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Her (2013)
A Spike Jonze love story.
Filmmaker(s): Spike Jonze

In the not so distant future, Theodore, a lonely writer, purchases a newly developed operating system designed to meet the user's every need. To Theodore's surprise, a romantic relationship develops between him and his operating system. This unconventional love story blends science fiction and romance in a sweet tale that explores the nature of love and the ways that technology isolates and connects us all.

<strong>Wild Things One recipe for a whole narrative is to create a world, a character and a situation, each affecting the others while containing them. It is a hard, hard thing to do cinematically, but look at what has been done here. The world is conveyed...


Published December 24, 2022
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From Here to Eternity (1953)
The boldest book of our time… honestly, fearlessly on the screen!
Filmmaker(s): Fred Zinnemann

In 1941 Hawaii, a private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team, while his captain's wife and second in command are falling in love.

The Rule of Threes My own estimation is that this is a pretty poor movie cinematically, with the exeption of the then-shocking juicy exuberance of the beach scene. But it is crackling good storytelling and that overcomes the wooden direction and uninspired acting. I’m a believer in the...


Published December 24, 2022
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1408 (2007)
The Dolphin Hotel invites you to stay in any of its stunning rooms. Except one.
Filmmaker(s): Mikael Håfström

A man who specializes in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Shined Up I decided to watch this after Polanski’s “The Tenant” and that was probably a bad choice, because that film is precious. This one consists of three elements, typical of the King formula. The first is the expression of terror, shaped safely so that you can watch...


Published December 15, 2022
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Female Fantasy (2015)

It’s the early morning hours in Stockholm, and the light is pale. A young woman is heading home after a night out. As she is waiting for the bus, a man sits down next to her. Her mind starts racing. When she gets home she can’t stop thinking about what could have happened. She lets her imagination carry her away – and this film takes us right inside her ecstatic fantasy.

Mass Transit This short is just barely listed in IMDB, with no reviews or ratings. It has no dialogue. The ‘story’ is simple: a young woman sits next to a guy at a bus stop and has a fantasy about having sex with him. On the...


Published December 15, 2022
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127 hours (2010)
There is no force more powerful than the will to live.
Filmmaker(s): Danny Boyle

The true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah.

The Hand Left in the Thing There are so many filmmakers out there that I am still approaching many films the way they were intended to be approached: as self-contained works of art (or craft). But there are some filmmakers I know well enough to trust...


Published December 15, 2022
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Holmes & Watson. Madrid Days (2012)
Filmmaker(s): José Luis Garci

Film based on the characters of the English writer Arthur Conan Doyle. It tells a hypothetical meeting in Madrid between the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper.

Fight Clubs Holmes, the literary creation, is important in the development of film, yet films that use his character do so without mining the cinematic possibilities. Now here is a film that does just that. It is by a famous Spanish literary figure, who has also...


Published December 12, 2022
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The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2001-2007)

DS Barbara Havers is assigned to work with the upper-crust DI Thomas Lynley to solve murders.

Navel Gazing I have now rewatched several of these, and have refined my appreciation. The usual models for these sorts of projects is to distribute the episodes among different directors and screenwriters, assuming that the continuing characters are what matters. This series is different. The producers...


Published December 12, 2022
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The 400 Blows (1959)
Angel faces hell-bent for violence.
Filmmaker(s): François Truffaut

For young Parisian boy Antoine Doinel, life is one difficult situation after another. Surrounded by inconsiderate adults, including his neglectful parents, Antoine spends his days with his best friend, Rene, trying to plan for a better life. When one of their schemes goes awry, Antoine ends up in trouble with the law, leading to even more conflicts with unsympathetic authority figures.

Real Fiction With this film began an experiment that was to ultimately fail after dozens of notable films. It was much like the experiment in art nouveau in architecture seventy years earlier. I suppose that every art has cycles which begin with a collapse of the...


Published December 11, 2022
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Seven-Up! (1964)
Filmmaker(s): Paul Almond

A group of British children aged 7 from widely ranging backgrounds are interviewed about a range of subjects. The filmmakers plan to re-interview them at 7 year intervals to track how their lives and attitudes change as they age.

This did not start as a folded adventure. It is a quite ordinary TV documentary. But it became so in later installments by Apted, where the interviews are largely about how the films affected their lives....


Published December 8, 2022
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