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Criterion Prediction #97: Beau Travail, by Alexander Miller

12 Jul

Title: Beau Travail

Year: 1999

Director: Claire Denis

Cast: Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Gregoire Colin, Richard Courcet, Nicolas Duvauchelle

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Home Video Hovel: 8 Million Ways to Die, by Alexander Miller

10 Jul

Since home video has undergone the Blu-ray evolution, it has unearthed a handful of neo-noirs and cop movies from the 1980’s; some overlooked, some divisive and others that have aged out of the public perception for one reason or another.

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Criterion Prediction #96: A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsese Through American Movies, by Alexander Miller

7 Jul

Title: A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsese Through American Movies

Year: 1995

Director: Martin Scorsese, Michael Henry Wilson

Cast: Martin Scorsese, Gregory Peck, George Lucas, Billy Wilder, John Ford, Nicholas Ray

Synopsis: Martin Scorsese provides an equally personal and academic history of American film, sharing his experiences with the movies that impacted his life as a filmmaker and a genuine lover of the medium. Along the way are interviews and archival footage of famous directors and footage from their work.

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Criterion Prediction #95: Happy Together, by Alexander Miller

29 Jun

Title: Happy Together

Year: 1997

Director: Wong Kar-wai

Cast: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Leslie Cheung, Gregory Dayton Shirley Kwan Suk-Yi

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Criterion Prediction #94: Funeral Parade of Roses, by Alexander Miller

21 Jun

Title: Funeral Parade of Roses (Bara no Soretsu)

Year: 1969

Director: Toshio Matsumoto

Cast: Pîtâ, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Osamu Ogasawara,  Emiko Azuma

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Criterion Prediction #93: Velvet Goldmine, by Alexander Miller

15 Jun

Title: Velvet Goldmine

Year: 1998

Director: Todd Haynes

Cast: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Toni Collette, Christian Bale, Eddie Izzard

Synopsis: Journalist Arthur Stuart (Bale) is enlisted to investigate the rise and fall of venerated rock idol Brian Slade (Meyers), who faked his assassination ten years prior.

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Home Video Hovel: Voodoo Black Exorcist, by Alexander Miller

8 Jun

With a title like Voodoo Black Exorcist, you might get the impression that this 1974 film would be a knock-off of Friedkin’s movie that came out a year prior. In a surprising turn, this is an oddball horror hybrid pursuing more mythical hallmarks than riding on the coattails of The Exorcist.

I have a genuine, unironic love for Blaxploitation cinema, and the horror films that followed are more credible than their reputations would indicate (though Blackenstein and the Blacula series are more reliable than their reputations would indicate). Voodoo Black Exorcist is a misleading title as the film is more of a vampiric mummy variation and a blaxploitation film by name only; so in the spirit of exploitation cinema, this title is either a cut above or cut below in that it exploits the genre of its namesake.

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Criterion Prediction #92: Effi Briest, by Alexander Miller

7 Jun

Title: Effi Briest

Year: 1974

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Cast: Hanna Schygulla, Ulli Lommel, Wolfgang Schenck, Lilo Pempeit, Herbert Steinmetz

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Past Life: Noise and Strife, by Alexander Miller

2 Jun

In the seventies-set Past Life, writer-director Avi Nesher looks at the proverbial ‘war at home’ when sisters Nana and Sephi begin to question the mysteries that surround their father’s troubled experiences during the Nazi occupation of Poland. This is a film that tackles tough material, and such historically delicate content as the incalculable atrocities endured by the Jewish people will never cease to be haunting. In doing so, Past Life takes a position that dramatic license or narrative structure is going to have an air immediacy and significance; good intentions aside, the film feels as if it’s counting on its material instead of elaborating on it.

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Criterion Prediction #91: Sherman’s March, by Alexander Miller

31 May

Title: Sherman’s March

Year: 1985

Director: Ross McElwee

Cast: Ross McElwee, Charleen Swansea, DeDe McElwee, Patricia Rendleman, Burt Reynolds

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