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Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Not all angels are innocent.
Director: Peter Jackson
Drama
Fantasy

Wealthy and precocious teenager Juliet transfers from England to New Zealand with her family, and soon befriends the quiet, brooding Pauline through their shared love of fantasy and literature. When their parents begin to suspect that their increasingly intense and obsessive bond is becoming unhealthy, the girls hatch a dark plan for those who threaten to keep them apart.

The Fourth World of the Third Man Perhaps the premier concern of modern filmmakers is locating somewhere in the film exactly where the filmmaking process is. This is often incorrectly called irony, self-reference or the odd construction of reflexivity. I call it “folding” and it seems...


Published November 28, 2022
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Fast, Cheap and Out of Control (1997)
Director: Errol Morris
Documentary

Errol Morris’s Fast, Cheap & Out of Control interweaves the stories of four men, each driven to create eccentric worlds from their unique obsessions, all of which involve animals. There’s a lion tamer who shares his theories on the mental processes of wild animals; a topiary gardener who has devoted a lifetime to shaping bears and giraffes out of hedges and trees; a man fascinated with hairless mole rats; and an MIT scientist who has designed complex, autonomous robots that can crawl like bugs.

Architecture Machine My small survey of documentary types has brought me to this, and what a celebration! This is complex, meaningful cinema that just happens to be a documentary. It is intelligent, complex, deliberate and deeply thought provoking. I think it communicates something that isn’t quite right,...


Published November 28, 2022
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The Auteur Theory (1999)
Sex. Lies. Filmmaking.
Director: Evan Oppenheimer
Thriller
Comedy
Mystery

At an absurdly self-indulgent student film festival, the directors of the (mostly terrible) short films start getting killed off one by one and a budding British documentary filmmaker decides to investigate.

Murderous I am deep into a study for a book on folding in film. "Folding" is a general term for various types of self reference, awareness, self-creation and reflection. The very idea behind my study is that this is a very useful thing to understand and...


Published November 26, 2022
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Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996)
Director: Mira Nair
Drama
History
Romance

Tara and Maya are two inseparable friends in India. Their tastes, habits, and hobbies are the same. Years later, the two have matured, but have maintained their friendship. Tara gets married to the local prince, Raj Singh, who soon succeeds the throne as the sole heir. After the marriage, Raj gets bored of Tara and starts seeking another female to satisfy his sexual needs. He notices Maya and is instantly attracted to her. He has her included as one of his courtesans, and is intimate with her. Watch what happens when Tara finds out and the extent she will go to keep her marriage intact.

Club Exotica One of the several foibles of the United States is that we have no indigenous sexual exotica. All sexual archetypes are inherited from predecessor cultures (excepting the competing African-American cultures), which is one reason -- I believe -- that US popular culture is so...


Published November 24, 2022
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The Bone Collector (1999)
Two cops on the trail of a serial killer. They must see as one... They must act as one... They must think as one... Before another victim falls.
Director: Phillip Noyce
Drama
Mystery
Thriller
Crime

Rookie cop, Amelia Donaghy reluctantly teams with Lincoln Rhyme – formerly the department's top homicide detective but now paralyzed as a result of a spinal injury – to catch a grisly serial killer dubbed 'The Bone Collector'. The murderer's special signature is to leave tantalizing clues based on the grim remains of his crimes.

About Being About This thoroughly mundane film is based on a story woven around a very intelligent idea. Many films these days are written by writers writing about writing. And so it is here. The detective story is a modern invention, invented by Poe and popularized by...


Published November 22, 2022
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Chicago Cab (1997)
Do you dare pay the fare?
Director: John Tintori, Mary Cybulski
Comedy
Drama

A day in the life of a Chicago cab driver is examined as he picks up fares from the good and bad parts of the city and emotionally connects to many of his passengers.

Illegal Shorts A filmmaker needs to decide early in the game who is going to capture her. The normal choices are short form or long form, usually cast described as stories about people or ideas with stories. (There’s an in-between choice having to do with situations...


Published November 21, 2022
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Far and Away (1992)
What they needed was a country big enough for their dreams.
Director: Ron Howard
Adventure
Drama
Romance
Western

A young man leaves Ireland with his landlord's daughter after some trouble with her father, and they dream of owning land at the big giveaway in Oklahoma ca. 1893. When they get to the new land, they find jobs and begin saving money. The man becomes a local barehands boxer, and rides in glory until he is beaten, then his employers steal all the couple's money and they must fight off starvation in the winter, and try to keep their dream of owning land alive. Meanwhile, the woman's parents find out where she has gone and have come to America to find her and take her back.

Another Slap Here is another film in the tradition of “The Quiet Man:” Irish as hard drinkin hard fightin dopes downyou luvem. Once again, the hero is a fighter with a pure heart who the fight-addicted crowds love. Once again, the fiery redhead needs to be...


Published November 13, 2022
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Family Guy (1999- )
Parental Discretion Advised, that's how you know it's good.
Animation
Comedy

Sick, twisted, politically incorrect and Freakin' Sweet animated series featuring the adventures of the dysfunctional Griffin family. Bumbling Peter and long-suffering Lois have three kids. Stewie (a brilliant but sadistic baby bent on killing his mother and taking over the world), Meg (the oldest, and is the most unpopular girl in town) and Chris (the middle kid, he's not very bright but has a passion for movies). The final member of the family is Brian - a talking dog and much more than a pet, he keeps Stewie in check whilst sipping Martinis and sorting through his own life issues.

Formulas It all started with “The Flintstones”, I suppose. In its time, it was novel. Since then we’ve had a number of versions of the dumb dad cartoon. This one was recommended to me by a reader because it is edgier than the others. Here’s the formula...


Published November 8, 2022
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Just a Little Harmless Sex (1998)
Director: Rick Rosenthal
Comedy
Romance

A young married couple faces a serious break-up when the husband is caught committing adultery with a prostitute.

Prophylactic Intolerance We all want to be teenagers and some films are built to pander to that drive. The teenage condition is one in which all things are subservient to sex, but sex isn’t something you do. It isn’t something that is a component of a relationship...


Published November 7, 2022
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