Barney, namely his impressive Cremaster Cycle (2003) and Drawing Restraint 9 (2005), either appreciate his artistic ambition to collapse, discombobulate, and erase the distinction of form, or discount his credibility (an appraisal that can be attributed to most provocative artists). His filmic language generally consists of a grand mixture of anthropomorphic fascination, formal cinematic composition, musically discordant fascination with opera, and a kind of live performance art/sculpture exhibit, amongst others. Sprawling, decadent, and enigmatic, fans and critics vacillate between lobbing appellations that range from ‘pretentious,’ to ‘genius,’ and he’s been referred to as one of the most important artists of his generation.

Whatever your opinion of his work, one cannot overlook the sheer audaciousness of his latest long-gestating hybrid, River of Fundament, a seven year project that kinda, sorta, maybe is the most interesting
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Sex, Politics, and Socialized Medicine – The Films of Denys Arcand

Every generation believes that the generation to follow it, and possibly the generation to precede it, will, or already has, led to the deterioration of civilization.

In Denys Arcand’s 2003 film The Barbarian Invasions, 9/11 has just recently hit American soil, and the tension between the old and the young has been brought to new light. The incoming class are the “puritanical capitalists”, as the ageing Remy (Remy Girard) explains, himself a self-professed “sensual socialist”. But now in Arcand’s Quebec, Remy is dying and stuck in the bureaucratic, underserved system his generation helped create.

We’d hardly bat an eye for the philandering behavior and lifestyle that got Remy in this place to begin with, but The Barbarian Invasions is not the start of Arcand’s story. The Decline of the American Empire, from 1986, endears us to a young Remy and his equally promiscuous friends and lovers. The movie is
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Foxcatcher Review [Tiff 2014]

Though focussed on wrestling and named for an equestrian sport, Foxcatcher adopts the motions of a marathon runner. The pace is steady and unyielding. There are no sudden “a-ha” moments to throw things for a loop; each shift in its dramatic playing field is slowly, methodically built up to. Foxcatcher is an exercise in control and composure. If you’re into its rhythm from the first moment, you’ll be spellbound by it to the last. Find yourself following along even slightly off the precise pace director Bennett Miller moves at, and Foxcatcher, fittingly, becomes a little harder to pin down.

Based on true events, the film opens in 1987. In just three years, Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) has gone from gold medal glory, to addressing half-filled elementary school auditoriums for $20 a pop. More humiliating than the bored looks the kids give him is the fact that he’s
See full article at We Got This Covered »

LatinoBuzz: 17 Years Later, Latinbeat Goes On: Film Programmer Marcela Goglio On How It All Started

As a film fan, self-professed cinenerd, and an ex-film programmer at the New York International Latino Film Festival, the closure of the long-running fest last year was soul crushing. There are very few spaces dedicated to exhibiting Latino cinema and a lot of the remaining ones are on shaky ground.

Simultaneously though — as many U.S. Latino film institutions are on their last legs — movies directed by Latin American-born filmmakers are circling the globe at prestigious film festivals, winning awards, and garnering praise from critics. Production numbers, south of our border, have risen astronomically. It’s a renewal, renaissance, new wave — whatever you want to call it — that began in the mid-nineties. The Film Society of Lincoln Center, with its eye on this rebirth, founded a film series in 1997. A yearly showcase of the newest voices in Latin American cinema, it would eventually be called Latinbeat.

This year’s Latinbeat, running July 11 – 20, carries on with its mission of presenting emerging directors and film trends from across Latin America with movies from powerhouses like Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and Brazil plus countries with smaller film industries like Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. From films about a Mexican garage band ("We Are Mari Pepa") to heavy metal in the Andes ("Holiday") and from first-time directors as well as established ones, this year’s lineup is centered on young protagonists.

In advance of the series’ opening night, I got the chance to chat with Marcela Goglio — Latinbeat’s film programmer since 1999 — about the origins of the longstanding showcase, how she ended up at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and the constant rebirth of Latin American cinema. Plus, there are some good stories about the struggles of getting filmmakers to their screenings on time. Spoiler alert: if something can go wrong, it will.

When did the Latinbeat series start? Was there something specific that motivated the creation of the series?

