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Bewitched (2005)
Be warned. Be ready.
Filmmaker(s): Nora Ephron

Thinking he can overshadow an unknown actress in the part, an egocentric actor unknowingly gets a witch cast in an upcoming television remake of the classic show "Bewitched".

Tricky Folded narrative is all the rage among Hollywood writers now. And the Ephrons are hip, so they go along and here we have a simply folded story. Simple folding, the kind anyone can do, is based on the simple device of a show within the show,...


Published July 27, 2023
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Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2021)

Self with Shoes On As I understand it, this was concieved in the breakup of a marriage. The voice and most of the script is by the disappointed wife, and the surrounding framing by the presumably inadequate husband. The actual events had some videos posted to YouTube,...


Published July 14, 2023
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Better Living Through Circuitry (1999)
A Digital Odyssey into Electronic Dance Culture
Filmmaker(s): Jon Reiss

A documentary about the Electronic Dance movement of the '90s. It is the first such full-length film on the topic. It was produced by Cleopatra Pictures and Entertainment Group, presided by Cleopatra Records founder Brian Perera. The film features interviews with BT, The Crystal Method, Electric Skychurch, Genesis P-Orridge, Frankie Bones, DJ Spooky, Roni Size, and DJ Keoki.

Honest Music, Dishonest Business Social trends are often shaped by strange overlaps in market forces. You have to have a steady stream of “artists” who are compelled to do their thing, driven primarily by an urge to express. We have that in this music, because the...


Published July 14, 2023
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Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Three wonderful loves in the best picture of the year!
Filmmaker(s): William Wyler

It's the hope that sustains the spirit of every GI: the dream of the day when he will finally return home. For three WWII veterans, the day has arrived. But for each man, the dream is about to become a nightmare.

Slow Meditation on Observation This treacly story hides some masterful filmmaking. Film is all about observation, except the observed usually contrive to make the observer feel unobtrusive. During this period, intelligent filmmakers were playing with the form so that often films were not only engineered observations but the...


Published July 14, 2023
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Before Midnight (1933)
Lurking FINGERS of DEATH reached out of the dim and ghostly past!
Filmmaker(s): Lambert Hillyer

A detective tries to figure out who killed a man who predicted his own death.

The Written Mystery The early thirties was a time of great experimentation with the detective narrative, leading eventually to noir. This is one of those experiments, and a rather fine one. It has a framing device where an old cop is telling a young one about the...


Published June 30, 2023
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Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970)
Filmmaker(s): Werner Herzog

The inhabitants of an institution in a remote country rebel against their keepers. Their acts of rebellion are by turns humorous, boring and alarming. An allegory on the problematic nature of fully liberating the human spirit, as both commendable and disturbing elements of our nature come forward. The film shows how justifiable revolt may be empowering, but may also turn to chaos and depravity. The allegory is developed in part by the fact that the film is cast entirely with dwarfs

Chicken Out Herzog is important to me. He seeks out situations that have recoil, he takes chances and makes honest choices. His being is broken, and that means the choices and the power of the situations affect me. But sometimes he works with a situation that doesn’t...


Published June 29, 2023
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Lovely and Amazing (2001)
Filmmaker(s): Nicole Holofcener

An intimate family portrait of four hapless but resilient women and the bittersweet lessons they learn in keeping up with the hectic demands of their individual neuroses. Each of the women seeks redemption in her own haphazard way, but whatever salvation they find is illusory and short-lived.

Parts TeeVee does this to us all, and I am saddened by it. Drama has a simple legacy: Tragedy where the mechanics of the story are in the world of the story, and Comedy where the mechanics are in the world of the audience. One...


Published June 29, 2023
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Before Sunrise (1995)
Can the greatest romance of your life last only one night?
Filmmaker(s): Richard Linklater

A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.

The Movie Not Married I think the memory of this is better than the movie itself. I recently saw the sequel. It was one of the most delicate and perfect things I know so far as that shell of romance which is outside of intimacy. That was...


Published June 29, 2023
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The Fashionistas (2002)
Filmmaker(s): John Stagliano

A famous fashion designer, searching for a hot new "bondage" look, comes across a design house called The Fashionistas. Unbeknownst to him, the firm's owner is determined to seduce him--not only to get him to buy her line, but also because she knows he can get her into the strange world of underground S&M clubs.

The Movie Within: Clockwork Peaches Yes, this is porn, with some real negatives. One of these is its perversion, pretty much all the pain, bondage and fetish you can imagine. But it is done as a parody. The watcher is being goofed on, tortured for fun. In...


Published June 20, 2023
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Better Than Sex (2000)
3 days in the life of a 1 night stand.
Filmmaker(s): Jonathan Teplitzky

After a one-night stand a couple is faced with the terrifying possibility of what they really want.

Freckles, Neck This slight project has nothing to recommend it, except wonder at its reason for being. But that is enough for me. See, the reason behind such a project is that the sexual charm of a woman — a certain woman — is an accelerating capture....


Published June 20, 2023
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