Latinbeat started in 1997, conceived by Richard Peña, the Programming Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center at the time (and until the end of 2012.) He actually programmed that first edition. I came in as an intern that year and helped with the marketing, outreach, and with Q&As. He came up with the idea mainly because at the time there was a very evident explosion or renaissance of film in Latin America, mainly Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico (the so called “New Argentine Cinema” started in the mid 90s). By explosion I mean not only a spike in quantity but mainly there was some really interesting formal exploration going on and new kinds of films emerging as a reaction to drastically changing socio-political realities — end of dictatorships in some countries, devastating economic crises that changed the social landscape in others — in a film landscape that, up until then, had become rather stale. It was the perfect time and there was a real need, as no other venues existed that were showcasing that cinema in New York. Latinbeat was the very first to showcase these new emerging filmmakers that later became such symbols of their time.

Where did the name Latinbeat come from?

Richard Peña chose the name. I think it was a reference to precisely an urgent, watershed moment, urgent films, something palpitating in the air that the festival wanted to capture. Also, it was a reference to a new rhythm or language that was being created.

How did you end up programming the series?

Newly arrived in New York City in 1997, after having lived in Costa Rica for four years where I worked as a journalist and programmed a series of Latin American cinema at the Spanish Cultural Center, I heard that Richard Peña, whom I had studied under at Columbia University before moving to Costa Rica, was organizing a Latin American film festival. (At the time it was called “Latin American Cinema Now.”) I called him up and volunteered to help on that festival that he programmed. So I became an intern at the Film Society helping with Latin American outreach and other stuff. In 1998, he asked me and a fellow colleague, Cord Dueppe, to program the following edition in 1999 (it was biannual back then) and we programmed the subsequent editions together. Ines Aslan, from the Public Relations department, joined our team around 2003 under Richard’s guidance. In 2007, I became the sole programmer (Ines and Cord left the Film Society) and have programmed it since.

Richard Peña, former Programming Director at the Film Society of Lincoln Center

Can you describe the process of discovering and selecting the films each year? How is the process different now than when you first started?

I take submissions — and I watch everything that is sent to me — but I don’t do an open call for entries. Up until recently, I had traveled to the Havana Film Festival almost every year since 1996 and to every Bafici (Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival) since its first edition 12 years ago and I go to a few other festivals. Distribution companies send me titles and screeners but mostly the process involves keeping up to date with productions in the region through connections with film schools, institutes, filmmakers, and producers with whom I have developed a relationship with over the years. Also, of course, I follow the programming at all the other festivals.

The process now is different in that there are many more films to watch because, amongst other things, of an explosion in production in other countries in the region (and more production too in the aforementioned strongest countries: Argentina, Mexico, Brazil). The programming, necessarily, must become more complex because there is more to choose from and more variety but also more festivals that compete for the same films. There are more films to watch but because of technology it is also easier, in a sense, since viewing links get sent quickly instead of having to wait for screeners or videos via mail.

What was the biggest challenge in the first year of the series?

Getting a crossover audience, in terms of nationality.

Marcela Goglio with Yamandu Ross, co-director of '3 Million'

What years do you feel were the heyday of the series? What are some of your favorite memories of that time?

Definitely 2003 – 2004, when the festival was hugely successful — we had sold out screenings back to back — and longer, it ran for three weeks. We had a lot of Cuban cinema and my very favorite sidebar (in 2003) was these fabulous archival Cuban music documentaries (from the 50s, 60s, 70s) that we brought back from Havana and were never again shown in the city, or the U.S. The theater was packed and now, looking back, I realize we should have repeated that program. It was also the first year that I started to notice some crossover amongst audiences — Mexicans coming to see Chilean films, Argentines to see Cuban, etc — and that was thrilling.

One of my favorite memories is recognizing a Mexican bus boy from a neighborhood restaurant who came to see Carlos Sorin’s "Intimate Stories" (a small independent film from Argentina). He was standing in the back — there were no empty seats in the theater — laughing like crazy. One of the great things of those years too was that this “renaissance of Latin American cinema” that had started in the early/mid 90s was starting to come into its own and become more well known and popular abroad. Seeing such a new independent cinema gain popularity and fill the theaters — at least in NY, it definitely was not happening in Latin America, which made it even more exciting and special — was very gratifying. It felt like we were really a part of that big change that Latin America was experiencing cinematically.

Have you ever had trouble getting filmmakers to New York for their screenings?

In 2011, we opened the festival with Gustavo Taretto’s "Sidewalls" from Argentina. Taretto, who is of Italian descent and had a beard at the time, was coming for opening night and he almost didn’t make it because he was held up at the airport and being questioned. He claimed it was because of his “Middle Eastern” appearance. The irony is that Coca Cola was one of his clients; when the officers stopped him at the airport (because of his beard) and asked him his profession he made a joke about how he actually helped the American Empire — I’m paraphrasing — impose its products on the rest of the world.

Gustavo Taretto and Marcela Goglio

Something similar happened to another opening night guest, Roxana Blanco, coming to introduce the Uruguayan film "Kill Them All", a political thriller set in Uruguay. This time it was not because of her appearance, but because of the title of the film.

It also happened to the director and producer (Kenya Marquez and Karla Uribe) of Expiration Date, the opening night film in 2012. There was a storm so they were delayed arriving from the airport and couldn’t introduce the film. They finally showed up as the film was ending, direct from the airport and soaking wet, and practically changed in the lobby before marching into the theater to do the Q&A.

To Gustavo Taretto, it actually happened twice in that trip. After opening night (a Friday, I think) he had to travel to Mexico for a publicity gig. On his way back to New York, where he had to introduce his second screening, he was singled out in the immigration line (supposedly again because of his beard) and questioned right there.

Are there filmmakers who screened their first film at Latinbeat and are now big names? Do you feel like you took part in discovering them?

None of these are “big names” but are well known now in the Latin American film world, with a respected body of work; I feel like we took part in discovering many of them, but not all: Celina Murga, Argentina ("Ana y los otros," ‘04), Damian Szifron, Argentina ("En el fondo del mar," ‘03 ), Matias Bize, Chile ("Sabado" ‘04), Marite Ugas and Mariana Rondon from Venezuela ("A la medianoche y media," ‘01), Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll from Uruguay ("25 Watts," ‘01), Everardo Gonzalez, Mexico ("Cancion del pulque," ‘04), Nicolas Pereda, Mexico ( "Perpetuum Mobile"— his second feature film, ‘09), Matias Meyer, Mexico ("Wadley," ‘08 ), Martin Rejtman, Argentina ("Silvia Prieto" — his second film, ‘99), Mercedes Moncada, Mexico/Nicaragua ("La pasion de Maria Elena," ‘03), Pedro Gonzales Rubio and Carlos Armella, Mexico ( "Toro Negro," ‘05), and finally Juan Jose Campanella from Argentina, we showed his "El mismo amor, la misma lluvia" in 1999. He went on to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009 for "El secreto de sus ojos."

Matias Meyer, director of 'The Cramp' with Marcela Goglio

How does film production compare now to when Latinbeat started?

Numbers of films have increased twenty fold or more, in most countries — a lot. Mexico, Argentina and Brazil continue to produce the most but the main difference is that countries like Chile, Uruguay, Colombia and Venezuela — though Venezuela always had a high production — underwent their own explosion in the last years, as you might have heard. So, they are also important players. Another big difference is precisely the variety of themes, formal approaches and, storylines — political and personal, different genres — though the “independent”, low budget, formal exploration strain continues to be strong in all the countries, which is what is so fascinating. It’s as if the cinema in the region is constantly renewing itself. Also, the fact that there is this variety of genres, levels of production, styles — and the fact that there are some solid commercial films produced and consumed regularly in some of these countries — to me is an indication that there is an industry that’s getting strong. That is really great, even if we may not love everything that is being produced.

Have you ever considered including U.S. Latino films in Latinbeat?

We did include a few over the years — the Dominican-American "Red Passport" and the films of U.S.-based Puerto Rican director Mario Diaz. But, we focused on Latin America mostly and we understood that as separate from “Latino”. Also, the New York International Latino Film Festival seemed to have that area covered those years. [The Nyilff launched in 1999.] Now that that festival is gone [Nyilff], I would want to consider more Latino films. I also don’t see the “Latino” and “Latin American” as that separate anymore.

What is your favorite part of being a film programmer?

I love almost all aspects of it: watching the films (even when they’re not always great); choosing them and finding the best ways to make them work together; and finally, meeting the filmmakers and having conversations with them and the audience, onstage, brings everything full circle.

Pablo Cerda, director of 'P.E.' with Marcela Goglio

When you want to just sit on the couch and unwind what sort of films do you watch in your spare time?

I generally don’t watch films to unwind — I prefer to read. But these days I enjoy watching Argentine public television — many filmmakers are directing great series.

Did you ever want to be a filmmaker?

I did, a screenwriter. But wasn’t 100% sure. I went to film school briefly at the Universidad del Cine, in Buenos Aires, while I studied Journalism at Universidad de Buenos Aires.

This year, there are lots of films about young people, from "Somos Mari Pepa" (Mexico) to "Holiday" (Ecuador) and "Mateo" (Colombia). The opening night film "Casa Grande" also centers on a teenager but in Brazil. Was this on purpose? Is it a reflection of a larger trend in Latin American filmmaking?

"The Militant," "Root," "The Summer of Flying Fish" and "Natural Sciences" are also about young people and are a variation of “coming of age” stories. So it is definitely a recurring theme in the program. Yes, it’s on purpose. Most of our past editions have had many young first-time directors; it has been like this from the start. We look to reflect the region’s new trends with the program, to highlight emerging talents always, even if they might have imperfect films. And some of these titles mentioned are definitely by filmmakers to watch.

Latinbeat runs July 11 – 20 at The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia documentary review: repeating history

A hugely entertaining biography of one of the great observers of the American century whose witty, bitter obstinance is essential in highlighting how far the U.S. has gone off the rails since WWII. I’m “biast” (pro): I worship Gore Vidal

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

I so needed to see this movie right now. Cuz it reminded me how much I love Gore Vidal, and how essential his witty, bitter obstinance has been in pointing out how far America has gone off the rails since WWII, and how much I need to keep aspiring to be even a tenth — nay, a hundredth — of the writer and cultural critic he was. Because to match even such a tiny percentage of his genius would be a tremendous accomplishment for a lesser mortal. Whether it was politics, society, sexuality, or Hollywood,
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Diet Coke 'under pressure' over ingredients

Diet Coke 'under pressure' over ingredients
Washington, Oct 16: A Coca-Cola executive has revealed that USA's second most favoured soda, Diet Coke, is under a bit of pressure from the public owing to its ingredients that have listed an increased amount of artificial sweeteners in recent years.

Head of the brand's North American and Latin American empire, Steve Cahillane, explained that the issue wasn't specific to Diet Coke, but many other diet foods and drinks in the country are facing the same concerns, the Huffington Post reported.

Cahillane, however, asserted that his firm believes very strongly in the future of Diet Coke, and is investing in boosting the soda's.
See full article at RealBollywood »

Ron Paul: Syria Intervention ‘Beginning of the End’ of ‘American Empire’

“How many people do we have to kill?” former Rep. Ron Paul (R-tx) told Fox News Channel host Neil Cavuto on Tuesday. Discussing the plan for a possible intervention in Syria after government forces used chemical weapons on civilians, Paul said that if the president does not get a vote in Congress authorizing Syrian intervention, it would represent “the beginning of the end” of the “American empire.”
See full article at Mediaite - TV »

Breaking (The American Family) Bad

  • MUBI
“America cannot continue to lead the family of nations around the world if we suffer the collapse of the family here at home”

Mitt Romney

Exerting its influence well beyond the national frontiers, the idyllic American family has represented the ideal of happiness and security for a good part of the 20th century. Among its most valuable possessions we habitually find a fridge, a car or two, waving neighbours, smiling kids, a leafy backyard, a beckoning driveway, a chest-thumping husband, a home-chained wife, and last but by no means least, a glowing television set. Television is to the American family what the place of worship is to the faithful, a source of spiritual fulfillment offering a sense of belonging. Through the television screen the family is prescribed its material obligations, existential aspirations and ethical standards. The anchorman supplants the priest; community life makes way to talk shows, and advertising replaces biological needs with induced compulsions.
See full article at MUBI »

The Evolution of the Serial Killer

  • Boomtron
America has always been crazy about serial killers.

They’re our homegrown werewolves. They click with the fast-food car culture that roars in the country’s busy, busy heart. They fit neatly with our cult-of-celebrity-style national mythology.

These beasts that seem like men, mowing through victims like McDonald’s cheeseburgers, speeding for the televised takedown by John Q. Law – how can the USA not be wild for them?

That love-hate crush has been around since the days of Dr. Henry Holmes’ murder hotel was cutting down the attendance at the Chicago Worlds’ Fair. But the nature of it has changed along with our politics and hemlines.

The mythical figure of the serial killer in our culture has gone through the wringer of our changing standard of living. From the time of the penny dreadfuls and pulps, all the way to mainstream torture porn, serial killers in crime fiction transformed.

They’ve gone from Maniacs,
See full article at Boomtron »

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